In 2015 PwC Belgium first established its presence in Hasselt, in the Corda Campus, to enable the firm to be closer to clients in Limburg and expand its portfolio in the region. The initiative has been so successful that the location is being established as a fully-fledged PwC office. “I have the impression that the Limburg business community has welcomed PwC as a big player that finally made its way into Limburg,” states Peter D’hondt, Partner, PwC Belgium. “We’re certainly recognised as an alternative to the more established players in the market. Our comprehensive scope of services and international reach are considered as differentiators. Since 2015, and more than ever before, we’re bringing those differentiators closer to the local market.”
The new office will be home to about 40 staff from PwC Belgium’s audit and tax & legal practices who will bolster the current team and be better placed to serve local clients. It will also create new opportunities for the recruitment of local specialists. “In a closely connected business community like Limburg, having a decent-size local presence is important if we want to be taken seriously in terms of client proximity,” emphasises Marc Hoessels, Director in PwC Belgium’s tax practice.
Located in the Corda Campus and also close to other innovative companies within the Limburg start-up community, the expansion of the Hasselt location into a full office supports PwC’s increased efforts to serve the needs of the start-up/scale-up sector as well as smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “The Corda campus, together with the other Limburg incubators, forms its own start-up and scale-up ecosystem,” explains Koen Vanstraelen, Director in PwC Belgium’s audit practice. “We need to embed ourselves into this ecosystem to secure our role as the (future) trusted advisor of the many young entrepreneurs in Limburg.”
The expansion in PwC’s activities mirrors the growth in the region, and has also been supported by a broader range of services being provided. “We’ve also grown a lot in the area of legal services. We’re able to offer our clients ‘one-stop-shopping’,” comments Peter D’hondt. “Putting more services at the disposal of our clients is also how we help them grow. We recently completed the integration of Handson & Partners as PwC Business Services, which means our clients can outsource their need for finance professionals, accounting and tax services, and concentrate on the product and service development which is so crucial for start-ups and scale-ups. Combined with PwC Business Services, our international network means we can accompany SMEs as they expand abroad - and that’s the type of support that our clients in the region really value.