European Tax Director
Job Title: European Tax Director
Employment Type: Full-Time
Objective of Role: Working in close collaboration with teams across all of Europe, the role owns primary responsibility for all tax matters in Europe for both LaSalle and its sponsored mandates at all stages of the real estate investment life-cycle including fund structuring, transaction support, monitoring tax changes, communicating the impact to the wider business and initiating defensive tax mitigation steps. The objective is to offer a ‘best-in-class’ service offering to the business and to our clients at all times whilst educating & developing the tax knowledge of all internal teams and developing/implementing controls & process to manage any tax risk. Communication of changes in the tax environment and analysis of the impacts for LaSalle and its clients is a particular focus, e.g., ATAD I, ATAD II, EU MDR and BEPS. The role will also advice on substance and governance issues and will also involve active management and development of a newly hired European Tax Manager, integrating him into the business and supervising his development.
Although London based, it is very important for LaSalle to have consistency and alignment across the entire European platform and monitor all tax applicable regulatory changes impacting LaSalle sponsored funds and separate account arrangements. General Tax Education is a focus (e.g., underwriting assumptions, modelling reviews and tax legislation changes) and the successful candidate will educate and communicate best practices to the wider business, including the European Management Board. They will be a source of advice for Financial Directors, transaction officers, portfolio, and asset managers in how tax legislation and theory impact them in practice. Such education will be done in conjunction with external tax advisors.
This role will also require active interface with both LaSalle’s client’s and their respective advisors, ongoing support to the Investor Relations’ team for new products and initiatives. You will actively participate on Investment Committee calls, in operational due diligence reviews and presentations to new target clients regarding potential tax structures and/or tax advice (albeit leveraging our third-party tax counsel).
The role requires strong skills of agility in processing significant and complex information and providing clear strategic planning and risk management thought leadership. It requires a firm management of third-party advisors and their delivery in terms of content, completeness and succinct advice, timing and cost.
Reporting Relationships: This role will report directly to the Global Head of Tax and closely collaborate with the European CFO/COO to support and advance regional priorities.
Location: London but with European travel which will be required on a reasonably frequent basis (Paris, Luxembourg, Munich).
Role and Accountabilities:
Fund and Investment structuring:
- Actively support Finance Directors, transaction officers, portfolio and asset management teams by providing full guidance (and via tax advisors) on appropriate structures and tax consequences relating to pan-European investments – both direct real estate and debt investments (a fast-growing part of our European business). Structuring involves LaSalle pan-European colleagues, legal and compliance officers with a very close collaboration required with colleagues across Europe.
- Support and educate Transaction, Fund and Finance teams on the operation of structures and the applicability of new structures as they develop in the market. Advise on tax leakage and mitigants thereto, balancing practicality and commerciality.
- Provide active tax support for all European transactions including review of key tax underwriting assumptions and managing material tax aspects of the transaction processes including review key risk matters for Investment Committee submissions for on investment opportunities. Transactions can include complex share deals (via SPVs) joint ventures and debt investments.
- Present, if required, tax issues on these transactions to the Investment Committee with recommendations.
- Support transactions teams, providing input and guidance on tax risks, implementation of third-party structuring advice and recommend, where required, negotiating strategies to key stakeholders e.g., tax reps and warranties or purchase of tax insurance. Strong project management of third-party advice is required.
- Active working experience in EU MDR reporting regulations and ATAD I and II, including technical analysis and reporting process. The role would include management of the EU MDR process and the internal software system.
Management of Investment Structures:
- Support Controllers and Finance Directors across the European platform with the periodic review of substance and corporate governance policies as well as advising on complex tax audits
- Lead on VAT and transfer pricing policies / procedures e.g., internal loans and charging of management fees. Discussion with European fund controllers on approach and relevant documentation to be implemented. Also, ongoing management of the AFIM transfer pricing model.
- Communicate changes in tax rules and the external environment to others with practical guidance on changes in approach or underwriting. Organise and lead local training.
- Provide management and support to fund controllers in relation to the tax compliance / EU MDR process
- Assess the ongoing impact of BEPS and ATAD I and II on investment structures and make recommendations to key stakeholders as appropriate
- Manage local advisory relationships – especially on transactions – and managing timelines associated thereto.
- Educate internal teams on tax sensitivities and issues and develop processes to manage tax risks.
LaSalle Business Operations:
- Manage tax issues, in particular VAT arrangements. Assist local teams on contract reviews and consideration of cross-border arrangements and transfer pricing.
- Identify changes, new tax requirements and assist / manage implementation by LaSalle entities
- Lead oversight on all tax matters related to liquidation of legacy funds and be the 'go-to' and centre of knowledge in liquidation.
- Provide guidance and support on corporate and tax operational matters.
- Actively working with LaSalle’s Finance Directors and CFO/COO; European Legal Counsel; European Head of Compliance and, above all, with Transaction officers, Fund Managers, Asset Managers and other stakeholders in supporting the business and being an excellent advocate for the wider European Tax team’s contribution to the business.
- Development and adoption of best practices (importing & exporting pan-Europe / global best practice) within LaSalle, implementing appropriate policies & procedures and adopting digitalisation and or tax applications where applicable
Required Qualifications & Experience:
- Qualified Accountant or Lawyer with a minimum seven years post qualification industry experience
- Experience of real estate funds with European cross border investment experience a significant plus
- Strong technical experience / knowledge of real estate taxation with a focus on inbound investment – knowledge of cross-border structures is a significant plus
- VAT expertise and ability to be 'centre of knowledge' for all EU VAT issues, advice and education
- Knowledge of European real estate investment structures
- Ability to quickly identify key tax issues and communicate effectively, quickly and clearly to non-specialists
- Commercial, tested business acumen with ability to multi-task and prioritise multiple projects.
- Accounting knowledge and ability to analyse financial statements is an advantage (but not a pre-requisite)
- A pro-active team player able to work with many different teams, personalities and styles, with excellent communication, organisation and project management skills, a very strong work ethic and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.
- Someone who can deliver sound, practical, well-thought through recommendations and interact confidently with senior management.
- Experience of working with cross border teams and cultures is an advantage. Cross functional leadership skills of a direct report, indirect internal colleagues and external advisors is a must.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
LaSalle is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from all sections of the community