ABP Tax Seminar 2023

Sustainable Tax and Transparency

On 7 December 2023, we organize our Sustainable Tax and Transparency seminar, which will take place in The Hague, to offer a podium for a continuation of the active dialogue on tax and transparency, with a focus on the impact of ESG developments on the tax transparency environment.

The aim of the seminar is twofold: first, to investigate the commonalities and divergencies in the thinking about sustainable and public tax transparency and second, to explore the feasibility of a global and sustainable public tax reporting standard for the future.

Pulchri Studio
Lange Voorhout 15
2514 EA Den Haag

Interparking Museumkwartier
Korte Voorhout 2P
2511 EK Den Haag

Public Transport 
Den Haag Central Station
Bus 22/24/28
Tram 9/15/17

Over the past years, ABP has recognized the need for increased tax transparency and good tax governance. That is why, in 2020, ABP developed its Tax Policy, in which it committed to being more transparent towards its stakeholders and conducting good tax governance. Also, ABP is committed to promoting public tax transparency in the businesses it invests in.

In order to stimulate an active dialogue on these issues, ABP held a seminar on public tax transparency in 2021. Much has happened since. ABP has taken significant steps in executing its policy, including through engagements with our stakeholders. The international tax policy environment has also moved on. Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) ambitions are currently at the heart of tax policies which are being developed worldwide by governments, companies and investors. This raises the question of what the impact of these policies will be on the design of public tax transparency standards in the future, including whether the scattered landscape of existing standards will converge.

As governments are aiming for a sustainable future through their ESG policies, tax has become a key instrument in driving behavioral change. In the past years, the public tax transparency environment has evolved due to new mandatory and voluntary standards being developed. This includes tax being considered part of the Social and Governance pillars of ESG, with that becoming part of ESG reporting. ABP welcomes the enhanced public tax transparency which has resulted. However, as a global investor, ABP has also observed a tension between local roots and global investments. ABP is aware that companies it invests in are subject to pressures of their own societies, which may diverge from the pressures which exist in the Netherlands and Europe. Also, ABP is observing the public tax reporting landscape is evolving in a scattered fashion which creates high administrative burdens and unpredictability.

ABP hosts its 2023 tax seminar on Sustainable Tax and Transparency with the aim of engaging in a meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, such as other institutional investors, academics, businesses, standard setters and policymakers, on the issues outlined above and ultimately promote, but also examine the possibility of establishing, sustainable global norms and standards when it comes to tax transparency and tax governance.

As ABP is aware that a high-quality global standard has a chance to materialize only if the perspective of all stakeholders is taken into account, ABP would like to invite you to this seminar so you can contribute to finding a common perspective on what a sustainable tax transparency standard could look like and how to achieve more global convergence in the standards used globally.

9:30 – 10:00: Walk in

10:00 – 10:05: Opening

  • Astrid Durgaram, Senior Legal and Tax Counsel, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and host of seminar

10:05 – 10:20: Welcome

  • Harmen van Wijnen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP

10:20 – 11:05: Fireside chat and Q&A

  •  Harmen van Wijnen
  •  Marnix van Rij, State Secretary for Tax Affairs of the Netherlands 
  •  Gerassimos Thomas, Director General TAXUD, European Commission 

11:05 – 11:25: Coffee Break

11:25 – 11:45: Execution of ABP’s tax policy

  • Astrid Durgaram together with Johan Beris, Executive Director Tax of APG

11:45 – 12:40: Panel discussion

  • Panel Chair: Marlies de Ruiter, EY Global International Tax Policy Leader
  • Panel Members:
    1. Matthew Genasci, Senior Investment Stewardship Manager
      Corporate Governance of Norges Bank Investment Management
    2. Head of Tax of a multinational group - To be confirmed
    3. Femke Groothuis, Founder and  President of The Ex'tax Project
    4. B-team founding member perspective - To be confirmed

    12:40 – 13:00: Closing

    13:00 – 14:00: Networking Lunch

  • Astrid Durgaram, Senior Legal and Tax Counsel, Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP 
  • Harmen van Wijnen, Chairman of the Executive Board of Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP
  • Marnix van Rij, State Secretary for Tax Affairs of the Netherlands
  • Gerassimos Thomas, Director General TAXUD, European Commission 
  • Johan Beris, Executive Director Tax, APG
  • Marlies de Ruiter, EY Global International Tax Policy Leader
  • Matthew Genasci, Senior Investment Stewardship Manager Corporate Governance,
    Norges Bank Investment Management 
  • Head of Tax of a multinational group - To be confirmed
  • Femke Groothuis, Founder and President of The Ex'tax Project 
  • B-team founding member perspective - To be confirmed
Voorzitter Harmen

We very much hope that you will be able to participate and look forward to seeing you at this seminar.

Kind regards,

Harmen van Wijnen