New business start-up in the Ardennes: ALFRED Compliance, helping businesses maintain financial integrity
ALFRED Compliance, supported by Ardennes Développement since March 2017, moved to a beautiful building from the 1950s in Monthermé, north of the French Ardennes in September 2017.
The company was founded by Ambre Steyer and Pierre de Montera, who met at Neoma business school. Pierre de Montera advised leaders of CAC 40 companies, while Ambre Steyer worked at Microsoft as Compliance Officer and was responsible for ensuring that internal processes were in line with the French law on transparency, the fight against corruption, and modernisation of economic life, called the “Sapin II law” (law no. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016). As the Head of the Compliance Department in France, Ambre Steyer introduced innovative operations that freed up time for the group’s employees, in full compliance with regulations. As a result of the growth of the compliance market and her desire to work on projects in this field with other companies, the idea to create her own company was born.
The company was thus created, and today it offers its expertise to companies or groups whose head offices are located in France and which satisfy both of the following criteria:
- Workforce of more than 500 employees;
- Turnover or consolidated turnover of more than 100 million euros.
If the accounts are consolidated, the requirement applies to subsidiaries and companies under their control.
To help the companies in question focus on their core business, Alfred Compliance can either audit and advise them to optimise the existing structure and implement monitoring dashboards, or take over the business completely and, as a trusted third party, guarantee results all the while providing training to employees.
As to the location of back office operations, rather than moving towards low-cost countries—a strategy very much welcomed by service outsourcing providers—partners of Alfred Compliance look for a region close to mainland France and offer real estate solutions that are both financially affordable and geographically accessible, as well as employees trained in tertiary sectors. They therefore chose the French Ardennes, which are close thanks to TGV connections and motorways, and which benefit from the BER (Bassin d’Emploi à Redynamiser) scheme that allows for exemptions from tax and social security for five years, thereby helping new businesses establish themselves.
In French Ardennes, the business is growing amidst the peacefulness of nature and recruitment is under way. Employees from the Paris office will offer support to the Ardennes team until the latter gains sufficient experience. The business approach is becoming clear and gaining momentum which means that, in three years’ time, a dozen people will be able to take charge of all the French and European operations from the Ardennes office.
By Ardennes Développement, the Ardennes economic development agency - ardennes-developpement.com