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With Brexit looming, many financial services businesses are considering their options. In this complex process, Amsterdam may well be your city of choice.

Amsterdam is the home of stocks. As early as September 1602, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange was established by the Dutch East India Company for people to deal in its printed stocks and bonds.

It was subsequently renamed the Amsterdam Bourse and was the first to formally begin trading in securities. The Dutch capital was also the first to start trading options, back in 1978.

Today, it’s the place par excellence for high frequency traders, such as IMC, Optiver and Flow Traders, and home to AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange), Europe’s largest internet hub and a bustling FinTech scene.

Add this to a considerable community of institutional investors, international asset managers, and strong incumbent banks – together with an international mindset and a regulator with a keen eye for innovation – and a serious alternative to Frankfurt and Dublin emerges…

If you’re thinking of setting up shop in the Netherlands, Cognito’s Amsterdam team is on hand to advise.

Dutch media landscape

The Netherlands is a small country with a limited linguistic area, so the media landscape is not as large and diverse as in the English speaking world.

First and foremost, there is the financial daily called Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), as well as several trade magazines relevant for financial services professionals. Typically, the FD journalists are well informed. The newspaper has a strong focus on business, but from time to time the reporters can be quite harsh on companies and professionals alike.

De Telegraaf is the only other daily newspaper with a substantial financial/business section (De Financiële Telegraaf or ‘DFT’). De Telegraaf is a rather populist newspaper with a somewhat conservative mindset. All other domestic newspapers lean towards the left of the political spectrum, and don’t cover the world of business as extensively.

The Dutch financial magazines – all of them biweeklies and monthlies – cater for a hotchpotch of audiences, from institutional investors to SME entrepreneurs. Most of the magazines have their audience to themselves, as many are monopolists in their particular sub segment of the media landscape. Fewer and fewer print magazines are available, whereas websites, news portals and email newsletters are still on the rise.

Social media

The Dutch love their social media. The Netherlands harbours one of the best data networks in the world and so the Dutch are well positioned to enjoy their social media, both privately and professionally.

Social media is a well accepted source of information in serious business environments and used by many organizations as a distribution channel for news, content marketing, branding purposes and recruitment.

Keep in mind that the mainstream media is alert to anything that deviates from the norm on social media platforms, so managing your social media reputation is key in the small country that Holland is.

Meeting people

Ultimately, Amsterdam’s strongest asset is its people and the big reputation builder is networking. The Dutch love to gather, have coffee together and talk.

Amsterdam is the perfect spot to do so. Drinks, receptions, openings, seminars, off sites are the environments in which business is done. Many professionals are members of one or more clubs or trade associations, sometimes formal, but mostly informal. These platforms give them the opportunity to meet like-minded people, connect and do business. Make sure you are part of the right company, right from the start.

We’re looking forward to meeting you in Amsterdam!