SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Connie Roozen: After my study Fiscal Economics at the University of Tilburg I started working as a Tax Adviser with EY in Rotterdam. In the Netherlands the fiscal incentive for shipping, the tonnage tax regime was just introduced. And my very first engagement was for a Dutch shipowner looking at the opportunities for the Dutch tonnage tax regime. This was in 1997 and since then I am engaged in Shipping.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
C.R.: The dynamics, straight forwardness and the family business mentality really attracts me. In 2012, together with a former colleague of EY I founded my own tax law firm specialized in the Maritime Industry, C&B More.
S4S: When you think of the word successful who's the first person who comes to mind and why?
C.R.: The most successful person in my opinion was my grandmother. She was a mother of 9 children and a genuine business woman. She had her own company and the eldest son followed her footsteps.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?
C.R.: The most influential person to me was a former colleague of EY. He taught me the profession of Tax Adviser and introduced me in the Shipping Industry. The most important lesson was everything is possible! Furthermore my older sister is also very important to me. She has her own business and she learned me to always genuine listen to the client. The most important factor of given a good advice is finding the true driver of the client.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
C.R.: The worst piece of advice was to alter myself in a more aggressive competitive person. Gladly that did not work out. The best advice is look for your talents and strengths and accelerated these talents. This gives you energy and positive spirit.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
C.R.: My worthwhile career investment was starting my own Tax Law Firm. In the beginning it was hard work and it took a lot of time and money. But this investment was worthwhile. Having my own business gives me freedom, independence, flexibility and a lot of energy. We have locations in Rotterdam in Groningen and we are still expanding.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?
C.R.: My advice would be have confidence in yourself. You can do it. Just leap you will figure it out alone the way.
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
C.R.: In the last years I took a greater role in promoting Rotterdam as a Maritime Capital. I really love Rotterdam and the unique location of a great Port and modern City. Furthermore, I am highly active in promoting Women in Business and more specific in the Shipping Industry. The Maritime Sector will benefit from a greater participation of women, also in managerial roles. Since October I am part of the Executive Committee of WISTA as a Treasurer. WISTA, Women in Shipping and Trading Association, is an international networking organization for women at management level in the Shipping Industry. WISTA has over 3,000 members in 46 countries. We can make a difference in the diversification of the Shipping Industry.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
C.R.: There are great challenges ahead in the Maritime Industry, e.g. the energy transition – reducing our carbon footprint, and finding clean solutions that ensure a safe future for the next generation. Hopefully, the required substantial investments can be financed/stimulated by fiscal incentives. Furthermore, the fiscal climate is changing. Globally there is a lot of attention on tax avoidance. There are international developments on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting looking for more transparency in taxing profits. This can mean having (ship owning) entities in low taxed countries, like Marshall Islands, will lead to additional taxes in the Country of Residency of the shareholders. This can also affect the Shipping Industry.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
C.R.: My personal motto still is everything is possible! There are no difficulties, just challenges.
About Connie Roozen, Tax Partner, C&B More
Connie is a tax partner at C&B More since 2012. C&B More is a tax firm specialized in the maritime industry and international tax planning. After graduating from Tilburg University in Fiscal Economics, Connie started with EY and has been working for EY for 15 years, the last three years as a tax partner in Rotterdam. In 2012 Connie started together with a former colleague the tax law firm C&B More. C&B More is currently an office with 7 employees and with locations in Rotterdam and Groningen. In her work, she is dedicated to maritime affairs for over 20 years. She is known for being able to establishing meaningful connections, not only between people, but also between solutions and issues.