Amsterdam is one of the most famous cities in the world, renowned for its canals, bikes, museums, and unique architecture. But it’s also a great place to do business.
As Phaidon International’s Amsterdam office celebrates its one-year anniversary, we caught up with Jack Robson, Phaidon International’s Netherlands Director, to find out how the office has grown so quickly, why business is booming in the city, and what makes Amsterdam a great place to live and work.
Each month, we'll release a new blog post in our series, diving deep into the unique culture and operations of our key offices located in various corners of the globe.
Amsterdam’s Story So Far
Jack started working at Phaidon International’s supply chain brand, DSJ Global, eight years ago in London, and jumped at the opportunity to build a local presence in Amsterdam. He explains why it was a natural choice for the organization’s next expansion:
“We’d already built up a presence in Amsterdam and had grown a large network of active professionals during the last almost 20 years, so I moved here to create a local hub and personal presence for the work we were already doing.”
The Amsterdam office was launched in November 2022, and over the past year Jack has been successfully growing and scaling the business across DSJ Global and Selby Jennings, Phaidon International’s financial services brand. His secrets to success?
“There are three things that I look at to make sure we have our finger on the pulse and are doing the right things: Ensuring we have the right people in the right places, staying ahead of local markets, and maintaining a great company culture.”
And the office has been on an incredible trajectory as a result of these principles:
“It started with myself and two internal moves, and now we’ve grown organically from local hires to 16 people. We’ve also had three office moves since we launched and are looking at taking on our next office space at the start of next year, so it's been a pretty busy year!”
Amsterdam’s Business Appeal
While Amsterdam may not be the obvious first choice for a business launch or expansion, this small city has a long history of innovation across many industries, including being home to the world’s first stock exchange and publicly traded company. It’s still known as a forward-thinking city today, with a booming business scene:
“Amsterdam as a European hub is amazing. It's super well connected, so a lot of companies moved here after Brexit. The digital infrastructure market is huge – the city is one of Europe’s largest tech hubs – and in 2021 it also overtook London as Europe’s number one share trading hub,” says Jack.
“Amsterdam is also very international and is the number one non-English speaking country for English speakers in the world, so it’s a great place for both businesses and professionals to be. There are also government incentives for international professionals, such as the 30% tax ruling, which makes it fantastic for businesses attracting international talent.”
A City of Culture and Convenience
As Jack mentioned, Amsterdam is also the perfect place for professionals looking for a new adventure and a better standard of living. The Netherlands was ranked as the number one country for quality of life in the world in 2023, and it’s not hard to see why – Jack shares some of the ways his life has changed for the better since moving here:
“Amsterdam has everything that a city has to offer, but it's also small and everything is close by – it's often joked that nothing is more than a 20-minute bike ride away.
“The quality of life in general is also amazing. For example, I used to commute on the train to London, but here I have a 10-minute cycle to work through a park and cycle lanes, and I feel safe the whole way. Bikes take priority over everything so it's a very healthy way of living, and the air is cleaner compared to other cities. As an English speaker, it’s also been a really easy place for me to move abroad.”
Phaidon International Amsterdam: A Place to Learn, Grow, and Thrive
If you’re a professional looking for an exciting new career move, Phaidon International is always on the lookout for talented individuals to continue driving success globally. Being a newer office, particularly fast progression opportunities are available here.
“While we’re growing the business in a really organic and sustainable way, we are still building our levels and layers, which creates incredible opportunities to move into senior roles quickly for the right people,” Jack says.
“I also think the opportunity to work in a smaller business within a global organization and be an integral part of that growth is really cool, and the constant training and learning that you get along the way is fantastic thanks to exposure to senior leadership.”
He does caveat though – such a fast-paced environment isn’t for everyone:
“I think there's definitely an excitement altogether around being in an office that is growing and where there are so many different changes, so you need to like and embrace change in order to thrive here.”
A Future of Possibilities
As the Amsterdam office enters its second year in business, Jack is excited to experience its expansion in the years to come. While the financial and supply chain industries they already cover have even more potential for growth, the opportunities don’t end there.
“I think one of the cool things about the Amsterdam office is that we have the potential to offer the services across all six of Phaidon International’s brands. So when we launch other brands we’ll be able to keep growing incredibly fast, and that allows people internally to take look at opportunities across different brands and a different international office.
“The people we have here are so dedicated to achieving success and wanting to help and support our clients and candidates. We have a fantastic team of people which gets me super excited for the future of the office.”