Amsterdam Unveiled: A Livingstone Experience

Teammates traveled near and far for the 2023 Annual Global Retreat

Once a year, Livingstone’s entire international partnership eagerly awaits the Annual Global Retreat. This much-anticipated meeting, hosted by different offices each year, serves as a unique opportunity for team building, fostering camaraderie, and creating lasting memories. Last year, the retreat was held in Boston, while this year, in 2023, our Amsterdam office kindly hosted over 100 Livingstonians.

The weekend kicked off on Thursday evening with bowling at Knijn, an excellent way to enjoy some appetizers, drinks, and friendly competition as we showed off our bowling skills (or lack thereof). Afterward, the team headed to StrandZuid for a “Walking BBQ”-style dinner at a beautiful outdoor waterside establishment. Attendees gathered for a welcome speech by Niels Claeren of the hosting Amsterdam office and presentations of the Livingstone Foundation’s ongoing projects by Neil Collen, partner and co-founder of Livingstone Spain, and Inma Vidal, associate, followed.

Since no one loves a battle quite as much as Livingstone, on Friday morning, we introduced a new offsite tradition aptly named “Deal of the Year.” The premise was simple yet riveting — junior bankers from each office had the task of crafting captivating presentations, delving into the intricacies of their most challenging deal of 2023. Exceptional presentations from all offices showed that each had unique war stories, showcasing the diversity of deals that had tested their professional skills. The competition was fierce, yet when the dust finally settled, Germany’s Hugo Pfohe / Van Mossel Automotive Group deal emerged as the victorious champion. Their well-deserved reward? The opportunity to visit any Livingstone office of their choosing!

Amsterdam is a stunning city that boasts a rich history, meandering canals, exquisite artwork, and the beloved beverage of many – beer. On Saturday, our group embarked on a diverse array of activities. Some explored the Heineken Brewery, while others immersed themselves in the masterpieces of renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh at the Rijksmuseum. A few more-adventurous souls engaged in blokarting or a thrilling sailing competition. As the sun began to set, we all came together for an evening canal tour, which was the perfect conclusion to our action-packed day.

In keeping with tradition, the cuisine on our journey was nothing short of spectacular, perfectly reflecting the regional favorites: plentiful seafood, local cheese, and fries (served with mayonnaise, of course) were enjoyed by all, a refreshing Heineken or two was savored at charming pubs scattered throughout the city. We ended the evenings enjoying festive music and dancing at some of Amsterdam’s best nightclubs.

These events continue to foster collaboration and innovation and allow us to highlight the importance of the Livingstone culture. As we reflect upon this remarkable trip, we are reminded of the tremendous value that international events have brought to our organization, reinforcing our belief in the power of cross-border connections.

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