On November 1, 2022, Karanović & Partners held the Focus on Business and Regulation Conference at Hyatt Regency, Belgrade. After two years of online webinars, we have gladly hosted the physical conference for our distinguished clients and colleagues. At the conference, we presented the newest edition (16th in a row) of our annual publication Focus on Competition.
Our Managing Partner, Darko Jovanović, welcomed guests with an opening speech:
“After sixteen years of our annual competition law conferences, we have realized that our conference has evolved and that we should include other relevant areas of law and cover a wide range of relevant and trending topics. After two years of online webinars, we are happy to meet our colleagues and friends in person again at our Focus on Business & Regulation Conference.
This year, the now-traditional conference includes three panel discussions, dedicated to the competition law in M&A transactions, ESG and sustainable business practices in times of crisis, and employment and privacy aspects of working from home, gathering both the national and multinational companies’ representatives. We believe it is going to be an insightful and fruitful discussion for all of us, tackling the most vital topics today.”
Competition Law in M&A Transactions
The first panel discussion was moderated by Partner Bojan Vučković. The panelists included Mr. Mihailo Obućina, Director of Strategy and M&A at MediGroup, Mr. Miljan Macanović, Head of Legal Department at MK Group, Ms. Iva Tokić Čuljak, Partner at Ilej & Partners in cooperation with Karanović & Partners, and Partner Mr. Miloš Jakovljević.
The discussion focused on the most important aspects of M&A transactions from a competition law perspective and how competition law can be important during each step of M&A deals. The panelists talked about their experiences in this field, showing how every transaction is specific, bringing its own risks and issues. However, some of the antitrust topics have shown to be the most important – such as the timely assessment of the merger filing requirements, information exchange, potential ancillary restraints to M&A transactions, and the cross-border aspects of the antitrust regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions.
ESG: Sustainable Business in the Times of Crisis
Our Partners Maja Jovančević Šetka and Petar Mitrović moderated the second panel discussion. The panelists were Ms. Nina Elezović, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director for Serbia and Montenegro at Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, Ms. Svetlana Cerović, Head of Specialized Lending at UniCredit Bank Serbia, and Mr. Miloš Kostić, Owner and General Manager at MT-KOMEX.
This panel discussion gave an in-depth analysis of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) management practices, focusing on one of the most prominent and complex concepts in the global economy nowadays. Though the capital promoters and initiators of this concept in Serbia are foreign investors and world financial organizations, there is a significant trend of more intensive market penetration of regulations in this area.
The panelists provided insight into how their companies manage ESG principles. The use of a complex hierarchy and effective delegation, along with a strategic mindset, is considered to be the essential element of the successful use of ESG management.
The overall conclusion of the panel was that sustainable business is to drive profitability while taking care of both human and natural resources. Thus, ESG principles are not merely a passing trend, but a long-term concept, making responsible and sustainable management, along with the protection of the human and natural environment, the key factor in defining successful companies, especially in turbulent times of social and political crisis.
Work From Home: Employment and Privacy Aspects
The third panel discussion was moderated by our Partners Milena Jakšić Papac and Goran Radošević. The panelists included Ms. Sanja Nonković, Head of People at Nordeus, Ms. Jelena Danilović, Compliance Director at Hemofarm, and Mr. Nebojša Obradović, Head of Legal at ProCredit Bank.
The last panel discussed the various aspects of remote work that emerged during the recent pandemic. It affected business practices in all industries, and it seems that this change is to be long-lasting. Working from home is not a security measure anymore, but a new business model. Therefore, the need to rethink it on a regulatory level arose, as the so-called “new normal” took over the global economy.
The panelists mentioned the related issues, including IT security, supervision at work, and other employment and privacy aspects, showing how their companies coped with them, during and after the pandemic. They concluded it is necessary to take a nuanced approach to the issue of remote work, since it needs a continuous process of adaptation, consulting the employees about their needs, and providing them with a more flexible approach to work.
*Partner refers to independent Attorneys at Law in cooperation with Karanović & Partners.
The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.