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MEXICO - Economy

Monica Vera

Head of LATAM, TMF


Mónica Vera has dedicated her career to business transformation in several industries, across Canada and Latin America. Currently she is Managing Director at TMF Group, leading global provider of high value business services to clients operating and investing globally, for the Mexico office. In her role, she is responsible for business development and operations. She has experience as entrepreneur in the software related business development. Previously, she was Vice President and Partner for IBM Mexico where she led major digital transformation programs. In other roles, Monica has developed deep consulting expertise in systems integration and application services for retail, pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies. She has led large ERP implementation teams for large, medium and small businesses, including regional projects, both in Canada and Latin America. She holds a Public Accounting licentiate degree, Universidad Católica Andres Bello, Caracas; a Bachelor of Sciences degree, Syracuse University, Syracuse; and Humanistic Studies Master Degree, Universidad Virtual Tecnológico de Monterrey.

"We are looking at all of the investment coming through nearshoring and I think that fund managers and private banks will be seeing more loans coming their way."
TBY talks to Monica Vera, Head of LATAM at TMF, about the Mexican economy, outsourcing and nearshoring, and offering financial services.
How well did Mexico rank in TMF global business complexity index Mexico, and what makes Mexico such a complex country to do business in?

It is our 10th anniversary publishing the index. Mexico has come down one place from 3rd to 4th and so we remain high up on the list and among the top ten. There are 77 jurisdictions in the index, and in 2023 France ranks in first place. Some of local challenges here stem from the fact that everything must be done in person, on paper, and in Spanish. Unfortunately, there is also a rather discretionary way of doing things whereby the law sees inconsistent interpretation. As a result, consistency is lacking and sometimes they will ask you for two copies of something whereas another day this will be three, etc. This slows down processes with SAT, and other bodies. So that is where we step in with the GBCI; it’s a way for us to say yes things are complex, but this complexity is navigable. We want to point out the complexity so people arrive with eyes wide open, and to make sure that conditions don’t deter investment in Mexico. Mexico is a country to invest in because it provides considerable geographic opportunities, especially amid the prevailing tendency towards nearshoring.

What are some of the main changes in legal requirements in Mexico that are important for people to know?

An anti-outsourcing law set an important milestone. This was an important topic whereby companies had to make substantial changes because it determines how you organize yourself and allocate your resources. It creates a significant administrative burden when you have to present a series of reports to different authorities to sub contract, and so forth. The UVO situation, the fact you have to provide information on so many details about the final beneficiary, is worth taking into account. One should be aware that it will take a long time and a good deal of disclosure to get things done. A good example of this is where we recently bought a company in Mexico and I had to provide my husband’s passport and our marriage certificate because I am the legal representative. Some investors, especially from other countries, might find this invasive and off-putting. So this is something we help them with. Sometimes it can just be a matter of seeing what risk appetite the notary public has, etc.. The problem is that notary publics are subject to penalties if they don’t do things properly. So, it is just a matter of knowing how to navigate that. In 1H2022, this was a real stopper for new businesses and creating new companies, as public notaries didn’t know how to proceed, or what to do and it was taking a long time to create companies. Conditions have normalized somewhat today.

You have mentioned that financial services are a big part of what you do here in Mexico. Is that still the case and is that a big focus?

Yes, it is a significant focus for 2023. We are looking at all of the investment coming through nearshoring and I think that fund managers and private banks will be seeing more loans coming their way. There will be a greater need to manage funds and do all of the admin related to the fund cash flows, and we are here to provide that service and make the lives of those fund managers or banks easier. We can provide the admin services they need as well as the compliance aspect of it and all of the reporting to the different authorities such as the stock exchange or the Secretariat of Economy, for example. We can help family companies with all their admin services and with the transition from being private to public entities. I would like to say that unlike lawyers and tax advisors we are the doers; the ones that roll up our sleeves for our clients. We have seen that many companies in Mexico are keen to diversify and be present in international markets and I think that requires a big first step. Again, that is at the core of our value proposition. If you visit our website you will see that it says we want to help you expand internationally and safely.

Do you have any new solutions or products that you are launching in Mexico to help adapt to these new trends?

Yes, we recently bought a company, a SOFOM, to establish a trust company. We will be able to issue admin trusts and are looking to expand that to a larger scope of trusts and be able to do admin trusts and guarantee trusts. There are only a small circle of providers in that space in Mexico and I think we can provide considerable value, being a global company, with a presence in 86 countries. We can help companies that have complex structures when they create their funds and pursue large goals like trusts in multiple countries.

What steps are you taking to improve customer service for global companies?

We are working as a global company towards making sure all of our clients are delighted by our service and know that we are accountable, proactive and thoughtful. That means a mindset change for our teams, as we need to make sure that they move from the way we do business today to the new way of providing services. This includes keeping a part of the bespoke services we do today, because we offer a tailored-made service, whilst at the time introducing more automation, more of a global delivery methodology through the efficient use of global delivery centers. This will allow us to provide greater analysis with more in-depth insight. That is an important project for us in Mexico that will have global consequences. The second objective is to develop the financial service that we are growing organically by establishing alliances with law firms and private banks. At the same time, we are doing this inorganically, looking at the market for partners who can help us expand rapidly.



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