Skip to main content
alumni testimonial banner

Flying high with Deloitte

Raphaël Glohr

Raphaël Glohr is concluding his thrilling journey at Deloitte. On the eve of his retirement, we sat down with him to hear about his 26-year career. From joining in 1998 as one of 350 employees, to shaping the future of VAT rules for executives as a Partner, his story is a testament to the heights you can reach at Deloitte.

Hear from someone who has truly "flown" the distance – both personally and professionally.

You embarked on your journey with Deloitte 26 years ago as a tax consultant. Tell us a little bit about your career path. What influenced your decision to join Deloitte?

Coming from Nancy as a young graduate from ICN Business School, Luxembourg turned out to be a natural choice to start my career. Actually, it was a pure coincidence that I chose Deloitte. Friends of mine had the job pages of the “Wort” (national Luxembourgish newspaper), and there was a vacancy that fit my job aspirations. This was just before the Internet era, so looking for a job, required a lot of research of newspapers ads, university job fairs, physical job boards, or simply word of mouth.

I joined the firm in 1998, so 26 years ago, when it was called Fiduciaire Générale de Luxembourg, a member of Deloitte Touche Tomatsu. My badge was N. 602 and I pretty much knew everybody, as we were roughly 350 people altogether.

I started as a junior tax advisor and worked my way up to become partner in 2008 within the VAT team. I was very proud to be in charge of “learning” for the whole tax department for over 10 years, as sharing knowledge, experiences, and developing new skills has always been a necessary ingredient to stay on top of our game collectively.

In addition to leading the VAT team jointly with Christian Deglas and now Joachim Bailly for over 10 years, I was also appointed in 2020 as member of the Supervisory Board. This was a great accomplishment for me, as it showed that my fellow partners trusted me to stay objective and work in the best interest of the whole firm and across the generations.

What is your favorite memory while working at Deloitte?

It is very difficult to pick one specific memory if you’ve spent your whole career at Deloitte. I would say that I loved the moments with the team, especially after intense periods of work. The fact that we could all get together at team events abroad made it all worthwhile.

If I could cite one event, it would be the first ever tax team-building that took place in Chamonix in 2001. One of my colleagues made us climb up to “refuge du couvercle,” 2687 meters above the “mer de glace.” We were exhausted at the end of the day. Some of us were even mad at him because it had been so hard, but the next day we realized what we had achieved individually and as a team. To this day, this experience has turned former colleagues from this time into my dearest friends.

Thinking about your career path more generally, what advice would you give to new graduates entering the tax field?


There are 4 pieces of advice I would share with them:

1) Be determined to work hard, be disciplined and do not expect that things fall into your lap. A career takes time to build, so you need to be patient with yourself and others.

2) Is a team effort. You need to build strong relationships within the firm to succeed. Foster people, show empathy, and have a good sense of humor. Enjoy working and laughing with your colleagues. You will spend more time with them than almost anyone else.

3) Stay curious and keep learning new things in every aspect of your job (hard skills, soft skills, self-management, expertise in certain fields, etc.). The tax law world today has nothing to do with the tax world that I joined 26 years ago. It has increased tremendously in complexity, innovation and administrative hurdles.

4) And last but not least, if you are committed, the firm is committed. Proof of this talent development and commitment within our firm is still strong. For example, four of the current VAT partners — Joachim, Cédric, Antoine and Aylin —all started as juniors, just like me.

What's the most interesting project you've worked on recently?

What I enjoy the most is sharing my knowledge not just within the firm but also among other professionals in the field. For example, sharing expertise with professional associations like the Institut Luxembourg des Administrateurs (ILA) has given me the change to collaborate with public administrations. This collaboration goes beyond advising clients and is therefore particularly satisfying and interesting to me.

Looking at the big picture, can you share some key milestones and challenges in your 26-year career in indirect tax, and how they have shaped your approach to tax advisory?

There are many technical milestones in my career, such as implementing the independent group of persons (IGP), the VAT grouping scheme, and the VAT package rules. If I were to highlight one key milestone in my career, I would pick the 2004 BBL EU Case law where investment funds became VAT-taxable persons overnight. With the help of my IM ACG colleagues, I was in the position to market our VAT services to hundreds of new clients within a blink of an eye. This has been an incredible accelerator in my career!

With globalization and increasing cross-border transactions, what are the biggest indirect tax challenges that multinational companies face, and how can they address these issues?

The lack of consistency in indirect tax rules worldwide, and within the EU Member States, creates significant tax exposure for our clients. It is vital that clients manage to identify one key contact person within an organization like Deloitte, who can deliver expertise in all these different markets and fulfill the role of a trusted advisor who can break down the complexity to the client. Deloitte’s international network is an irreplaceable strength.

How do you see technology impacting indirect tax in the coming years, and what innovations will be most transformative for tax professionals and their clients?

The sheer volume of data that we share with the official public administration requires very powerful digital systems. AI already extends a huge step toward simplifying low-value-add processes. However, good actors like us must keep feeding the AI because, as much as AI revolutionizes many meaningless steps in our work, it needs to be us who determine what goes into the powerful tool.

What are your upcoming plans?

In the short term, I'm planning to travel with a particular interest in Italy, especially in San Remo. I'm a big fan and intend to spend considerable time there.

But my most immediate plan is to spend six weeks in Cambodia with my wife starting in June. Before Deloitte, my French military service took me to Cambodia. Initially, I was reluctant to join the army, but I managed to sign an agreement with a French company to work abroad. I worked for the French central bank on a long-term assignment in Cambodia, where I spent 10 months. It was a challenging, yet rewarding experience. I’m excited to return.

The picture you’ve shared with us also exposes another passion of yours. Can you please share a bit about your experience and future plans with aviation?

It was a dream for decades to fly in a Jet so I managed to fly in a L39 Albatros for my 50 Years Birthday. Doing airplane barrel rolls, taking 4G, flying high up to the sky was an incredible unique experience. But definitively, I will not become a Pilot after Deloitte.

Any closing remarks/advice for all colleagues at Deloitte?

Try always to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere in the office, greeting everyone with a friendly "hello" to foster a sense of connection. Over time, these gestures ensure that, when a colleague seeks your assistance or you meet during team-building activities, the connection is already established. Small acts of kindness significantly enhance our environment. Let's look forward to a bright future together.

And some rapid fire questions:

  1. What book are you currently reading or what would you recommend?

    The book I’m currently reading is Lucien Bodart’s Les Grandes Murailles. I would definitely recommend any novel by Robert Harris.

  2. Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies that your colleagues might not know about?

    I love the Romans and everything related to them.

  3. You’ve got clients visiting Luxembourg. Where are you taking them to lunch or dinner?

    “La Mirabelle” for formal clients and if they want to taste a piece of Sicily then the “Feluca”

  4. Who is your role model?

    My father, who sadly passed away 13 years ago

  5. What motivates you to come to work every day?

    My team

  6. What sport would you compete in if you were in the Olympics?

    400 meter hurdles – my specialty when I was a teenager

  7. What's the most important lesson you've learned from a mistake?

    Not to do it twice!

  8. What's your favorite travel destination?


  9. Do you prefer working in the office, from home, or a mix of both?

    In the office. I like the interaction with the team.

  10. Where will we find you on a Saturday morning at 10:00?

    Going for a hike on Eecher Feld with my wife all year-round and from springtime onward on the golf course at Junglinster Golf with my friends.

Raphaël Glohr, Deloitte Luxembourg