KPMG loses Dutch Caribbean member firm following split

18 January 2019

The Dutch Caribbean division of KPMG has exited the global KPMG and rebranded as KDC Interim as of January 1, 2019, putting an end to KPMG’s presence in the region. 

The transition is based on a mutual decision reached between KPMG International and KPMG Dutch Caribbean, stated the global accounting and consulting firm in a press release. The move comes after KPMG International last year reviewed its future member firm strategy, concluding that the network would be better off without a small group of players that are less aligned to the group’s overall vision. The majority of those targeted member firms are players that are structurally not meeting profitability targets, provide a too narrow service portfolio (e.g. only audit or pure focus on small enterprises) or don’t match the culture where the network stands for. 

KPMG, which stands for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, employs over 207,000 professionals in 150+ countries. With its new member firms strategy, the Big Four firm is taking for granted that it will lose a presence in some regions, although the network is known to move quickly in its bid to appoint replacements in order to maintain its global coverage.

KPMG Dutch Caribbean rebrands as KDC InterimIn the Dutch Caribbean, which spans the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (historically known as the Dutch West Indies), KPMG’s former local firm (50 employees) now operates as a stand-alone firm called KDC Interim. Both firms have worked closely together to facilitate an orderly transition, including employees and client base.

In the run-up to the split, rumors surfaced that KPMG Dutch Caribbean was on the brink of joining rival network EY. Both KPMG and EY declined to comment on the matter. 

Mid-2017 a similar development unfolded in the professional services space when four offices of KPMG – 130 employees in Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – exited the network to join BDO.

KPMG’s loss in the region comes six months after PwC was dealt a major blow in the Dutch Caribbean when it saw four of its offices and staff (in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint Maarten) join Grant Thornton, which now has 160 staff in the region. Of the Big Four giants, only EY and Deloitte still have a presence in Dutch Caribbean. 

Related: The Caribbean is globe’s second largest tax haven, harboring $97 billion annually.

BDO adds professional services firm in Bolivia to network

11 February 2019

Global professional services firm BDO has expanded its footprint in Latin America with the addition of a new member firm in Bolivia. 

The firm, trading as KPI Auditores y Consultores, was founded in 2010 and is managed by a team of seven partners, with managing partner Marcelo Berthin at the helm. Six of the new firm’s seven partners have a background at BDO, while the group also bring experience at tier-one accounting and consulting firms including EY, PKF and PwC to its new parent. KPI, previously affiliated with rival network Antea, which it joined in 2014, has been rebranded as BDO Bolivia. 

“BDO Bolivia’s goal is to deliver outstanding audit, financial advisory, tax, consulting, and digital services to clients,” said Berthin, who has been leading the firm since 2014, after serving a large bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID; a US agency that battles extreme global poverty) and EY, where he spent a decade in the firm’s audit department. While the firm works for clients across a range of sectors, its focus lies on clients in manufacturing, mining, not-for-profit, investment services and agriculture.

BDO adds professional services firm in Bolivia to network

According to Berthin, formerly KPI Auditores y Consultores will be able to benefit from BDO’s global reach – the world’s fifth largest accounting group has over 80,000 employees in 160+ countries – and the cross-border work which flows out of the network. “The recent increase in business enquiries from the UK, Germany, Panama, Chile and Brazil that we’ve received through BDO’s global organisation confirm this and points to further expansion for BDO in Bolivia.”

He added that the local teams based in La Paz (headquarter) and Santa Cruz will also be able to tap into BDO’s deep industry and functional expertise.

Commenting on the expansion in Bolivia, Albert Lopez, BDO’s Regional CEO for the Americas, said: “I am very pleased to welcome a leading firm in Bolivia to BDO. With significant experience in Bolivia, servicing national and international companies and institutions, the team have an established reputation that will launch BDO onto new paths of growth in Bolivia. The new firm’s ability to provide integrated solutions to its clients in the country will, when combined with BDO’s global reach, see business coming in from the wider Latin American region and beyond.”

Across Latin America, BDO has more than 5,100 professionals working from 63 offices in 23 countries. The firm’s largest offices are located in economic hotspots such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. 

Late last year, professional services firm Andersen Global touched in Bolivia with the addition of Tufiño Villegas to its network. The tax and legal advisory was founded in 1995 and has offices in capital city La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.