Two weeks after announcing the company would continue as an independent entity, KPMG’s former member firm in the Dutch Caribbean has joined rival network EY.
With the deal, months of speculation and uncertainty come to an end for the former KPMG Dutch Caribbean firm. Rumours on the firm’s future first popped up last year after KPMG International revealed that it had revised its member firm strategy. The global accounting and consulting group concluded that it would be better off without a small group of mainly smaller players in its network.
Local media ran a number of reports suggesting that KPMG Dutch Caribbean had not come through the global shift, casting doubt over the firm’s future. At the start of this year, the firm’s partner team announced that ties with KPMG International were indeed cut per the 1st of January 2019, and that the firm would continue as KDC Interim. While on several occasions reports leaked out that KPMG Dutch Caribbean was on the verge of joining EY, the trio of companies involved declined to comment.
Now, two weeks later, the deal which was expected by many in the region has materialised. EY, which globally is larger than KPMG, has signed a conditional agreement to take over KDC Interim per the 1st of March, including the firm’s 50 employees in Aruba and Curaçao. “The former KPMG Dutch Caribbean practice has been one of our most respected and fierce competitors in the Dutch Caribbean for many years,” said EY Dutch Caribbean managing partner Bryan Irausquin to the Curaçao Chronicle.
“It’s humbling and at the same time it fills us with pride knowing that this great group of professionals have decided to join our team. The KDC Interim team will be welcomed into our family with open arms and we are sure that we will learn a lot from each other as we continue forward as one.”
EY’s Dutch Caribbean practice provides assurance, financial advisory and consulting services to clients across the island region, in Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. EY Caribbean Assurance managing partner Erick Statius van Eps said: “We have a great opportunity ahead of us to strengthen our position in the Dutch Caribbean markets and deliver exceptional client service.”
For KPMG, the move means that it has lost its presence in the region. In 2017, the accountancy and consultancy giant also lost four offices in Eastern Caribbean – Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – to BDO, the number five accounting player globally. Meanwhile, competitor PwC saw its offices in the Dutch Caribbean switch to Grant Thornton, which now has around 160 staff in the region.