GT picks up BDO’s 'risky' Australian practices

by Richard Crump

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18 Apr 2012

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GRANT THORNTON is to merge with two of BDO's Australian practices that were expelled from the firm's global network in March.

The Victoria and New South Wales practices, based in Melbourne and Sydney respectively, were expelled from BDO International because of ‘unreasonable risks'.

The two offices were terminated following a strategic review of the business models of all the BDO member firms in Australia that revealed "several risk issues" where the two firms failed to "sufficiently progress their plans to prepare for integration."

"This would bring about risks that are no longer acceptable to us," BDO International chief executive Martin van Roekel said in a statement at the time of the decision.

"The financial stability of BDO NSW/VIC, and their consequent ability to service clients in line with the expectations required of them by BDO is in contrast to the rest of the BDO firms in Australia, which are performing extremely well," he added.

Grant Thornton hailed the merger as a "game-changer" for its clients.

"Our rationale for this merger has always been to deliver what clients are nowadays demanding," said Grant Thornton CEO Robert Quant.

Quant added that Grant Thornton "has always respected BDO's practice in Melbourne and Sydney for its strong and collaborative ‘go to market' approach. Our two firms share a clear client service ethic, with great people delivering high quality client service. Like us they understand that genuine industry expertise is an essential element for delivering value to our clients."

The agreement is subject to finalisation of legal documentation and formal stakeholder approval.

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