OK, the headline simplifies things slightly but Mazars, in preparing to merge with a New York accountancy firm, seems to have changed its mind about the risks associated with having a US arm to the business.
The firm has run joint ventures across the pond but the merger with Weiser will be the first time Mazars has planted itself on US soil as a trading entity and owning something.
This is a surprise because in an intervieww with Accountancy Age last year Mazars’ chief Patrick de Cambourg seemed to indicate the firm’s dislike of the US because of the liability risks. It was understood this was the reason the French-run group had remained substantively outside the US market while being happy to be in 50 other countries.
Something then, in the intervening period, seems to have changed. Few details of the deal have emerged so far, so we can only speculate about what’s different now.
Perhaps de Cambourg has been convinced that the US is not the risky place he believed it was. Perhaps Mazars has found a new and nifty way of keeping any potential liability contained to the States. Perhaps Weiser will only be engaged in work with the lowest possible risk profile therefore assuaging the fears Mazars might have had.
Lastly, perhaps de Cambourg became so tempted by the potential of being in the US, and the rich profits to be found there, he’s decided to ignore the risks entirely.
That last one, by the way, is a bit of a flyer. I think it’s unlikely that de Cambourg would be so cavalier. So, it’s some of the other options. Would be nice if he let us know. Perhaps other firms benefit from the knowledge.
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