Article:

Agility delivers growth rewards for BDO

20 December 2016

Tony Schiffmann , Brisbane Office Managing Partner |

Flexibility and agility are crucial to achieving growth targets, and BDO’s latest global network financial results highlight how we apply this logic to our global strategy.

For the year ended 30 September 2016, total combined fee income for all BDO member firms was US$7.6 billion – a year on year growth rate of 8% at constant exchange rates. Growth was spearheaded by our firms in the US (+12%) and China (+13%).

With a target of US$10 billion in fee revenue by 2019, we are well on our way. Our network’s global footprint has expanded to 1,401 offices in 158 countries and territories, supported by more than 67,700 people.

The foundation of this success has been our proactive decision not to pigeon-hole ourselves into focusing on just one form of growth. With this in mind, our strong performance in an industry characterised by continual change and regulatory reform, can be attributed to both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

 

Merger activity and new firms

  • BDO USA is the network’s M&A leader, with a number of significant mergers during 2016. These include CEA, Feely and Driscoll, Mantyla McReynolds and Goldstein Schechter Koch
  • We continued to invest in IT advisory across a number of regions, including BDO Czech Republic, BDO Jersey, BDO Georgia and BDO Germany
  • Our cybersecurity service offering continued to grow, particularly in Israel, the Netherlands, USA and Australia
  • BDO Norway undertook nine acquisitions during the period
  • We expanded in to three new territories in West Africa
  • In Brazil we took on the largest full practice firm outside the top 5 when we merged with Baker Tilly.

The attractiveness of the BDO brand means there are few regions around the world today where our network is not engaged in some form of M&A activity.

China continues to drive growth  

This month’s Global Board meeting was held in Shenzhen, China, so our leadership team had the perfect opportunity to reflect on our financial performance in this market while in the region.

BDO continues to be a leader in China, which is largely the result of a strong and significant local presence in that market and the fact our clients continue to grow. Our Chinese teams are also sought after for their advisory expertise, especially in the area of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), where BDO is the leading advisor to companies on both the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges. This reputation leads to growth opportunities for our network both in China and internationally.

Digital transformation

Our global strategic alliance with Microsoft is already creating new and innovative ways for our people to provide clients with powerful financial and operational insights.

Our professional is undergoing significant digital transformation and this alliance, along with others in existence and in the pipeline, position us strongly to be able to deliver our clients with a truly tailored and scalable experience across a range of service areas.

The roadmap from our Global IT Strategy 2016-2017 will see some major programs enhanced and deployed across the network in 2017, allowing us to further capitalise upon the increasing number of global client service opportunities being presented to us as a true alternative to other leading international professional services firms.

Transformation is something we are serious about at BDO. In fact, Markus Kammueller recently joined our global leadership team as Global Head of Transformation. He will play a key role in supporting the deployment and use of our key IT programs in 2017 and beyond.

As the year draws to a close I am looking forward to what 2017 will bring. We are focused on continuing our strong performance into the new year and am excited about what lays ahead for our local and international clients. For our people, the next 12 months will also present a range of great opportunities, not only for their development, but for the ways in which they can add value for their clients.