It has today been announced that the BDO and Moore Stephens LLP merger is complete, and they are now the largest UK accountancy and business advisory firm focused on “mid-sized, entrepreneurially-spirited businesses”.

Although the firm will now continue to operate under the BDO brand, Moore Stephen’s areas of expertise will certainly be carried forward, helping the firm to establish itself as a competitive alternative to the likes of the Big Four.

Moore Stephens is now part of BDO’s international network (which consists of 80,000 people and has revenue amassing to $9bn across 162 countries), as well as the UK base; they now have a workforce of 5,000 people across 17 locations, making £590m in revenue.

Their statement said: “The merger, which relates to the London, Birmingham, Reading, Bristol, and Watford offices of Moore Stephens LLP, will make BDO the third biggest auditor of listed companies, strengthening its position as calls to improve quality and competition at the upper end of the audit market continue.”

“The audit market is going through a significant period of reform, and our clients are facing unprecedented uncertainty as Brexit looms and global trade undergoes fundamental changes,” Paul Eagland, managing partner at BDO, added.

At a time where there is the possibility of great change in the audit market, following on from the CMA report, it will be interesting to see how the firm will progress in 2019.

BDO will now be ranked as the UK’s leading auditor to AIM-listed companies, as well as strengthening their position in other areas of the financial sector: insurance, shipping, and financial services, for example.

Eagland continued: “Notwithstanding these uncertainties, I’m confident that a combination of our 5,000 people and our reputation for trust and quality puts us in a fantastic position to help our clients and our people capitalise on the opportunities that always accompany such change.

“Our clear sense of purpose and growth strategy will help our entire team make this merger a huge success.”

Those who held senior positions at Moore Stephens LLP have been integrated into BDO’s leadership team.

Simon Gallagher – former managing partner at Moore Stephens LLP – has joined BDO as the head of advisory, and Jon Randall – previously the chief operating officer – is now the head of integration and transformation.

Simon Gallagher concluded: “From the moment we started our conversations, our shared ambition was to create a fully integrated firm that our people are proud of, and one which leads in serving what we call the UK’s ‘economic engine’—the entrepreneurially spirited, mid-sized businesses that are driving UK growth.

“This merger is one of growth and creates a new force in the market, enabling us to challenge our existing competition and deliver and increasingly impressive range of services to help our people and clients succeed.”

With the merger now complete, 2019 looks like it could be a very successful year for the new and improved BDO.

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