Decisive merger in the world of Belgian chartered accountants - Companies

Decisive merger in the world of Belgian chartered accountants – Companies

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Vandelanotte and Callens, Pirenne, Theunissen & Co join forces to form the largest independent accounting firm in the country. They aim to expand their networks in Brussels and Wallonia.

Together, they weigh nearly 60 million euros in turnover and employ more than 500 people. Chartered accountant and audit firms Vandelanotte and Callens, Pirenne, Theunissen & Co announce their merger this Thursday, July 7. It will be operational on October 1st. “Despite our respectable size, we remain a family firm, says Nikolas Vandelanotte, CEO of the firm founded by his grandfather in 1948. We are entrepreneurs serving entrepreneurs, most of our clients are, like us, companies We understand what it means to live in a family business, the challenges of transmission, for example.”

Together, they weigh nearly 60 million euros in turnover and employ more than 500 people. Chartered accountant and audit firms Vandelanotte and Callens, Pirenne, Theunissen & Co announce their merger this Thursday, July 7. It will be operational on October 1st. “Despite our respectable size, we remain a family firm, says Nikolas Vandelanotte, CEO of the firm founded by his grandfather in 1948. We are entrepreneurs serving entrepreneurs, most of our clients are, like us, companies We understand what it means to live in a family business, the challenges of transmission, for example.” Several reasons led to the merger of the two offices. The first is common to many sectors: digitalization now makes it possible to achieve interesting economies of scale. This evolution is reinforced by the abundance of increasingly strict regulations which also invite us to work on a certain scale. The second stems from the talent war: a larger entity increases, for employees, the possibilities of career development, professional specialization and working close to home. “Proximity plays a decisive role for the staff, people have less desire to move”, analyzes Nikolas Vandelanotte, convinced from then on that the new entity will be more attractive on the job market. national”The third reason is more geographical. Although it is present throughout the country, the Vandelanotte firm has mainly developed in Flanders, in particular in West Flanders, while Callens, Pirenne, Theunissen & Co is better established in Antwerp, Brussels and Wallonia, including in the German-speaking community through an office in Verviers. “We are a Belgian firm, certainly with Flemish roots, but which resolutely targets the entire national territory, explains Philip Callens, managing director of Callens, Pirenne, Theunissen & Co and who will become a partner of the new entity. Being a national firm , it is a strategic choice on our part and we intend to increase it in the future. This presence in the three regions is unique for an accounting firm, apart from the Big4 and BDO.” For the time being, the establishment in Wallonia nevertheless remains modest with offices in Tournai, Namur and Verviers, but the group is considering opening a branch in Charleroi (where several employees are already active) and, above all, finalizing the takeover of a office in Walloon Brabant. “For the moment, our priority is the good integration of the two teams, but we are open to all opportunities to strengthen ourselves geographically or in terms of services”, concedes Nikolas Vandelanotte. It should also be specified that the two offices already have links with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and that this too should be intensified in the future. two offices did not agree on the “meaning” they want to give to their work of supporting family SMEs. “For them, we are more than chartered accountants or auditors, we are trustworthy people, summarizes Philip Callens. It is there, as well as on the long-term vision specific to family companies, that we want to make the difference.” Beyond this common profile, the two offices display very complementary skills, believe the bosses. Vandelanotte, much larger than its partner, can offer a wider range of services, including very specialized tax or legal expertise, while Callens, Pirenne, Theunissen & Co is positioned as a firm of company auditors with a series of niches, such as IT auditing. They have also developed an in-depth knowledge of the health care sector (hospitals, nursing homes, health insurance funds, etc.), as well as the public sector.

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