WILLEMSTAD – The transition is based on a mutual decision reached between KPMG International and KPMG Dutch Caribbean, stated the global accounting and consulting firm in a press release.
The move comes after KPMG International last year reviewed its future member firm strategy, concluding that the network would be better off without a small group of players that are less aligned to the group’s overall vision. The majority of those targeted member firms are players that are structurally not meeting profitability targets, provide a too narrow service portfolio (e.g. only audit or pure focus on small enterprises) or don’t match the culture where the network stands for.
KPMG, which stands for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler, employs over 207,000 professionals in 150+ countries. With its new member firms strategy, the Big Four firm is taking for granted that it will lose a presence in some regions, although the network is known to move quickly in its bid to appoint replacements in order to maintain its global coverage.
In the Dutch Caribbean, which spans the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (historically known as the Dutch West Indies), KPMG’s former local firm (50 employees) now operates as a stand-alone firm called KDC Interim. Both firms have worked closely together to facilitate an orderly transition, including employees and client base.
In the run-up to the split, rumors surfaced that KPMG Dutch Caribbean was on the brink of joining rival network EY. Both KPMG and EY declined to comment on the matter.
Mid-2017 a similar development unfolded in the professional services space when four offices of KPMG – in Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – exited the network to join BDO.
KPMG’s loss in the region comes six months after PwC was dealt a major blow in the Dutch Caribbean when it saw four of its offices and staff (in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao and Sint Maarten) join Grant Thornton, which now has 160 staff in the region. Another mid-market player, BDO, bolstered its footprint in the territory when it poached four offices of KPMG Eastern Caribbean – 130 employees in Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – mid-2017. Of the Big Four giants, only EY and Deloitte still have a presence in Dutch Caribbean.