BDO and PKF confirm New Year merger

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Robert Lovell
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Mid-tier accountancy firms BDO and PKF are in advanced discussions to merge in the New Year following months of speculation across the profession.

The merger, which the parties say is the first "proactive strategic merger" for 15 years, will create a 3,500-strong firm in the UK with revenues approaching £400m under the BDO name.

The merged firm will be a member of BDO International, which has revenues of more than US$5.7bn and operates across 135 countries.

In an official statement the firms confirmed the alliance and added that the merger will reflect their “sustained commitment to growth in their mid-market heartland.”

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07th Nov 2012 17:12

Wondering about the International Associations

Will the BDO and PKF international associations merge or will the PKF association have to find a new UK member firm? The press release seems clearly focused on the UK firms. MAYBE similar mergers will follow in other territories but that would be unusual after a UK initiated merger.

When Moores Rowland merged with BDO earlier this century(!) I believe that the International Association MRI was able to buy back the name as it was no longer being used by the merged BDO firm. The 'new' MRI Moores Rowland later merged with Mazars.

Many years ago when Binder Hamlyn merged with Andersons the international association (BDO) found a new UK firm - Stoy Hayward. They then left their old association (Horwarth) which was then joined by Clark Whitewhill. Levy Gee then joined CW's old association CKL and Levy Gee's old association (AGN?) also moved on.

Within a few years it seemed clear that moving up to become the UK member firm of a larger international association was good news. In each case each of the UK firms were reported to be pleased as they then received more inward referrals than under their previous arrangements.





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08th Nov 2012 08:59

It's brought a tear to my eye

Well, not a tear, but it always brings back a few memories when these well-known names merge. I know it's the way of the accountancy world, but it seems a shame when names from the old days disappear. I trained at the London office of Moores Rowland in the 1980s; it was a great place to work, with some big beasts in the partnership like Nigel Eastaway of Yellow and Orange book fame. 25 years later and it's effectively disappeared, at least in the UK. I'm sure the rot set in just after I left. Either I was an unusually influential audit clerk and my absence created a gap they simply couldn't fill or the cock[***]-ups I'd made that they uncovered after I'd gone were so massive that they created a run on client confidence with the inevitable fire sale resulting. Either way, I like to think I'm remembered.


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08th Nov 2012 09:15

Accounting firm trees

Are there any accounting firm trees available - you know, like family trees - either online or in book form. Or a book on history of mergers.

I started my training contract with Whinney Murray just before their big mergers.

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to lionofludesch
08th Nov 2012 09:47
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By janefg
to lionofludesch
09th Nov 2012 12:29

I too did my training with Whinney Murray in London before they started merging a lot.  Have fond memories of the old firm!

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By dwgw
09th Nov 2012 12:04

These we have known

Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Whinney, Arthur Young, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, Thornton Baker, Touche Ross, Coopers & Lybrand, Bentley Jennison, Kidsons - all firms I've either worked for or been interviewed by and all names that have disappeared from the roster.

Funny how the present rarely seems to be a time of great change but, looking back, it can seem like you lived through a period of seismic shifts.  Wish I was still young enough not to have learned that ...


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09th Nov 2012 12:58

Those were the days!

McClelland Moores anyone?

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to Marcie
09th Nov 2012 13:25

McClelland Moores YES

Yes my dad, Noel Hooker worked for them in Liverpool - 1960s/1970s.  When I joined Arthur Young in 1986, some of the seven column still had ArthurYoungMcClellandMoores printed on it!

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09th Nov 2012 13:35

Although I never worked for them I once had an interview with Turquands Barton Mayhew !

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By NWilson
09th Nov 2012 14:02

PKF trainees?

I started my training there in the last millenium (just!) - how things change!  Anyone else?

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By sluglet
09th Nov 2012 14:29


I worked briefly for PKF in the late 80s/early 90s but got made redundant during the recession of the early 90s. Good memories though!

My very first job in 1975 however was at a 2 partner firm in North Nottinghamshire. It seems ridiculous now but one of our clients was a major £120m+ PLC (although PLCs didn't exist then - all just Ltd) and we did a joint audit with Peat Marwick Mitchell - now known as KPMG.

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09th Nov 2012 16:48

PKF - A view from the outside

Viewing this from the perspective of a former PKF customer, this must be good news: the loss of the PKF brand, if this is the result, is overdue. To have accountants that need to be reminded every year for 10 years that the short partnership return figures were required before personal tax returns could be completed was quite unbelievable. Misspelled email addresses and unanswered emails were not unusual. Fortunately, there also exist accountancy practices that are helpful, efficient and informative. BDO beware!

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to scalloway
15th Nov 2012 09:24

bulldog chewing wasp from the outside...

...bitter much? Seriously, PKF is an excellent firm with extremely high standards and very talented and dedicated staff: BDO should consider itself VERY lucky. I hope the PKF incomers will be enthusiastically welcomed.

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10th Nov 2012 17:53

PKF BDO merger

This big beast is still around having joined BDO, from Moores Rowland via Chiltern, and I am sure that a merger with PKF will make a great firm greater.

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10th Nov 2012 19:19

Good grief!

Nigel Eastaway wrote:

This big beast is still around having joined BDO, from Moores Rowland via Chiltern, and I am sure that a merger with PKF will make a great firm greater.


I'm very pleased to hear it Mr Eastaway. Sir. Me? Scared by a message from a partner from 25 years ago? At 48 years of age? Absolutely.

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