Practice Editor AccountingWEB
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Kingston Smith joins Moore Stephens International in global expansion

3rd May 2019
Practice Editor AccountingWEB
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Canary Wharf, London

Kingston Smith LLP has increased its global clout after leaving the Morison KSi association and joining the Moore Stephens international network.

The top 20 firm now sits alongside 260 firms across 112 countries already in the global professional network – a bigger reach than their former network home of Morison KSi, which houses 155 firms in 82 countries.

With six offices in and around the capital, Kingston Smith will become the main London-based firm in the Moore Stephens International network. Kingston Smith has built a strong base in London with offices in the City and the West End, with a workforce of 62 partners and 550 staff.    

Kingston Smith’s managing partner Maureen Penfold called Moore Stephens International's network the “natural next step for [Kingston Smith] in supporting our clients to reach their potential for international expansion”.

Kingston Smith’s London offices add to Moore Stephens International’s already sizeable network which boasts 609 offices in 112 countries throughout the world, with combined fees of more than US$ 3.06 billion. This reach was also not lost on Kingston Smith.

Penfold added: “Being a part of this powerful global network will bring considerable benefits to our clients, enabling us to offer a fully integrated service to support their growth consistently across the world.

“We are equally excited about the new opportunities it will bring to our people, as we will be able to offer enhanced global mobility and greater collaborative knowledge sharing on an international scale.”

Welcoming Kingston Smith as a member firm, the global CEO of Moore Stephens International Anton Colella recognised Kingston Smith’s “strong reputation not only in London - one of the world’s main capital markets - but also internationally”.     

But it wasn’t just global presence where the two firms complement each other. Moore Stephens’ Colella continued: “They share the same outlook and purpose as the existing Moore Stephens professional community: the belief that serving clients is much more than simply a job, but a human relationship where advice and judgment should endure through good times and times of challenge.”

Meanwhile, Morison KSi will be on the lookout for a UK firm to fill the void left by Kingston Smith.

Keith Underwood, the managing director of M&A specialists Foulger Underwood expects networks to gain more importance as the profession becomes more global. “Moore Stephens had a very strong international membership which was value not only alongside the UK members but the international members. Kingston Smith most likely thought it was better to take on board that referral global network alliance rather than stay with an existing one Morison KSi."

The big firm mergers and movements have continued at a pace this year, with the most well-known being Moore Stephens International’s namesake Moore Stephens LLP merging with BDO. And Underwood expects similar firms to pursue their global expansion ambitions and entertain other network opportunities. 

“The key is whether [the network] has got value and whether people will move from one to the other. But I can only see this increasing which is an opportunity for the marketplace.”

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