Bahrain ops 'key to BDO Mideast growth'
Manama, January 19, 2012
Global accountancy and financial advisory practice BDO saw its fastest growth worldwide in the Middle East last year, said the chief executive officer of BDO International.
And the firm is building its business in the region through the efforts of BDO Bahrain and the firm's senior partner Jawad Habib Jawad, according to Martin van Roekel.
Roekel, who was in Bahrain yesterday (January 18) as part of a regional tour, said that Middle East business, led by the Bahrain operation, had doubled in the past three years and he was confident that it would double again in the next three years.
'This is a growth area for BDO,' he said. 'What we are offering clients is a high quality of service combined with both local knowledge and global experience.”
'The big challenges for companies here is to create diversified economies that will prosper through diversification rather than just through oil.
'We are well established in the region but we want to strengthen our position in countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia and build on our success in providing quality services that we have built in Bahrain,' he said.
'Our growth has been based both in bringing in new firms to BDO and by building business for them,' van Roekel added.
'But the key is to developing our business by strengthening member firms. Our aim is not about size but about quality of service,' he said.
'We have a strong presence in Bahrain, Qatar and Lebanon and a significant presence in Kuwait but we are looking to strengthening our role in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and we are doing that in partnership with BDO Bahrain.
'We are satisfied with the quality of the firms in BDO there but not with the size of the operations,' he added.
Last year, the firm increased revenues globally by 7.4 per cent to $5.7 billion in turbulent times and now provides services in 135 countries in more than 1,100 offices worldwide and employs just under 50,000 staff.
In the Middle East last year, it increased fee income by some 31 per cent.
'We can offer global expertise backed up with local knowledge,' he said. 'Ultimately quality is what we offer and that is something clients want to be able to take for granted.We see great growth potential in this region just as we see increasing potential across the Asia Pacific region.”
'For example, just four years ago we had some 1,500 people in China but we have now increased that to 6,500 and that is the kind of continuous growth we are looking at,' he added.
Martin van Roekel was appointed chief executive of BDO in October last year having joined the firm in the Netherlands in 1975 and becoming a partner in 1988 when he immediately became involved in the firm's international business, progressing to chairman of the BDO international policy board in 2007. – TradeArabia News Service