IGAF Worldwide, Polaris International, FidunionEXCLUSIVE: IGAF Worldwide, Polaris International
and Fidunion International have merged to form the third largest
association of independent accounting firms in the world.

The combined entity will intially be known as IGAF Polaris. The
association’s 384 member firms will have combined annual
revenue of $1.82 billion and 16,300 employees at 843
offices in 89 countries.

The decision to merge was unanimously supported by member
firms at a recent vote. The International Accounting
understands that a legal agreement is being
finalised to seal the combination but is expected to be completed
by 1 June 2011 with integration to continue for several months

Kevin Mead and Raymond Buehler have been
appointed chief executive and chairman of IGAF Polaris Worldwide.
Mead was previously the president of IGAF Worldwide and
Buehler is currently president and chief executive of
US-based accounting firm Schneider Downs.

Other regional board members include:

  • IGAF Polaris Worldwide vice chairman, David Frame of
    UK-based accounting firm Littlejohn;
  • IGAF Polaris Worldwide treasurer, Jean-Marie Vandergucht of
    France-based accounting firm FITECO;
  • IGAF Polaris North America board chairman, Edward Davis of
    US -based accounting firm Petrinovich Pugh & Co.;
  • IGAF Polaris Europe, Middle East & Africa board chairman,
    Ulrich Britting of Germany-based accounting firm GHP
  • IGAF Polaris Asia Pacific board chairman, Akshay Shah from
    India-based accounting firm Rajendra & Co.; and
  • IGAF Polaris Latin America & Caribbean board chairman,
    Andres Moreno R from Colombia-based firm ASTAF Colombia.

“We agreed from the beginning that relationships between firms
must be forged stronger than ever, but without the strictures
imposed by operating as a network. The merger gives us this
opportunity and so much more,” Beuhler said. 

“Our member firms are excited about the
tremendous breadth of experience and skills now available to them
and the ability to help our clients succeed on an international

IGAF Polaris chief executive Kevin
Mead said the merger would provide many benefits.

“Increased resources will allow us to provide
a huge leap in services, education, benchmarking, and high-quality
relationship building opportunities for our member
firms,” Mead said.

In the most recent International
Accounting Bulletin
world survey IGAF Worldwide ranked sixth
with revenue of $1.2bn and a workforce of 10,481 in 288 offices
while Polaris International ranked ninth with revenue of
$534.9m and a workforce of 6,970 in 318 offices.

Top 5 associations of accounting

Praxity $3.30bn 25,785 2,361 454
Leading Edge Alliance $2.38bn 19,950 1,604 456
$1.82bn 16,300 2,400 843
Fiducial International $1.49bn 12,900 n/a 1,232
AGN International  $1.46bn 10,621 1,268 467