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April 30, 2008

Kreston regroups its Latin American firms

Kreston regroups its Latin American firms

Kreston International has reunited its firms in the Caribbean, Central and South America into a single Latin America group following two years of experimentation to find the right regional combination.

Until 2005, Kreston’s Latin America group included all firms from Mexico in the north to Cape Horn at the bottom of South America. The Mexican firms were then grouped with Kreston’s North American firms for a period. When this didn’t work, a separate region called Central America/Caribbean was formed.

The Central America/Caribbean region has now been reunited with South America to help facilitate Kreston’s current expansion plans in Central America, where it is close to signing on firms in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and El Salvador. New firms in those locations will result in Kreston having coverage in all Latin American countries except Venezuela and Costa Rica, where a search for members is ongoing.

“The more we target Central America, the more it makes cultural sense for the Spanish-speaking world south of the USA to be in a single group,” Kreston executive director Jon Lisby told IAB. “The decision we made to split [the group in 2005] obviously worked very successfully and enabled Mexico to develop, but now we would like the whole process extended within Latin America.”

Kreston’s representation in Mexico has “totally flourished” in the past two years, making it one of the association’s “real success stories”, Lisby explained. In two years the association has grown from having five firms in Mexico to 21. There are six other Mexican firms applying for membership.

Kreston’s Mexican members are moving towards becoming a network of firms within the Kreston association, Lisby said. “It’s a very sensitive issue at the moment when things move from being an association to being a network, but I think that very shortly [Kreston will have] 27 firms in Mexico, which would be well inside the top ten, working together so closely that we will have a Kreston Mexico network,” Lisby explained.

There are other networks developing within the Kreston association. Late last year Kreston recruited Exco France – 23 firms that Lisby said are “undisputedly a network within France”. Other networks are developing in Australia, Denmark and possibly the Netherlands.

The director of the new Kreston Latin America is Alejandro Isás of the Mexican firm Isás y Asociados Públicos. Lisby said Isás is probably Mexico’s leading specialist in transfer pricing and, because of the international nature of that business line, he has strong international contacts. “He is a very valuable member for us because he is assisting our growth by locating high-quality individuals and firms around the world to support Kreston,” Lisby said.

Jorge Papantos has retired from his position as Kreston’s regional secretary for South America. An initial team that will assist developing the new group’s strategy comprises Cesar Ramos of Brazil, Miguel Del Olmo of Mexico, Mario Velasco of Guatemala and Frank Sanchez of Puerto Rico.

The first conference of the reformed Kreston Latin American is being held in San Diego, Chile, at the end of March.

Carolyn Canham

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