The process to merge Mazars and its
US joint venture partner Weiser has been a “careful, deliberate
evolution”, according to the Mazars president Patrick de

De Cambourg said the merger process has been
ongoing for a year and has not been taken lightly.

Mazars has agreed in principle to merge,
although it will not be finalised until partners from both firms
have voted in favour of the proposal. A vote is expected to take
place in late February or early March.

In the 1990s, Mazars had its own firm in the
US but decided in 2000 to set up a joint venture with Weiser so it
could concentrate on expanding its network in emerging

“With the new economic situation and with the
fact that the level of performance of the organisation in emerging
markets is satisfactory, we said isn’t it time that we joined
forces permanently in the US, with people we have been operating
with for the past 10 years,” de Cambourg said.

“[Weiser] demonstrated that they are managing
risk in the US market in a way that is prudent and efficient. That
is why we feel comfortable to make such a move.”

The firm is expected to have combined revenue
of about $120 million. Weiser has 600 staff in five offices in the
north east of the US and is one of the larger mid-tier firms in New

Mazars recently served client interests in the
US through joint ventures with Praxity Global Alliance members,
such as Weiser, but stopped short of developing a permanent
presence in the country due to the threat of litigation.

This proposed merger represents a shift in
strategy for Mazars, which is a single global firm that has a
presence in 50 countries.

Mazars reported global fee income of
$1.06 billion in the year to 31 August 2009.