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September 29, 2009

Mid-tier network expands footprint

Crowe Horwath International has rapidly accelerated its push into important emerging markets with the addition of large firms in China, Brazil and Hong Kong.

The network has admitted Crowe Horwath RCS in Brazil, WanLongAsia in China and Crowe Horwath HK CPA in Hong Kong.

Crowe Horwath International chief executive Frank Arford said the additions are part of a strategic plan to be a strong player in BRIC economies.

“Not only do they add to our market presence and position in important countries, but they help us build our representation in some of the key economic centres,” Arford said. “It will put us in a position to go after those middle-market multi-nationals, which are either headquartered or have significant operations in these key countries.”

WanLongAsia is the seventh-largest firm in China and has estimated fee income of about CNY515 million ($74 million). This month, the firm merged with Beijing WuLianFang-Yuan and several offices of Zhong Lei, adding revenue of CNY117 million. WanLongAsia has 2,000 staff across 31 offices around China and serves various clients, including 55 publicly-listed companies and 400 state-owned enterprises.

The firm provides audit and attestation, tax consulting, management consulting, construction cost consulting, asset appraisal, foreign investment consulting and advice for foreign-owned enterprises, among other services.

“They certainly want to be on this list of ‘favoured firms’ that the Ministry of Finance is managing. Initially, the favoured firms will have a lot of this state-owned enterprise audit work and then over time those state-owned enterprises will go public and will become multi-nationals themselves,” Arford told International Accounting Bulletin. “They are also going to take our name ‘Crowe Horwath’ both in Mandarin and English… so this is a big advantage to us.”

In May, Crowe Horwath International’s former Chinese member Shu Lun Pan left the network to join BDO International.

In Brazil, Crowe Horwath RCS was formed by the merger of Crowe Horwath International member firm Horwath Tufani, Reis & Soares and RCS Auditores Independentes, a former Praxity member.

The firm has annual revenues of BRL$25 million ($14 million) and claims to be a top seven firm in Brazil. It has nine partners, 200 professionals and offers a full range of services, including auditing, tax and consulting to more than 500 clients.

Crowe Horwath RCS is headquartered in Sao Paolo and has offices in Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte. The firm hopes to become the sixth largest firm within three to five years by combining with firms in other major cities, including Salvador, Fortaleza and Recife.

Crowe Horwath HK CPA is a new firm formed through the merger of PCP CPA and CCIF CPA. It reported fee income of HK$140 million ($18 million) in its most recent fiscal year and claims to be among the 10 largest firms in Hong Kong. The firm has more than 20 directors, 360 professional staff and 60 listed-company clients. Charles Chan is the chief executive of Crowe Horwath HK CPA and Paul Chan is the chairman.

Crowe Horwath International is the ninth-largest global accounting network.

MEMBERSHIP ADDITIONS

Crowe Horwath builds presence in important economies

BRAZIL

Name

Crowe Horwath RCS 

Fee income

BRL$25 million ($14 million)

Workforce

200 professionals

Market position

7th

CHINA

Name

WanLongAsia

Fee income

CNY515 million ($74 million)

Workforce

2,000 staff

Market position

7th

HONG KONG

Name

Crowe Horwath HK CPA

Fee income

HK$140 million ($18 million)

Workforce

360 professionals

Market position

Top 10

Source: International Accounting Bulletin

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