MSI Global Alliance (MSI) has begun 2009
with a spate of new additions, including firms in Belgium and

The multidisciplinary association’s chief
executive, James Mendelssohn, said he has been surprised by the
number of new recruits as well as loyal firms who have decided to
renew membership at a time of cost cutting.

“The interesting thing about the new firms
that are joining is that they have all approached us and they are
good, progressive entrepreneurial firms that have looked at
themselves and the current market and said, ‘we need more channels
of business’,” he said.

“We have had no more than the two or three
that have resigned and what we are finding is that it is the more
traditional, conservative firms that are worried about spending the
money [on membership renewal]. We are seeing a marked increase in
interest from younger entrepreneurial firms who are looking at the
opportunity to join.”

Titeca Henri Accountancy is a large regional
firm in the Flanders region of Belgium that joined in January. The
firm has 70 staff spread across offices in Roeselare, Mouscron and

Titeca Henri Accountancy provides accountancy,
advisory and tax services to SMEs, including a few larger clients
with turnover of between €250 million ($315 million) to €500

Mendelssohn said the firm was motivated to
join MSI purely for outward referral work to support a growing
international client base.

Another new member, Vietvalues Audit and
Consulting Group, has 120 staff and provides audit and risk
management, tax, accounting and outsourcing, foreign direct
investment consultancy, corporate finance and business

The Vietnamese firm is based in Ho Chi Minh
City and has plans to expand into Hanoi. It has clients across a
broad spread of industries including construction, health care,
financial services and tourism.

A US firm based in Baltimore has also joined
and discussions are underway with a firm in Romania.

In total, six new firms have signed up to the
MSI Global Alliance this year.

Mendelssohn said securing new firms in South
America is a focus for the association this year.