RSM International has established a new network of firms in
Germany. The group consists of 11 firms with a combined fee income
of $150 million and a workforce of more than 1,000.


The network is comprised of RSM Altavis, Audit
Wirtschafts-Treuhand (AWT), Dr Popkes Industrietreuhand and eight
former Moores Rowland Deutschland (MRD) firms.

Although these firms will continue to operate as individual
entities, they will each become shareholders in RSM Germany, share
the same audit methodology and quality control systems, and embrace
a network-wide strategy.

RSM International chief executive Jean Stephens told the
International Accounting Bulletin that the network’s
Germany-wide coverage is nearly complete with Frankfurt being the
only notable exception.

“With Germany being such a substantial economy and having so
many business areas throughout the country, it was critical that we
had that full coverage. Moores Rowland had a change with Praxity so
that opened the opportunity and about a year ago we began
discussing with them how we would bring it together,” she said.

Firm foundation

The former MRD firms, which include the strong regional firms
MDS Möhrle in Hamburg, and Verhülsdonk and Partner in Düsseldorf,
Köln and Koblenz, comprise 75 partners and nearly 900 staff. This
group provides expertise in audit and assurance, tax consulting,
risk advisory and compliance, as well as corporate finance,
transaction services, legal and management consulting services.
These firms cover most of western Germany, from the northern
capital of Hamburg, down through Bremen, Cologne, Düsseldorf,
Dortmund, Wuppertal, Koblenz, Krefeld, Dresden, Stuttgart, Kempten
and the southern Bavarian city of Munich.

MDS Möhrle senior tax partner Ulrich Möhrle said the MRD firms
left Praxity to join RSM because the network had similar values and
work standards, and close international relationships between

“We need an international presence all over the world and this
is what we can achieve with RSM best. We need good people with a
high standard and quality. They must have the same value as we have
in our firms because if they don’t share the same values we can’t
serve our clients needs.”

Möhrle said there are currently no plans for the firms in RSM
Germany to combine but did not rule out closer integration in the
future if the market demanded it.

RSM Altavis was established in late 2007 and has offices in
Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Munich. The firm has more than 100
employees, including 25 partners, and its main service lines are
assurance, tax consulting and compliance, transaction services,
corporate finance, corporate recovery and risk assurance.

Growth opportunities

RSM Altavis Munich office managing partner Christian Roller told
the International Accounting Bulletin he expects both
inbound and outbound work to grow as a result of joining RSM

“Quality, real international coverage, integration, one audit
methodology, those are the key aspects for us to join RSM,” he
said. “The German middle-sized companies, which are our typical
clients, are really international and up to 90 percent of their
revenues are export revenues.

“Since we serve those clients we have to be international
because they expect us to have good colleagues overseas where we
can work together.”

Both Roller and Möhrle point to RSM’s centres of excellence and
the ability to share global best practices as important benefits of
RSM membership.

Of the other RSM Germany members, AWT provides assurance, tax
advisory, corporate finance, accounting and consulting services to
medium-sized businesses, as well as audit services for listed
clients. The firm has been a correspondent member of RSM since 1984
and has six partners with offices in Bamberg, Stuttgart, Munich,
Berlin and Nuremberg.

Dr Popkes Industrietreuhand is located in north-west Germany
with offices in Leer and Papenburg and major activities in
Magdeburg. It is primarily an audit firm with some tax and
accounting services and has three partners and 35 staff.

The International Accounting Bulletin understands that
RSM International is in negotiations with firms in Hungary, Poland
and the Czech Republic in a bid to spread coverage across Eastern
Europe. Stephens said the coverage in Germany should help solidify
plans for this rapidly growing region.

Arvind Hickman