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The Mazars consulting and auditing firm changes dimension to conquer the United States

“The concentration movement is there in auditing and consulting firms around the world,” says Hervé Hélias, CEO of the Mazars group, to Le Figaro.

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The Mazars consulting and auditing firm changes dimension to conquer the United States

“The concentration movement is there in auditing and consulting firms around the world,” says Hervé Hélias, CEO of the Mazars group, to Le Figaro. The little Gaul of auditing and consulting hopes to overshadow the Anglo-Saxon giants of the Big Four, EY, Deloitte, PwC and KPMG. Conquering the American market, the Mazars firm will soon change dimension, by joining forces on June 1, 2024 with a giant of the sector in the country, Forvis. This player, which generates 1.7 billion dollars in revenues in its domestic market, the largest in the sector, will bring the size of the new group to just under 5 billion euros.

“After eighteen months of discussion, this is a structuring decision for our group which allows us to better support our customers in the United States. And to consolidate our global position, by multiplying our size by more than one and a half times,” explains Hervé Hélias. Until now, the United States, through Mazars USA, represented only 10% of the firm's turnover, present in around a hundred countries. For his part, Forvis was almost absent beyond his borders.

This is therefore not a merger, but the creation of a new global network, which allows the two firms to maintain an independent capital structure. The two entities will continue to coexist but under the same Forvis Mazars brand from June 2024. According to the company, the 1,200 associates of Mazars and the 600 of Forvis have approved the operation at 95%.

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Forvis Mazars, which will bring together more than 36,000 employees around the world, aims to jointly develop a portfolio of clients, practices and technological tools. The strategy of the new network, ranked in the top 10 worldwide, will be defined in the coming months by joint governance made up of associates of the two entities. The first presidency of this network should go to a manager from Mazars for three years. This merger is part of a period in recent months where agreements between medium-sized American accounting firms are increasing, in the hope of achieving economies of scale and being more competitive.

The share of consulting in the Mazars group's activity is set to increase beyond the current 25% but it will remain very focused on finance, taxation, HR or IT services for financial departments. Like Mazars, the American firm wants to maintain a balance of its activities, divided into one third in consulting, one third in auditing and one third in tax services.

The rise of the Mazars group will, however, have to deal with the difficulty of recruiting in the sector and the bitter war for talent that it is currently experiencing. The Frenchman, who achieved growth of 15% during his last financial year in August 2023, remains cautious about the prospects for the year 2024 in the face of companies more reluctant to embark on new projects in the current macroeconomic and geopolitical context.

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