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Major changes from today for two largest auditing firms in SVG

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Beginning today, there will be major changes in the configuration of the two largest auditing and accounting firms here.

According to a release from KPMG (see page 21), from today, March 31, 2017, the firm that operated as KPMG Eastern Caribbean “will be pursuing its own independent business objectives” and is “no longer part of the KPMG network.”

The release said “Brian Glasgow, currently a Partner in the Eastern Caribbean firm based in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Lisa Brathwaite, currently a director in the Eastern Caribbean firm based in Antigua, will join KPMG Barbados and will play a leading role in the operations of our offices in Antigua, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, in conjunction with other partners and staff from Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.”

The release from KPMG does not mention Reuben John, the other SVG-based partner in KPMG Eastern Caribbean, but SEARCHLIGHT understands that John will join Arrion Barnwell as a partner in the firm BDO Eastern Caribbean.

BDO Caribbean, which had operated from an office at Sergeant-Jack Drive, Arnos Vale, will now operate from the Kingstown Park premises formerly occupied by KPMG Eastern Caribbean.

And on Wednesday, the staff at KPMG Eastern Caribbean were informed of the changes and asked to indicate whether they wished to remain with Glasgow at KPMG or move with John to BDO Eastern Caribbean.

When reached by SEARCHLIGHT, John declined to comment, explaining that the merging entities have protocols for communication and clients and media houses will be informed using established protocols by early next week.

SEARCHLIGHT has also confirmed that Floyd Patterson, who up to today was a partner, along with Barnwell, in BDO Eastern Caribbean, will not be part of the new BDO configuration. Patterson declined to comment when SEARCHLIGHT reached out to him, except to say that an announcement will be made at a later date.

A source familiar with the regional accounting environment told SEARCHLIGHT that international accounting firm Grant Thornton will soon have a locally based partner.

According to the Grant Thornton website, the firm is a global organization of member firms with 47,000 people in more than 130 countries. The website said Grant Thornton is the leading accounting firm in St Lucia, “known for providing high quality auditing services, business and tax advice.”

A senior accounting professional told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that the new configurations go beyond changes in brand and faces, as the different accounting firms have different methodologies.

While KPMG will move from their offices at Kingstown Park, it is not clear from where this firm will operate going forward.

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