Speaking to AccountantsDaily, Mr Antonius conceded it has been a tough period for Moore Stephens but said the firm is working towards rebuilding its national presence after losing a number of offices to rival firms.
As part of the mid-tier’s new strategic plan, Mr Antonius said that establishing a Moore Stephens presence in NSW is a top priority.
“We don’t yet have a presence, but hopefully that’s not far away.”
He added: “We’re looking for firms that are not just strong in their own right in their own markets, but can be strong from a national perspective too, which is again very different to what we had previously where we had some very small firms.”
According to Mr Antonius, the loss of the Moore Stephens Melbourne office proved to be “a wake-up call” for the network, with the loss of the “mothership” leaving many of the member firms struggling to come to grips with the situation.
Mr Antonius conceded that too much emphasis had been placed upon the Melbourne office as “the leader of the pack”, and that there was a distinct disconnect between member firms in their investment and interactions with one another.
“There wasn’t enough glue that held the firms together from a national perspective, each of the firms really operated within their silos,” he added.
“We need to build a stronger Moore Stephens Australia network and make sure the sum of the parts is stronger than each of the parts alone."
Mr Antonius noted that, moving forward, the Moore Stephens Australia board will be equally comprised of representatives from all member firms, allowing for a balanced decision-making process as to the future of the firm.
“Through this process we are having more meaningful, deeper and more collaborative dialogue across all the member firms.”
Reflecting on his own role within the firm, Mr Antonius stated that the loss of several high-profile member firms within the Moore Stephens network proved to be a challenging introduction to his role as CEO.
“It wasn’t really what I expected to happen when I joined, but it has, and I think it’s a reflection of what has really been happening in the broader mid-tier marketplace,” he said.