The Queensland arm of accountancy group Moore Stephens has reached an agreement to become part of Crowe Horwath, Australia’s fifth-largest accountancy and financial advisory group, which is owned by Findex.
Announcing the defection, Findex CEO Spiro Paule said he is excited by the firm’s decision to join Crowe Horwarth.
“We have had most constructive and detailed discussions with Moore Stephens partners over recent months and all parties are excited by the opportunities created by Moore Stephens Queensland joining the Crowe Horwath business.”
Mr Paule said Moore Stephens Queensland has an outstanding reputation and history of client service.
“All Moore Stephens clients will continue to be serviced by their existing adviser, who will now have even greater resources at their disposal, courtesy of the Findex network, to help meet the evolving client needs.
“Crowe Horwath already has the largest geographic footprint nationally in the accounting sector and the addition of the seven Moore Stephens offices will be valuable to our network.”
Managing Director of Moore Stephens Queensland Ken Pickard said the firm was attracted to Findex because of its holistic approach to advice, delivered by one trusted adviser through the family office model.
“There has been a lot of change in the accounting profession and we believe Findex’s focus on combining relationships and technology will enable us to meet the changing needs of our clients.”
The announcement comes just weeks after Moore Stephens Australia CEO Peter Antonius defended the firm’s position in Australia, when rumours of the Queensland firm’s defection surfaced.
“As a leading national provider of professional services to high-net-worth individuals, SMEs, large private companies and mid-tier listed entities, Queensland is an important market to the Moore Stephens network,” Mr Antonius said.
“Moore Stephens is proud to have had a long association in supporting Queensland businesses and is committed to maintaining a strong presence across the state.”
Moore Stephens has experienced a tumultuous few years, with several offices, including both its Melbourne and Sydney operations, leaving the network. More recently, the Moore Stephens Adelaide assurance team jumped ship to Pitcher Partners.
However, the network has also moved to shore up its position in key markets, recently taking on new firms in Adelaide and Melbourne, with a new Sydney office expected to be announced this year.