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KPMG Swiss Merger To Create Europe's Largest Accountancy Firm

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

26 June 2007

KPMG’s member firm in Switzerland has voted to join KPMG in the UK and Germany as part of a merger which will create Europe’s largest accountancy firm.

The new single entity will be a member firm of KPMG International, the global network of professional service firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services.

The combined firm will have 18,000 partners and staff working from 57 offices across the UK, Germany and Switzerland - with revenues in excess of GBP2.4 billion (EUR3.5 billion) in the current year. The new firm will be a new UK registered LLP, with its head office in Frankfurt.

Partners of KPMG Switzerland approved the merger proposal at their meeting in Zurich last week. The Swiss vote is subject to approval from the new Swiss Federal Audit Oversight Board, expected by the Spring of 2008.

The vote by the Swiss partners is the latest stage in creating a fully integrated KPMG member firm in Europe. The ambition is that other KPMG member firms in Europe will merge into the new entity, should they wish to join. The new firm will be chaired jointly by John Griffith-Jones, currently Chairman of KPMG LLP (UK), and Prof. Rolf Nonnenmacher, currently Chairman of the Managing Board, KPMG Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft AG.

In a combined statement, they stated last week that:

“We warmly welcome the decision of our colleagues in Switzerland in deciding to join the KPMG merger in Europe, and are delighted that they wish to become part of our ambition to create the most successful professional services firm in Europe, for the benefit of both our clients and our people.”

Hubert Achermann, Chief Executive of KPMG Switzerland, added:

“This merger means we will increase our market capability in Switzerland – which will bring real benefits to our clients, by setting new standards in tax consulting and financial corporate management. There is a tight labour market in professional services, and I believe this merger will give KPMG a competitive advantage by opening up exciting prospects for talented and qualified auditors and advisors in Europe.”

KPMG explained that the merger reflects the increasing international importance of the European capital markets - and the need to support the growing number of companies that choose to list on European exchanges. It added that the new firm will be structured to meet the changing demands of clients who require a seamless audit, tax and advisory service on a pan-European basis.

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