Local presence is key
BDO partners with fiduciary Dekegeleer in Hainaut
Fabrice Grognard, Partner BDO Tax, Alexandre Streel, Partner BDO Financial Advisory
Since September, BDO has had a foothold in all of Belgium’s provinces. Until the partnership with fiduciary Dekegeleer from Mouscron, Hainaut was still a blind spot in the network. The future-oriented cooperation with Dekegeleer fits within the development of a finely-meshed, flexible network and with BDO’s growth strategy and proximity vision.
“Local presence is both an asset and a necessity.”
“The partnership with Dekegeleer is a very conscious and strategically complementary choice,” emphasises Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium. “We have a network of 11 offices in Belgium that allows us to capitalise on our proximity. That will now become 12, giving us a firm footing all over the country. Moreover, thanks to the partnership with a local office such as Dekegeleer, we can acquire new customers from our larger structure in their area of operation. The province of Hainaut has at least as much potential as Liège and Limburg, two provinces in which we already have a strong presence. Conversely, existing customers – some 800 of them – will receive a broader service from the office because, in addition to accounting and tax matters, BDO also offers a wide range of non-regulated consultancy services.”
Since the founding of his company in 1984, Yves Dekegeleer has succeeded in developing his accounting firm into a team of 30 experts, spread over 3 branches: the headquarters in Mouscron, and two satellites in Tournai and Mons. Today, Dekegeleer is even the largest independent accounting firm in Wallonia-Picardy (WAPI). “Our customer base is made up primarily of medium-sized SMEs and family businesses active in the wider region and just across the French border. Local presence is both an asset and a necessity in this regard. As an adviser, you have to stand with both feet in their world to understand what the needs and requirements are. And to gain their trust.”
The strategic location in an economically important region and the office’s focus on one of BDO’s core segments – medium-sized companies – matches exactly with our growth strategy.
“The partnership is a very conscious and strategically complementary choice.”
“The broad, multidisciplinary service covers all aspects of the business chain.”
The customers and employees of both players only benefit from the ‘1+1=3’ equation. Account is taken of the continuity (and the deployment) of the fiduciary, and the pool of experience and expertise is expanded. For the customers of Dekegeleer, the added value lies mainly in the broader, multidisciplinary service provision under one roof, which covers all aspects of the business chain. Consider services in the areas of labour and social law, interim management, company law, data management and cybersecurity, mergers and acquisitions, digitalisation, etc. “Furthermore, the businesses active across the French border can call on the knowledge and experience of our colleagues from BDO France and vice versa,” explains Alexandre Streel, Partner BDO Financial Advisory.
According to Fabrice Grognard, Partner BDO Tax, the decision to work together is more than purely commercial. “The vision and culture of Dekegeleer fit in nicely with our DNA. Values such as pragmatism, proximity and growth ambition – for both our own business and that of the customer – are central to everything that we and they do. In other words, we both firmly believe in the added value of the complementary collaboration.”
Securing the future
Yves Dekegeleer and his life and business partner Nathalie Vercruysse are looking ahead. Indeed, the complementary partnership with BDO also fits in with the preparation for the succession. And of the fiduciary’s continuity in the interests of employees and customers.
Building a business is a life’s work. For that reason, its transfer deserves special attention. Not only from a tax and legal point of view, but also for the new division of roles (‘transferors’/successors) in the enterprise, the vision and values, control, conflict management, etc. The message is clear: do not let an imperfect transfer jeopardise the continuity of the business. Think long and hard and prepare thoroughly and in good time.
Unfortunately, we have found that the majority of family businesses make few (if any) advance preparations. Especially in smaller companies run by the founder-entrepreneur, who is still so focused on managing the company that it is likely to be heading for a problematic succession. Not so with Yves Dekegeleer. That’s abundantly clear.