BDO appoints Albert Lopez Americas CEO as firm plans for future

12 October 2017 Consultancy.uk

Following the promotion of Keith Farlinger to CEO of the consultancy’s network, BDO International has appointed Albert Lopez as Chief Executive of the Americas region with the firm. The news comes as the company looks to build its presence across the region, while BDO is said to be weighing up a new Latin American office in either Atlanta or Miami.

BDO International has appointed Albert Lopez as CEO of the Americas region, succeeding Keith Farlinger. Farlinger was named as CEO of the BDO firm network earlier in the year, and will complete his succession from Martin van Roekel on November 1st, with the latter stepping down from the role of CEO of BDO International to become Vice Chairman after more than six years in the job. 

Albert Lopez has been Southeast regional managing partner for assurance services at BDO USA since 2005, having previously served as the managing partner of the Assurance practice for the firm’s Miami office. Commanding over three decades of experience in public accounting, along with having been an international consulting partner to Latin America, he has also served as the head of BDO USA’s Latin America/Caribbean arms for the past five years. Lopez is also an affiliate of the American, Floridian, and Cuban Institutes of Certified Public Accountants, and holds a BS in Accounting, which he obtained from Florida International University.

Albert Lopez - CEO Americas at BDO

As a further part of the reshuffle, Mike Musick, a former Senior Manager at EY, and current assurance managing partner for BDO USA’s Nashville office, will succeed Lopez as the assurance managing partner of BDO USA’s Southeast Region. Meanwhile, BDO USA’s Chief Operating Officer Stephen Ferrara, who has been with the firm for 26 years, will succeed Lopez as US representative to the BDO Americas Board, which Lopez will now chair. All the appointments take effect on New Year’s Day, 2018.

BDO USA CEO Wayne Berson, said of the series of changes, “During his long tenure with BDO USA – which includes service as a member of the firm’s board of directors, more than a decade as Southeast assurance managing partner and as the firm’s representative on the Americas board of the BDO network – [Albert Lopez] has been a valued contributor to the growth strategy of the firm. I am confident that his contributions will grow even further as he assumes his new duties with the BDO network. I also want to congratulate Mike Musick on his promotion to Southeast assurance managing partner and Steve Ferrara on being named the US representative to the Americas board. Both appointments are well deserved and recognition of their dedication to the firm.”

Regional designs

The executive changes come amid speculation that BDO USA is considering Atlanta and Miami as potential bases for a new Latin American headquarters. The possible expansion, which was first reported in the South Florida Business Journal, a sister publication of Atlanta Business Chronicle, could create upwards of 100 jobs in Atlanta, which is already home to Chicago-based BDO's Southeast headquarters. The firm presently employs nearly 120 people at 1100 Peachtree, a 28-story office tower in midtown Atlanta, and according to a public filing regarding an anonymous company similar to BDO’s profile, if the consultancy were to locate a Latin American office there, it would receive a $3,500 tax credit for each new job created in Georgia, over the subsequent five years.

These reports emerge following a continued struggle for dominance in Atlanta, with several professional services firms having announced recently they would be investing in the area. In September, Accenture, who are in the midst of a $1.8 billion M&A drive, confirmed plans to create 800 jobs and put an innovation centre in Atlanta. In June, Boston Consulting Group likewise said it would create more than 200 jobs and invest $9.2 million in a new regional support centre in Atlanta. Meanwhile, last year, KPMG were reported to have made plans for a 200-employee technology centre in Midtown’s One Atlantic Center, with Big Four rivals Deloitte having picked Atlanta as the site of a technology development centre as of 2014 – the first of its kind for the firm. European firms such Buck Consultants have similarly made designs on the region, with the Dutch head-quartered firm opening a new Atlanta office last year.

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