Grant Thornton poaches South Korean member firm from BDO

12 May 2016 2 min. read

Grant Thornton has added Daejoo Accounting Corporation, a South Korea based business advisory that previously was part of BDO, to its international network. The move sees 70 partners and 500 additional staff join the firm’s ranks, making it according to analysts the largest mid-tier network in the country.

Daejoo Accounting Corporation provide a wide variety of audit, tax and specialty advisory services to clients from a wide variety of sectors. According to data from International Accounting Bulletin (IAB), the accountancy and advisory firm has a turnover of around $60 million.

The pick up of Daejoo Accounting Corporation significantly bolsters Grant Thornton’s footprint in South Korea. To date, Grant Thornton was a relatively small player in the country, ranked 15th in terms of total fee income, and, with the addition of the 70 partners and 500 staff, the advisory firm jumps into the top positions of the league tables. The move also means that Grant Thornton adds new offices in 5 major cities (Busan, Changwon, Gwangju, Daegu and Chungju) to its South Korean footprint, which already consisted of a base in Seoul.

Grant Thornton - South Korea

Daejoo Accounting Corporation was previously affiliated to BDO International – BDO South Korea, in turn, sees its market position drop from #5 to somewhere between the positions #15 and #20. BDO anticipated the move last month by adding South Korea based E-Hyun Accounting Corporation and E-Hyun Tax Corporation to its network (rebranded as BDO Korea). The international services division of Daejoo has been carved out from its parent and transferred to BDO Korea.

Under the wings of Grant Thornton, Daejoo Accounting Corporation will trade as Grant Thornton Daejoo, with Jang-Si Kwon and Moon-Won Choi to serve as joint managing partners of the new entity. “We are excited in this significant addition,” says Ed Nusbaum, global CEO of Grant Thornton. “We warmly welcome this high-quality firm as they join 43,000 Grant Thornton people in over 130 countries working together to make a positive difference with clients, in their workplace and in their community.”

As competition for global revenue heats up among the large accounting networks, firms are increasingly poaching member firms from one another. Last month, for instance, BDO raided Grant Thornton in Sweden, while in Germany, several mid-sized firms have been luring PwC professionals into their barracks on the back of the Big Four’s decision to shut down seven offices across Germany.