In the competitive mid-tier, MRI has what it calls a 'distinctive formula' in that 'each of our member firms is either a leading national firm or strong regional firm in countries where there is a strong regional culture'. Member firms tend to have a strong SME client base and MRI chairman Eddie Sams says that joining the MRI association is an extension of the common strategy of member firms, allowing them to 'maintain their local identity yet providing access to like-minded firms throughout the world'.
MRI's increase in revenue over the past year to $1.825bn has been boosted by a strong performance in the US. The increase in revenues generated in North America, where MRI has 200 offices, can partly be explained by a number of mergers by US member firms, but MRI member firms, along with other mid-tier firms, are beginning to pick up more work that would previously have been carried out by the Big Four. MRI executive director Paul Hancock said that Sarbanes-Oxley had been 'excellent news' for MRI member firms.
'Regulatory work is generating a lot of business,' he said. 'It is bringing us to the attention of a wider business community than before.' In particular, MRI firms in the US have picked up a number of internal control review assignments, where the Big Four are conflicted out, and several mid-cap listed company audits.