RSM merges French firms into one entity

RSM International has overhauled its regional structure in France, uniting five long-standing separate firms in a full merger, with plans to drive growth following changes to the regulatory environment

With effect from July 2020, RSM's five established regional firms in France, which have collaborated closely under the RSM brand since 2005, will be merging into a single legal entity. RSM says the move will embed the network’s single culture and brand.

The network says RSM France will have an enhanced geographical presence and will be best positioned to make significant investments and drive capabilities in innovation, growth and talent acquisition.

RSM France has reported a doubling of its workforce and turnover over the past five years, with 2019 turnover estimated to be €116m (£100m).  It currently has 85 partners and 1,000 employees, and plans to add a further 200 employees by the end of 2020.

Jean-Michel Picaud, president of RSM France said: ‘RSM France is entering into a new chapter. Moving from separate legal, regional entities towards one single, national entity reflects our strength and growth opportunities.

‘Challenged by the “Pacte” law, faced with the deregulation of the accounting profession and in an era of accelerated digitalisation, this merger will enable us to  think even more laterally and facilitate greater innovation and agility in our approach.’

France’s Pacte law, introduced earlier this year, is focused on removing the obstacles to the growth and transformation of companies and has ushered in a series of business-friendly reforms lightening constraints to encourage SMEs to grow and create jobs.

Under the legislation, the role of statutory auditors has changed and the qualifying thresholds for their appointment have been raised to align with EU norms. Certification of accounts by an auditor will be mandatory only for turnovers of €8m upwards (compared with the current figure of €2m), and there will be three company ‘thresholds’ for numbers of employees instead of ten, with the requirements only taking effect when the threshold has been passed for five consecutive years.

Jean Stephens, CEO of RSM International, said: ‘In a digital era, innovation is fundamental to the continued success of our network internally and when it comes to providing effective client service - particularly across the middle market. RSM France is committed to driving change in order to benefit clients. This merger signals an exciting time not just for them but for the network as a whole.

‘It is also an important next step in an ongoing strategy of global brand building, and we look forward to supporting RSM France’s ambitious growth plans.’

Pat Sweet

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