Global perspectives on growing your business valuation business

BVWireIssue #97-2
October 13, 2010

Last week over 80 delegates attended the International BV Conference, co-sponsored by ASA and CICBV: 30 were from the US, 16 from Canada, 16 from the UK and Europe, and the remainder from 13 different countries. The first panel on growing international BV practices ever brought together practice leaders from Duff & Phelps, Deloitte, and KPMG to talk about how they’ve succeeded and grown internationally.

Jeff Harder (National Valuation Services Leader for Canada, Deloitte and Touche) began by commenting on the differences between open markets like the US, or closed markets like Germany, where other professions own the valuation market.

Frank Bollman, who began the valuation practice for Duff & Phelps in Germany, “was in Silicon Valley during the time that 141 came into being, and then in Europe when IRFS started, so I followed the changes in business combination across continents.” He finds more resistance to third party advice in Europe than he does in the US.  Second, the US market is more diverse–compared in particular to Germany where “the valuation practice is dominated by the big accounting firms.”  There isn’t as much room for independent consultants, he believes.

Kevin Moss (Deloitte Financial Advisory) agrees.  ”You can’t assume that markets behave the same.  In Australia, there’s a lot of work for business combinations.   In Europe, we do more work for business modeling,” he reports.

Doug McPhee (Deputy Chair of KPMG’s Global Valuation Service) commented on some of the risk issues that occur.  One simple issue is whether a qualified partner-in-charge can even sign off on his work in a new country.  ”I ran across this with a Johannesburg regulator on a project initiated in London,” he recalls.  ”I think representational risk is probably bigger than litigation risk,” he concluded.  ”As much as possible, we try to standardize practice no matter where it’s delivered.”

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