Economic transformation has received a major boost with the announcement of a merger of two of the country’s biggest black accounting firms.
SizweNtsaluba VSP and Gobodo Incorported today unveiled a merger agreement that effectively makes the new firm the fifth largest accounting firm in South Africa. With a staff complement of over 800, and fees of over R400 million SizweNtsaluba & Gobodo has redefined the landscape of the Southern African auditing and accounting profession.
This new firm becomes the largest black owned, controlled and operated in the country. It offers a new model for economic transformation where empowerment is more than the transfer of ownership, but an opportunity for black people to create large firms under their control and management.
The merger will enhance service to clients, long-term career prospects for employees and create a platform for innovation and specialisation. The full merger of these two giants brings together two of the oldest black owned accounting firms, thus creating a combined firm well positioned to succeed in an increasingly competitive global and domestic market. The two firms have been in operation for at least 25 years. Starting operations as small firms in Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape, they made the transition to medium sized accounting firms because of the Black empowerment policies that were introduced by the government after 1994.
Nonkululeko Gobodo, Chief Executive Officer of Gobodo Inc. will serve as Executive Chairman of SizweNtsaluba & Gobodo. Victor Sekese, Chief Executive Officer of SizweNtsaluba VSP, will be Chief Executive Officer of the new firm.
SizweNtsaluba & Gobodo will draw on the talented group of leaders from both firms, and key management positions will be determined during the transition period. The new firm’s management team is expected to include a balanced selection of executives from each firm with the intention that each party will contribute equitably.
An Integration Committee comprising representatives from SizweNtsaluba VSP and Gobodo. has been put together in order to iron out the intricacies of merging two companies of this size and stature. This includes such matters as the location of company headquarters, staff integration and rationalisation, branding, company name and stakeholder communication.
“We have a complementary corporate culture and business philosophy, critical for the success of any merger. Our service lines are similar and we’ll be able to achieve divisional mix, taking the best of the two firms to lead the various divisions,” said Ms Gobodo.
“SizweNtsaluba & Gobodo brings to bear 44 years of combined industry experience. We’re bigger, better and stronger. We have presence in all nine provinces. In essence – we are perfectly poised for more work. This merger gives us the capacity to do more,” added Mr Sekese.
“SizweNtsaluba & Gobodo positions us for further growth and the achievement of the vision of consolidating black participation in our industry but also to provide a viable alternative to the big four firms”, Mr Sekese said.
Ms Gobodo concluded by saying “there was a need to see black companies play a more meaningful and leading role in the economy. This new firm will achieve that vision within the accounting profession”.