Chairman’s Year End Message 2014

The New Year is both a time to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the past 12 months, and a time to be excited about the future. As the year comes to a close, there are developments that I am most proud of and that motivate me for 2015.

DFK International made the decision in September to modernize its constitution so it can face the challenges ahead in a much more efficient way. The new members’ and correspondent members’ accession agreements have already been sent out, and are expected to be signed and returned back to the executive office before the end of 2014. The plan is for the new constitution to be introduced on 1 May 2015.

It is common in associations like DFK International to have inflow as well as outflow of members every year. I am very pleased to report that the level of new members joining exceeded expectations. Specifically, we are delighted to have welcomed new members in Brazil, China, India, Netherlands and South Africa, including DFK Iberian Services, a group of tax and legal advisory firms in cities across Spain; Koehler Group with offices throughout China; Alfa Group, which is a top ten accounting practice in the Netherlands; and Levitt Kirson, a top 20 accountancy firm in South Africa. These firms are all now members of DFK international. We have also gained new correspondent member firms in Serbia, Puerto Rico, Libya and Qatar giving DFK further coverage with high quality firms to serve your clients’ needs. In terms of future expansion, we are currently in discussions with an international oriented firm in Moscow and we are excited about the possibilities for further expansion in China, which has been a strategic objective of DFK International for several years.

The momentum of members joining forces in a joint effort to win jobs continues successfully. I met the MAHA group in Munich in October and I was impressed with Bernhard Gött giving a model presentation for the Young Professionals’ Conference based on a year’s experience. Autodesk is another effective project that is running successfully for more than 2 years. David Wright of Chantrey Vellacott DFK, London, always makes sure that there is no weak link! Michel Jaggi of Zurich-based firm, Fidinter, managed to put together a tender that involved 19 members to win a valuable project. My partner, Andreas Trapezaris, is in the process of forming a DFK South East Europe group that will cover the Balkans. And the story goes on!

Growing a moustache in the month of November (Movember) has become an activity that brings together DFK participants all over the world to raise awareness of men’s health and this year was no execption. A big thank you to Paul Panabaker who managed to put together 25 teams with over 180 participants.

The trio of DFK Vice-Presidents, Linda Kachiu, Mark Lamb and Navin Patel, has remained active in promoting DFK in their regions and beyond and on behalf of all members and the board of directors, I extend our sincere thanks to them for their tremendous efforts, energy and enthusiasm in making DFK a more effective organisation. They have done a great job for many years now and have been a major force in DFK’s continuing success. My appreciation also goes to all my colleagues on the international board of directors, with special thanks to committee members and national group volunteers that do so much to make DFK valubale for members. Thanks goes to all the member firms that continuously participate in the various DFK conferences that take place around the world. Also a big thank you goes to Martin Sharp and his team at the executive office. You have used the technology and transformed the executive office into an efficient place that makes members reporting and communication much easier. Well done.

I look forward to working together with you in 2015 to take DFK International to an even higher level. I thank you again for your continued commitment to DFK. With that in mind, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2015.

Demetris Demetriou, President of DFK International