Expanding in Germany

Mazars merges German practice with Roever Broenner Susat, forming together an infuential player which enters the Top 10 of the profession in Germany, with 1,000 professionals operating out of 12 offices across the country.

"Together, we will be able to expand our offer internationally"

Sabine Leuschner, Senior Manager, Tax (Mazars), Frankfurt am Main
Martin F. Köhler,  Partner, Legal (RBS), Berlin

What three words would you use to sum up the other company?

Sabine: “Service-oriented”,  “experts” and “german”.    
Martin: To describe Mazars, I would use the terms: “international”, “creativity” and “openness”.

How did you react when you heard about the merger?

Martin: With enthusiasm. RBS needed Mazars and vice versa. Both have real strengths. For example, RBS had a strong legal department, whereas Mazars had a strong international presence. Together, we will be able to expand our offer internationally and broaden our skills base. I have to admit that there were a few concerns at RBS, for example in the administrative departments. Some people were worried because they don’t master english or french. They imagined they were going to be managed by “french bigwigs”. So this merger is a challenge as well as an opportunity. 
Sabine: I took it very well, because RBS was well known in Germany and I was already familiar with the company. 
My friends in Frankfurt had even read about it in the press! The foundations are strong on both sides and each has something to contribute to the other.  
                          

If you had a magic wand, what would you change? 

Martin: I would make sure there was less individualism. When a merger takes place, people tend to want to hold on to their own familiar territory whereas it is better to think collectively and ask, “what do our clients need and how are we going to give it to them?”
Sabine: My magic wand would help people overcome the fear and resistance that mergers can sometimes create.  

If you had to come up with a slogan to describe the RBS/Mazars merger, what would it be?

Sabine: I would use the slogan i read on the bib of a JP Morgan employee who was taking part in a run: “people who run together run faster”.   
Martin: No mental barriers, no national borders”.   

“Stronger together”

Johanna-Charlotte Flemming, Senior Associate, Audit (Mazars), Berlin
Erik Barndt, Audit and Insurance Partner (RBS), Köln               

How did you approach the topic of the merger to your friends and family?

Johanna-CharlotteI have friends in both France and Germany. It’s quite funny to see how they all view the merger from their own, slightly biased, national perspective. My German friends said it was quite right that RBS should buy out Mazars! Because RBS as better known in Germany than Mazars. Whereas my french friends said, “so it looks like ‘our’ Mazars is joining forces with RBS?” 
Erik: My wife also works in auditing, and straight away she thought it was a good decision for RBS. My children have already lived abroad and they liked the international element. Their first question was, “when are we going to live in paris?”

Were there any surprises?

Johanna-Charlotte: The way the merger took place: the changes were introduced very gently. Special training was organised where the different teams got to know each other. 
ErikRBS was the product of several mergers and had a fairly decentralised way of operating. The Mazars model is a very original mix, half-way between coordination and decentralisation.

What do you like about working with your new colleagues?

Johanna-Charlotte: My new colleagues have excellent technical knowledge, for example in the field of german law. This is a skill that can benefit Mazars.   
Erik: Their skills … and the international dimension. I have already had the opportunity to meet my counterparts from other countries where Mazars is present. 

If you had to come up with a slogan to describe the RBS/Mazars merger, what would it be?

Erik: “As regional as possible, as international as necessary.”
Johanna-Charlotte“Stronger together”.

“We will continue to grow”

Tina Krüger, Manager, Tax (RBS), Berlin
Daniel Kiriakou, Senior Manager, Tax (Mazars), Düsseldorf

How did you react when you heard about the merger?

Tina: I was quite surprised, because RBS was a large company and we had already been through two mergers. But in the end, i looked forward to it. Mazars didn’t have a presence that was strong enough in Germany and RBS didn’t have a powerful international presence, so i thought this merger would be positive.  
Daniel: I was surprised, because no information had filtered down. But even though i found out about it late, i was happy. I was sure that Mazars and RBS were a perfect match for each other. It’s a real opportunity, because together RBS and Mazars have exceptional growth potential.

Why do you think  the merger between Mazars and RBS makes the new company a more powerful organisation?

Daniel: Our clients expect work from us that is high quality, accurate and delivered on time. If there is one goal that RBS and Mazars share, it’s reliability. We will now be even more attractive to our clients. 
Tina: Daniel has said it all! This merger is definitely the best option. I would add that the RBS/ Mazars merger will give us all a boost and bring in a breath of fresh air.

Imagine these two scenarios: what do you think Roever Broenner Susat Mazars will look like in 2020? And secondly, where would RBS and Mazars be in 2025 had the merger not taken place?

Daniel: If the statistics are right and if we trust the audit sector to continue growing, i would say that in five years’ time, the new german company will probably be worth somewhere between 150 ant 200 million euros in terms of turnover. It will have around 20 offices, with more than 1,500 employees. And i assume that the RBS name will no longer exist. As for the second scenario, i was taught never to plan more than two years ahead. However, i imagine that in ten years’ time, even without the merger my job would be facing new challenges, with increasing digitalisation among other things. Mazars would still be a modern, innovative company, focused on client approach.
Tina: I also think the RBS name will have disappeared by 2020. “Roever Broenner Susat Mazars” is a bit too long. We will continue to grow and increase our operational capacity. As for the situation in 2025 if there had been no merger: it would probably be very boring! 

If you had to come up with a slogan to describe the RBS/Mazars merger, what would it be?

Daniel: “Roever Broenner Susat Mazars: local and global”.
Tina: “International audit worldwide”.

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