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MNP’s Founding Partner Passes, Leaves Lasting Legacy

Don Penny

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, formerly known as Meyers Norris Penny, announced today that founder Don Penny, 80, passed away Nov. 28 in Brandon General Hospital in Brandon, Manitoba.

“As we reflect on Don’s legacy, we are filled with admiration and gratitude for his vision, courage, leadership and passion. He will forever be remembered for his entrepreneurial drive to take risks and pursue a vision of a different type of accounting firm – one that saw a future in a holistic offering of professional services and that served clients in diverse markets across Canada,” Jason Tuffs, MNP’s CEO, says in a statement. “Don put in place the elements that allowed the firm to grow rapidly, but gracefully – from its beginnings as a regional accounting firm based in Brandon, Manitoba, to the national firm we have become today. MNP is the firm that was born out of Don Penny’s vision.” MNP is now Canada’s fifth-largest accounting firm.

Penny was born and raised in Virden, Manitoba. His small-town roots played a role in enticing him in 1962 to join the Brandon firm Laird Sprague, the predecessor to MNP. He was admitted as partner in 1965 and became CEO in 1977. He retired from the partnership in 1998 and from the MNP board in 2005.

Penny sat on various committees and in multiple board positions for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba, becoming the first president from outside Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba, in the organization’s 100-year history. He served on the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants board of governors and became chair from 1997 to 1998. He also served on dozens of community organizations and corporate boards and was a mentor to many entrepreneurs across the country.

“We honor Don’s contributions to the firm, his profession and his community through an uncompromising commitment to the values and passions he held dear,” says Tuffs. “His legacy will always be a guiding light for MNP, and we are forever grateful for his wisdom, vision and – most importantly – his friendship.”

Penny is remembered by his loving wife Sandra, their four children and five grandchildren.

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MNP Acquires British Columbia Accounting Firm

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, Canada’s fifth-largest accounting firm, has acquired Chun and Co. of Kelowna, British Columbia. They will be merging in February.

MNP says it was hoping to expand its presence in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, while Chun and Co. was seeking to deliver more specialty services to its clients.

“Changing market conditions are impacting the way businesses must operate,” Dan Chun says in a press release. “As such, we are continually looking at new ways to enhance our service offerings and help our clients achieve their goals. By joining MNP, we add more resources, more specialized services and a wider range of experiences, all of which will bring greater value to our clients.”

MNP has 80 locations across the country, including 21 offices in British Columbia.

“MNP offers the best of both worlds as far as the services of a large national firm but the culture and personalized approach of a small firm – and a strong commitment to supporting the local community,” Chun says, according to the Okanagan Edge.

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Mazars Announces Alliance with 4 Regional U.S. Firms and MNP in Canada

Mazars, the Rouen, France-based accounting firm, is expanding its presence in the U.S. through an alliance with five of the top 20 firms in the U.S. and Canada.

Mazars announced that the Mazars North America Alliance would include the following firms: Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY19 net revenue of $662.9 million), Seattle-based Moss Adams (FY18 net revenue of $691 million), Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY18 net revenue of $542.1 million), Charlotte, N.C.-based Dixon Hughes Goodman (FY19 net revenue of $462.5 million) and Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, with net revenue of roughly $760 million.

Mazar’s CEO, in an interview with Reuters July 11, said the move will almost double its size as a way to challenge the market dominance of the Big 4. “Our ambition is to become a European champion with an international scope,” Mazars’s CEO Herve Helias told Reuters. “When they call me the fifth big, I like it.”

Mazars would not take any stake in the firms, but will expand services to its existing international clients through professionals from some of largest firms in North America. Mazars, with about 24,000 professionals worldwide, will increase that number to about 40,000 under the alliance.

According to the Financial Times, the alliance formation may be related to a belief that the U.K. will begin to require two auditors for the 350 largest companies as part of a reform effort following prominent audit failures among the Big 4. The Times says the firm is familiar with the joint-auditor system, as top companies in France has worked under the requirement for many years.

Mazars has also been in the news for another reason: The U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee has issued a subpoena to its U.S. branch, New York-based Mazars USA (FY18 net revenue of $205million), to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax records.

And on July 12, in a hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Trump’s lawyer faced more than an hour of tough questions over his arguments that lawmakers don’t have the power to investigate the president. “President Donald Trump appeared to be facing an uphill battle to keep Congress from obtaining his financial records,” USA Today reported. The oversight committee’s attorneys have argued that it has broad and inherent power to investigate possible conflicts of interest.

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Canada’s MNP Acquires Technology Firm

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP has acquired Mantralogix, a technology firm that will merge with MNP on July 1.

Kerry Mann, president and CEO, and COO Jess Mann will be made new partners and bring a staff of 20 experts to MNP. Mantralogix is located in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto.

Sean Murphy, MNP’s regional MP of consulting for eastern Canada, says, “Merging in Mantralogix, a full-service business management software solutions company and IT consulting firm, will allow us to build on our existing strengths and offer new solutions, particularly in the area of cloud and on-premise enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, in order to bring even greater value for our clients.”

According to the Canadian Accountant, the move is part of a trend of national accounting firms providing ERP software solutions and IT consulting. All Big 4 firms have partnerships with software businesses: PwC with SAP, Deloitte with Oracle and SAP, KMPG with Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, and EY with IBM, Microsoft and SAP.

MNP says Mantralogix’s partnership with the Acumatica and Sage enables them to build, support and maintain successful IT solutions.

“In this dynamic environment the needs of Canadian companies are always evolving, so we are constantly working with our clients to better understand how we can best support them,” says Jeremy Cole, executive vice president for MNP’s Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic region. “MNP has a strong presence serving diverse clients right across the country and we are committed to helping more businesses reach their full potential.”

Kerry Mann says the union will add more specialized services and a broader range of industry expertise and experiences to clients.

“We are always looking at new ways to help our clients achieve their goals. That starts with having the ability to look at a business from every angle to make sure we understand the challenges and opportunities they face and how we can truly help to bring value to the relationship,” says Mann. “This merger is a great example of how two firms can come together to enhance each other’s service offerings and give our clients the edge they need to stay competitive and grow for the future.”

The Mantralogix team plans to move into MNP’s Mississauga office in the future. MNP has more than 4,500 employees in more than 75 locations.

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MNP Acquires Cornwall Firm

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP acquired Craig Keen Despatie Markell (CKDM) of Cornwall, Ontario, effective June 1.

Founded in 1958, MNP has grown to more than 70 locations across Canada. CKDM has provided professional accounting, tax and consulting services for more than 64 years and has six partners and 13 staff.

“Changing and dynamic market conditions are impacting the way businesses must operate – including our own firm,” says Ian Murphy, partner at CKDM. “We are continually looking at new ways to help our clients achieve their goals and one of our goals is to enhance our current service offerings across all of the key sectors in our local economy. By joining MNP we can add more local and national resources, more specialized services and a broader range of industry expertise and experience – all of which will provide our clients with even greater value in the future.”

“The economy of Cornwall has diversified significantly over the past decades and, as such, has proven to be very resilient. Cornwall continues to attract companies in a range of sectors; all of which MNP is already intimately serving,” says Jeremy Cole, executive vice president, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, MNP.

“As part of MNP, our clients will benefit from access to hundreds of MNP professionals and specialists across more than 70 Canadian locations coast to coast, as well as more than 40,000 professionals in over 100 countries globally through its Praxity alliance,” says Murphy.

Canada’s MNP Announces Two Mergers

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, one of Canada’s largest accounting firms, has announced two mergers: Calliou Group, an Aboriginal-owned consulting firm in Calgary, and McDonald Thorne and Associates of Brockville, Ontario, an accounting and consulting firm.

Calliou Group joined MNP June 1. While Calgary-based Calliou Group was looking for an opportunity to offer more specialty services to its Aboriginal clients, MNP was looking to add more resources and capabilities to serve Aboriginal communities; a growing and key client group, the firm announced.

“Over the next 25 years, there will be many major development projects in Canada that will impact indigenous communities,” says Clayton Norris, vice president, Aboriginal services. With the addition of Calliou Group, we have a greater ability to develop and implement innovative strategies and solutions for the benefit of indigenous communities and all Canadians.”

Founded in 2008, Calliou Group has grown to become a strategic Aboriginal consultation specialist group for Aboriginal communities, government regulators and natural resource developers.

“What specifically drew us to MNP, was the fact that for more than two decades, MNP has partnered with over 200 Aboriginal communities across Canada and recognizes the needs of Aboriginal communities both in their unique planning and decision-making processes,” says Tracy Campbell, founder and owner, Calliou Group. “As the marketplace evolves, we believe becoming part of a national firm with an emphasis on local client-service delivery resources will serve our clients well and position us for continued success and growth.”

The Calliou Group team of five will move into the MNP Calgary office in early summer of 2017.

In addition, MNP announced that McDonald Thorne and Associates (MTA) will merge on July 1. While MTA was looking to deliver more specialty services to clients, MNP was looking to add resources and expand its presence in the Brockville area with a well-respected and client-focused firm that shares the same values.

“Long a manufacturing base for eastern Ontario, Brockville is successfully adapting to disruption and new economic realities by refocusing on other industries. This proactive approach and willingness to embrace change is what makes Brockville one of Canada’s fastest-growing economic hubs,” says Mike Dimitriou, MP for the Ottawa region.

MTA is an established firm of chartered professional accountants and consists of one partner, Hugh Thorne, and six team members, including Carl DeJong, who will also join MNP as a partner. MTA serves diverse industries, including clients in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Founded in 2002, the firm provides a wide range of accounting, tax and business advisory services in areas such as process improvement, valuations, succession services and more.

“As the marketplace evolves and business needs become more complex, we believe returning to the fold of a national firm with a local client service philosophy and greater breadth and depth of services and resources will serve our clients well,” says Thorne. “MNP serves a diverse group of clients – including businesses in the fields of agriculture, technology and media, professionals, real estate and construction, and more – and truly understands both the region and our clients’ needs.”

The MTA team will remain in their current location initially, before moving into MNP’s Brockville office once renovations have been completed.

WBLI Will Merge with MNP, Giving Firm Coast-to-Coast Presence in Canada

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, one of Canada’s largest accounting firms, has announced that Halifax, Nova Scotia-based WBLI LLP (FY15 net revenue of $10.6 million) will merge with MNP Jan. 1.

While WBLI was looking to expand its breadth of specialty services, MNP was seeking to build on its presence in Atlantic Canada with a well-respected and client-focused firm that shares the same values.

“This merger is strategic and historic for MNP as we will now provide all of our services from coast to coast, “ says Daryl Ritchie, chairman of the board, MNP. “MNP’s strategic plan for growth and our entrepreneurial spirit have always been the driving force behind our success and this merger builds on our plans for expansion in Atlantic Canada. With WBLI on board, we can now truly call Atlantic Canada home.”

MNP acquired PwC’s Atlantic Canada consumer insolvency practice and its 31 offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland in March 2016. “This acquisition expanded the MNP brand into the Atlantic Canada marketplace, adding to the firm’s insolvency service line which has grown substantially since then, but MNP was still seeking an established, respected firm to join forces with to establish and grow its accounting, tax and consulting presence in the region,” says Jason Tuffs, CEO, MNP. “This is a significant milestone for our firm and we couldn’t be more excited to have found the perfect firm to merge in.”

Headquartered in Halifax with an office in Truro, WBLI has grown to become the region’s largest independent and full-service firm of chartered professional accountants, consisting of 11 partners and over 70 professional and administrative staff. Established in Atlantic Canada in 1976, WBLI delivers a full range of accounting, tax and business advisory services to a diverse range of clients and sectors, including: private enterprise, professionals, agriculture, fishing, mining, forestry, real estate and construction, franchises, non-profits, and Aboriginal organizations and communities.

“In addition to sharing common values and client-centered approach, MNP understands all of the specialized markets and sectors in which our clients operate and more. MNP also provides us with a large national presence and access to hundreds of MNP experts and specialists in service lines that we do not currently offer,” says Kirk Higgins, MP, WBLI. “One specialty that particularly attracted us to MNP was its international tax practice and we’re thrilled to be able to leverage their in-depth knowledge in this area to help our clients thrive in today’s global marketplace.”

Higgins says that joining MNP will also enhance their insolvency division, WBLI Incorporated. With MNP’s added locations, the firm can assist even more individuals and businesses, he says. The WBLI partners and staff will remain in their current locations, which will be rebranded as MNP in the New Year.

MNP Expands Cybersecurity Services by Merging in NCI

Calgary, Alberta-based MNP, one of Canada’s largest accounting firms, has merged in NCI, a leading cybersecurity firm.

“Cybersecurity is more than a technology issue, it’s a critical business risk and one of the leading and growing business threats in the world,” says Jason Tuffs, CEO, MNP. “As a firm, we wanted to enhance our services in cybersecurity for our clients and merging in a full-service cybersecurity firm of leading experts made the most sense.”

NCI, which has won numerous awards in the industry, was founded by Eugene Ng and Danny Timmins in 2000, and now operates four offices around Canada.

“MNP already had a growing technology consulting and cybersecurity practice, but was looking for a like-minded firm to build on their strategic plans for growth in offering cybersecurity services and solutions,” Timmins says. “At the same time, we were looking to expand our service capability across the country, while offering other specialty consulting and risk services to our valued clients.” Timmins is MNP’s national cybersecurity leader and Ng is cybersecurity leader for Eastern Canada.

Tuffs adds that this merger will take MNP’s technology solutions practice to a new level across the firm. “MNP focuses on strategic mergers for the benefit of our clients. This merger will allow us to build on our existing strengths and ensure we continue our client-focused approach to doing business while ensuring our clients are protected against growing cyber threats.”

Strategic Management Consulting Firm Merges with MNP

Solved Strategic Management Consultants, of Edmonton, Alberta, merged with Calgary, Alberta-based MNP LLP, effective April 1. While Solved was looking for an opportunity to offer more specialty services to its clients, MNP was looking to add more resources to expand its consulting practice in Alberta.

“We have a thriving consulting practice in Alberta, but we wanted to expand our team and presence in Edmonton. Joining forces with Solved will give us additional resources to better serve our clients and we could not be more pleased,” says David Woodman, MNP’s regional MP, Alberta advisory services.

Solved has continued to grow since its inception in 2013 and recognized joining MNP would offer them more resources while enhancing the specialty services they can provide to their clients.

“The Solved mission to pursue the public good will be greatly enhanced through both the values lived at MNP every day and the breadth of expertise in consulting, corporate finance, cross-border taxation, accounting and risk management. Locally and across the country, MNP enhances our ability to ensure our clients maximize returns in every area of their organizations, both private and public sector,” says Chris Lavin, president, Solved Strategic Management Consultants.

Solved is a well established firm that has provided management consulting services to a wide range of clients in diverse industries in Alberta since 2013. Focused in the public sector, Lavin has spent the last 15 years building practical solutions to complex integrated problems in clients across Canada, as well as the U.S. and Europe.

The Solved team, currently in Edmonton, will move into the new offices in MNP Tower at 10235 – 101st St. in Edmonton as of April 1.

Tuffs is New CEO of Calgary-based MNP

Jason Tuffs

Jason Tuffs

MNP’s new CEO, Jason Tuffs, says he has his eyes set on the future while remaining committed to the culture and values of MNP, which started as a small prairie firm and is now one of the largest in Canada.

“The only thing that has changed about our vision between then and now has been the geography,” says Tuffs. “As a firm, we have always strived to be more than accountants. Delivering optimum client experience, going above and beyond expectations and being at the forefront of services—we know that these things will continue to set us apart.”

Prior to being elected as the fourth CEO in the firm’s history, Tufts was a member of MNP’s strategic planning committee plotting the firm’s new five-year vision.

Tufts replaces Daryl Ritchie, who will remain active with the firm as chairman of the board.

Ritchie was appointed CEO in October 1998. MNP was the 10th-largest accounting firm in Canada, with fees of $41 million and a staff count of just over 400. Fast forward 17 years, and MNP is the fifth-largest firm in Canada, with fees of $600 million and a staff count of over 3,500.

“We underwent a rigorous process in selecting our new CEO and we believe Jason is the right person to continue to build upon our firm’s foundation and lead our firm into the future,” says RItchie. “I’m looking forward to working with Jason as the chairman of the board and providing any support I can to ensure MNP continues to thrive.”