How did our firm, Deloitte Belgium, come to be? This question takes us back in history half century to a time when professional business services in Belgium were just starting to evolve. Find out how entrepreneurs with strong opinions and sharp instincts for complementary partnerships created the Deloitte Belgium we know today.
The Belgian government establishes the Instituut der Bedrijfsrevisoren/Institut des Réviseurs d'Entreprises (IBR/IRE). This professional organisation maintains competence, independence and integrity within the auditing profession. It marks the start of statutory auditing in Belgium. Publicly traded firms are required to appoint an IBR/IRE commissioner to certify company figures. Companies also began to rely on professional advice for tax and social law, market research and information processing.
A young bookkeeper named Marcel Tinnemans starts working for the Unilever group. A man of great vision and tremendous strategic insight, he was the behind-the-scenes force who laid much of the foundation for the ever-expanding structure that eventually became Deloitte Belgium.
Marcel Tinnemans moves to the offices of Theo Pirenne, another pioneer in the audit and accountancy business. Tinnemans eventually enters into an association with Pirenne.
Michel Vaes becomes a statutory auditor.
Claude Pourbaix and Marcel Tinnemans join the IBR/IRE. Tinnemans is one of the few to realise the full potential of the opportunities created by the new legal framework.
Establishment of Pourbaix
Touche Ross establishes a Belgian office, later merging it with its larger Dutch sister firm under the name Belgofides. Unlike the other large firms with regional subsidiaries often headed by expatriates, Touche Ross is a federation of "strong local firms". Each operates completely independently as a separate entity with its own name.
Marcel Tinnemans withdraws from Pirenne-Tinnemans & Co. and establishes Marcel Tinnemans
Tinnemans meets Emiel Aldeweireldt, a distinguished bank auditor. Their activities are complementary. Aldeweireldt, from Antwerp, has a clientele of Belgian banks and insurance companies. In Brussels Tinnemans serves mainly foreign companies and industrial corporations. When two other companies show interest, the auditing firm Aldeweireldt, Tinnemans, Van der Steen & Co. (ATV) is formed.>
ATV offers a very wide range of services: accountancy, auditing, wage and salary calculation, work permits, tax law, social legal advice, and support with creating branches and daughter companies. The firm attracts highly qualified employees. They include Guido Van Hemelrijk (Tinnemans’ right-hand man), Pierre Steenackers (responsible for Japanese contacts), and the tax specialist and legal expert Hendrik Descheemaeker.
Marcel Tinnemans knows his firm can only grow by acquiring international clients and becoming part of an international network. Consequently, ATV and Touche Ross develop an increasingly close relationship. This leads in 1981 to the merger of ATV with Touche Ross in Brussels.
Belgofides separates from the Dutch Touche Ross firm. Its auditors, including Roger Verstraelen, Clarence Steininger, Jos Beddegenoodts and Philippe Roelants, are transferred to ATV. Belgofides group handles all non-audit activities, including tax and legal services. ATV exclusively provides auditing services and gains the right to add "Member firm of Touche Ross International" under its name. Only after several years do the two firms finally achieve complete integration.
Emiel Aldeweireldt leaves the firm. The name becomes Tinnemans, Van der Steen & Co. From small beginnings Timmemans’ fledgling organisation has grown into one of the most important audit and advisory firms in Belgium.
The Belgian government implements legislation making a clear distinction between an auditor and an accountant. Companies above a certain size are required to commission an auditor who is prohibited from also serving as the firm’s accountant. This dramatically increases the need for auditors and accountants, so a transitional measure permits accountants to serve as statutory auditors under certain conditions.
Merger with the office of Pourbaix & Co. The new name is Tinnemans, Pourbaix, Van der Steen & Co. (TPV). Marcel Tinnemans is President and Claude Pourbaix is Managing Director.
Touche Ross merges with Deloitte, Haskins & Sells. The plan is to fuse at the local level as well, but for various reasons this does not happen in Belgium. Most of the associates from Deloitte, Haskins & Sellsv step over to Coopers & Lybrand. TPV takes over all the American audit mandates, including General Motors, P&G and Monsanto. From that point, TPV becomes a "Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu".
Jos Van der Steen decides to leave the firm.
TPV has developed contacts with the practice of Huybrechts, Verhaegen, Vaes (HVV), which has offices in Brussels and Antwerp working independently from one another. The Brussels office, run by Michel Vaes, joins TPV. This results in another name change: Tinnemans, Pourbaix, Vaes & Co. (with the same initials: TPV). Vaes brings along African projects in countries such as Burkina Faso, Congo and Rwanda
Merger with the Antwerp office of Jos Vlaminckx. There is no change of name.
WThe Antwerp office of HVV, headed by Frans and Jozef Verhaegen and Jos Vlaminckx, also joins Tinnemans’ firm.
Marcel Tinnemans celebrates his 65th birthday and passes the torch to Claude Pourbaix. Tinnemans becomes the second President and Chief Executive Officer of TPV.
The name is changed from Tinnemans, Pourbaix, Vaes & Co. to Deloitte & Touche.
Moores Rowland Accountants (MRA) is the largest conglomerate of independent accounting offices in the world. Its Belgian practice – with eighteen offices serving mainly SMEs, including many Flemish family-owned companies – steps outside the international MRA network and fuses with Deloitte & Touche.
Merger with auditing firm of Danielle Jacobs & Co.
Merger with the auditing firm De Keyser, Geeroms & Co. These mergers double the size of Deloitte & Touche and make it the SME market leader.
The Belgian activities of Andersen are integrated into Deloitte Belgium.
Deloitte & Touche becomes Deloitte.