Auditor eyes bank consultancy after tie-up with UK firm

A banking hall in Nairobi. Moore Stephens JVB seeks to expand consultancy to banking. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A banking hall in Nairobi. Moore Stephens JVB seeks to expand consultancy to banking. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A Kenyan audit firm is eyeing a piece of the lucrative banking consultancy services following a tie-up with London-based accountancy group Moore Stephens International.

Joy V. Bhatt, which was founded in Mombasa in 1994 and rebranded to Moore Stephens JVB LLP , is moving to add banking sector to its auditing services following admission to Moore Stephens’s global network.

Membership comes with benefits like increased brand visibility and shared global expertise.

The deal will see the London firm deploy global experts and conduct quality checks, signalling competition in the local market that is dominated by the big four auditing giants – PwC, Deloitte, Ernst &Young and KPMG.

“This partnership with a global network now gives us the muscle to expand our consultancy to banking on top of our current offerings,” said Joy V. Bhatt, the firm’s chairman and founder during the rebranding ceremony in Nairobi.

The local firm, which has offices in Nairobi and Mombasa, is banking on its global affiliation and rebranding to lift its local operations and those in Uganda where it has a footprint.

Its consultancy basket currently covers sectors like energy, logistics, manufacturing and real estate.

London-based Moore Stephens has an annual turnover of $2.7 billion (Sh278 billion) and seeks to ride on the Kenyan partnership to grab business referrals and expand its network in the region.

The East African entry completes its footprint in the four corners of the continent, including North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia), West ( Nigeria, Sierra Leone) and South Africa.

“Kenya is a strategic frontier market for us in light of the ongoing and planned activities alongside strict compliance rules for the corporate scene as the economy aspires to get to the higher middle income status,” said Michael Hathorn, the chief operating officer at Moore Stephens.