South Korea's 12th largest professional services firm joins HLB

23 November 2018 3 min. read

Mid-tier global accounting network HLB has admitted Shinwoo of South Korea to its international membership.

With 25,000 partners and staff across 700 offices in 150 countries worldwide, HLB International is ranked as the 12th largest global network of accounting and business advisory firms. Joining that list is Shinwoo Accounting of South Korea, HLB’s latest international independent member firm, which is likewise the 12th largest accounting firm in the country with a staff of 200.

Established in 1997, Shinwoo provides audit, tax and consulting services out of locations in Seoul, Busan and Daejeon, and according to HLB holds strong potential for outbound work in line with the network’s regional development strategy. “South Korea is one of the key business destinations and largest investors in Asia Pacific,” said Coco Liu, HLB’s Chief Regional Officer for Asia Pacific.

Liu, who was recently named a CEO Today Asia Awards winner, continued; “We are delighted to welcome Shinwoo, one of the most dynamic audit firms in the country, to join HLB’s global network. Shinwoo will not only add weight to HLB’s strong capital market services capabilities, but also bring new opportunities to local clients and prospects to reach out to the global markets by using HLB’s expertise and resources.”

Shinwoo senior partner Jong Pal Lee responded in kind; “Shinwoo is the 12th largest accounting firm in South Korea, with total staff of 200, including 100 qualified CPAs.  We have always wanted a close relationship with a global network as our clients, including 34 PLC’s and their subsidiaries, do business in a global market. It is a great pleasure and an honour to be member of HLB.”

South Korea's 12th largest professional services firm joins HLB

Recently, HLB unveiled fresh corporate branding, including a new logo, tagline (‘Together we make it happen’), website and overall look and feel – aimed at supporting its “transformation to a modern, full service advisory and accounting mid-tier network.” Officially launched at the network’s annual International Conference (held last month in Singapore), HLB Global Chairman Corney Versteden stated that the new branding underscores the network’s global growth.

“In the past five years, our network revenue has grown by 40 percent [with HLB reporting revenues of $2.37 billion last year], Versteden said. “I believe we have accomplished this through the power of working together. The technical knowledge and expertise we share among our members, combined with our relationship and leadership skills empowers us to raise our professional standards and provide the true HLB client experience.”

HLB CEO, Marco Donzelli, adds; “We live in a time where everyone – our clients, our people and our members – are always online. This new brand represents our identity, our values and our aims, and allows us to communicate more naturally in the digital space… I look forward to seeing the new brand adopted across the network as we prepare for our 50th anniversary next year.”

According to data from the Korea Securities Depository (KSD), Samil PwC last year held the highest market share of corporate clients in the country, at around 15.5 percent, followed by fellow Big Four firms Samjong KPMG (12.5 percent), Deloitte Anjin (11.5 percent) and EY Hanyoung with a 10.5 percent share. Altogether, the KSD noted 108 accounting firms serving local corporate clients, with 164 accounting firms operating in the country in total.