HLB International, one of the fastest-growing international accountancy networks, has increased its presence in Scandinavia and moved into Norway, with the addition of two new firms in the country. The move substantially enhances HLBI’s ability to respond to the needs of companies in the region that typically have a cross-Scandinavia presence.
Joining the HLBI network are Kjelstrup & Wiggen AS (KW), an Oslo-based accounting partnership, and Stavanger Revisjon AS, an accounting partnership based in the mid-west region of Norway and ranked among the mid-sized firms in Stavanger - the “oil capital” of Norway.
Rob Tautges, chief executive of HLBI, said: “A substantial amount of companies in Scandinavia have operations in each of the individual countries – Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland – and consequently being able to provide a strong cross-Scandinavian offering is very important. We are delighted that such high-quality firms have joined the HLBI network and we look forward to delivering a top-level international service to our clients.”
Vidar Haugen, KW’s international contact partner, commented: “KW is delighted to be joining the fast-growing network of HLBI and to give the network a presence in Norway. The admission process for KW to become an HLBI member bears witness to a network that emphasizes quality and service.”
The Norwegian market has many small family owned companies, a few big international companies and a strong public sector, which employs 27% of the working population. Its main exports are concentrated around oil, fish and high end engineering. Norway has been spared from the financial crises due to a strong public sector and surplus on state financials (mainly oil driven), and has an unemployment rate of 3.5%.
“We joined HLBI because of its strong representation in markets connected to ours. Access to the HLBI network will enable us to enhance value for our clients,” said Terje Sætrevik, partner at Stavanger Revisjon AS, who adds that the firm is facing a busy transactions environment, including an increase in international M&A work and a step-up in corporate activity among subsidiaries of foreign companies in the Scandinavian region.
HLBI is also in the process of expanding its presence in Sweden, a move which will complete its strategy of providing Scandinavian companies with a high quality and comprehensive service in all four countries.