SizweNtsalubaGobodo joins Grant Thornton network

22 February 2018 4 min. read

Professional services firm Grant Thornton has added yet another member firm to its international network. SizweNtsalubaGobodo (SNG), which is the largest local audit and advisory firm in southern Africa, becomes the latest and the only South African member firm in the Grant Thornton network, which covers 135 countries across the world.

SizweNtsaluba VSP can trace its roots to Ebony Financial Services, which was established in South Africa in 1985 as a business consultancy and advisory firm. Since then, the firm has undergone a series of ownership changes and mergers, the most recent of which came in 2011 when it merged with Gobodo Incorporated to form SizweNtsalubaGobodo.

Today, the firm is widely recognised as the largest locally developed audit and advisory firm in the entire region of Southern Africa, with a presence across all nine provinces in South Africa, operating out of 12 offices. In addition to being a black-owned firm, SNG is particularly popular due to its excellent practices in terms of gender diversity, racial diversity, as well as environmental sustainability. The firm has earned accolades in each of those categories.

Now, the firm is hoping to upgrade its operations by coming under the network of Grant Thornton member firms, thereby providing it access to the latter’s global infrastructure and leading practices. In return, Grant Thornton will hope to leverage SNG’s local dominance to strengthen its practice in South Africa at a time when the business advisory market in South Africa is thriving, and other consulting firms such as McKinsey and KPMG are battling the repercussions of political scandals.

SizweNtsalubaGobodo joins Grant Thornton network

Grant Thornton has member firms stretching across 135 countries, 24 of which are in Africa, spanning Egypt, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda, Tanzania and several others, employing a total of 47,000 people worldwide. SNG is set to become Grant Thornton’s only member firm in South Africa, and will operate under the name SizweNtsalubaGobodo Grant Thornton. The deal is set to be finalised towards the middle of this year.

Commenting on the acquisition, CEO of SNG, Victor Sekese said, “The integrated firm will preserve and build on the identity and reputation of SizweNtsalubaGobodo. This is a very significant development in the proud history of our firm since we will be part of a global organisation that respects and celebrates our heritage. We are proud that together, we will be truly representative of our country’s demographics and remain committed to ongoing economic transformation, dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of South African businesses, in particular black-owned enterprises.”

Deepak Nagar, the National Chairman of Grant Thornton in South Africa said, “This exciting development not only creates a significant, empowered and truly African firm with a global reach, but the significant pool of talent also reflects our view that black economic empowerment is not a mere obligation but a key business imperative. It underlines the commitment of SizweNtsalubaGobodo Grant Thornton to be key a player in the transformation agenda.”

The move will also help Grant Thornton to recover its practice in South Africa, after the firm lost 413 employees, including 35 partners and directors, when fellow professional services firm BDO poached two entire offices off Grant Thornton’s operations in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.