PwC sells off practice in Prince George, British Columbia

17 January 2020 Consulting.ca

PwC Canada has sold its Prince George practice to Beswick Hildebrandt Lund (BHL) a little over four years after it entered the northern BC city. BHL is a newly formed tax and assurance firm led by Alison Beswick and Norm Hildebrandt, two former partners at the PwC Prince George office.

PwC entered the Prince George market in November 2015 with the purchase of RHB Schmitz de Grace, which was led by Beswick and Hildebrandt. The full service tax and assurance firm had been founded in 1976, and had a team of 21 people at the time of acquisition. RHB had extensive experience working with regional clients in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors.

Prince George (population: 86,000) is a government and public services hub for northern BC, with a sizeable portion of its economy tied to healthcare and education. Forestry dominated the local economy in 20th century, but as that industry has receded, mining exploration and development could potentially unlock new growth for the municipality. Approximately 20% of northern BC’s mining sector employment is located in Prince George.

PwC sells off practice in Prince George, British Columbia

PwC’s move into Prince George expanded its private company services practice in BC. The company has now decided to relinquish its physical presence and sell the practice to two of its former partners in the city.

PwC's BC region managing partner, Jim McGuigan said, "It has been a pleasure to service our clients in Prince George and we would like to thank the staff for their support over the years. While we will no longer have a physical presence in this location, we will continue to support our local clients and we wish Beswick Hildebrandt Lund all the best and success in the future."

A press release from the Big Four company said that it would retain certain clients in Prince George “that require the support of a larger firm.”

BHL offers services in accounting and audit, tax preparation and planning, and bookkeeping, and is located at 10 – 556 North Nechako Rd, Prince George. The firm’s “about us” web page emphasizes the typically espoused strengths of a smaller, local accounting firm: “We believe that no client is too small and that everyone deserves enough time and attention to fully understand their accounting and tax returns… We also believe that you are entitled to the best service we can provide in a timely manner so you don’t feel forgotten.”

Fellow Big Four firm Deloitte also recently exited the Prince George market, selling its practice in the city to MNP in September 2019.


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