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Singapore Marks New Conference Direction

The thriving global financial hub of Singapore will host both the DFK International and DFK Asia Pacific annual conferences this year, heralding a significant new direction for the association.

It will be the first time that the annual conferences of DFK International and a regional group have been brought together.

In future, the regional group which encompasses the chosen location of the DFK International annual conference will combine its own conference.

Martin Sharp, executive director of DFK International, said it is hoped that merging the conferences will lead to greater interaction.

He said: “It is bringing together those members who would make a choice between attending the DFK International annual conference or the regional conference when it is held in that part of the world.

“It also reduces the amount of time and cost for delegates, as well as the environmental impact and carbon footprint, by combining the meetings.

“From now on, we will be following the same principle when moving to the Americas next year by combining North America, Latin America and DFK International so it will be three conferences in one.”

The conference will take place at the world-famous Mandarin Oriental Singapore from Wednesday, July 10 to Friday, July 12, and will be hosted by all four DFK firms in Singapore, namely J K Medora & Co LLP, MHC Partnership LLP, NLA DFK, and P G Wee Partnership LLP.

Paul Fiumara, Vice President DFK International - Asia Pacific Region, agrees that the new format will provide greater opportunities for Asia Pacific members to meet their counterparts from around the world.

“Being part of DFK International provides opportunity and support to smaller firms worried about succession or exit, and for medium to larger firms that want to grow and attract quality staff.

“The conferences provide the chance to develop networking business opportunities, learn from like-minded people and seek guidance on operating in new locations.  Participating in our combined International and regional conference has never been as important.

“Singapore is a global transportation, commerce and financial hub, making it ideal for holding a combined conference for members to gather from all over the world.”

DFK Asia Pacific has 48 member firms in 20 countries and as a region, its focus is to strengthen long-term business relationships between members, and to encourage firms to actively participate in the association.

The region’s annual conference last year was attended by more than 60 delegates from around the world, including those from USA, Canada, Germany, Ireland and the UK.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Connecting the dots’, the expression often used to refer to bringing different elements together to see the bigger picture.

Paul explained: “With the rapid changes that are occurring in the accounting profession and the challenges this brings to our members, we have brought together leading experts who can help identify rising opportunities”.

“These opportunities are like dots on a page, and the aim of the conference is to provide our members with the necessary tools and guidance to help join those dots.”

Martin added: “There are many elements we have been talking about for quite some time around cloud technology, changes in the profession and moves away from audit to advisory services”.

“These are all dots and the purpose of the conference is to bring them together.  The theme of technology and talent fits in brilliantly for us as DFK International is assisting members with understanding and making the most of technology, and attracting and retaining talent.

“It’s about understanding opportunities associated with technology and attracting and retaining the talent necessary to have leading advisory firms.”

The conference will also host a meeting of the DFK Greater China Group, which comprises Mandarin speakers from across the region.

Martin explained: “It is recognising the increasing importance of China as a driver for regional and global business growth, and is a precursor to creating a DFK China Group that operates in a similar way to those in Canada, the US, the UK and Ireland.”