KPMG, Ford, Rhodes, Thornton & Co, one of the oldest and largest professional services firms in the country will be celebrating its 115th anniversary later this month. Established in 1897 as an accountancy firm called H.P. Church and Co. the firm's name was changed to Ford, Rhodes, and Church in 1910 when Ford, Rhodes in London acquired an interest in it and its name was subsequently changed to Ford, Rhodes, Thornton and Co. thereafter.
During these past 115 years the firm has seen many changes both in the accountancy profession and the corporate world. One of the most prominent changes was the passing over of leadership from the British to the Sri Lankans. The local firm also saw and felt these changes when the reins of leadership were passed on to the first Sri Lankan partnership during the 1960's, the company said in a media statement.
Since then the firm has moved from strength to strength and it represented many of the Big8 before choosing to work exclusively with KPMG and in 1987 the firm became a member of the Global KPMG network. Looking back on this development, Nirmal Fernando, Senior Partner of the firm reminisced, saying, "Becoming a member of the KPMG network was one of the key developments that really spurred on the local firm's success. It allowed us to access global methodologies, tools, technologies and best practices and use it for the betterment of our clients and provision of excellent service. It also allowed us to bring in global professionals to advice and train our people to add value to our clients. In essence it allowed us to be global and act local."
Senior partner Nirmal Fernando is retiring while Reyaz Mihular takes over as Managing Partner, which is part of the events, at the March 28th celebration.