Business

Accounting firm anticipates big crop of listings

BY JULIAN RICHARDSON Assistant business co-ordinator richardsonj@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2013    

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EXPECT a lot more new listings on the Jamaican stock market over the next three years, says UHY Dawgen.

The accounting firm has been guiding a diverse group of clientele that has expressed interest in raising capital on the market, said Dawkins Brown, managing partner of UHY Dawgen.

"If you look right across the broad spectrum of Jamaica, there are opportunities for all companies on the market, but primarly there are companies in construction, healthcare, tourism and also several agro-processing companies that have interest, and we are guiding them in terms of the prep work that is necessary before you can approach a broker for listing," Brown told the Jamaica Observer.

Against this background, the chartered accountant said he anticipates a significant inflow of companies on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), particularly the JSE Junior Market as a growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises are drawn to the prospects of shared resources and tax benefits over 10 years (five years free of corporate income tax followed by five years of half-tax).

JSE general manager Marlene Street-Forrest recently made a "conservative" estimate that the Junior and main markets will add four and two new listings respectively in 2013.

Fourteen companies — four in 2012 — have listed on the Junior market since its inception in April 2009. To list on the market, a company is required to publish a prospectus with at least three years of historical financials.

"You have to structure your organisation in terms of your internal processes, in terms of your management team and ensure that all the financial structure is in place in terms of your accounting records. The last three years act as a pillar of your prospectus going into the market," advised Brown.

UHY Dawgen announced last week that it had merged with another local firm of chartered accountants, Paul Goldson & Company. Paul Goldson primarily offers auditing services while UHY provides services such as corporate restructuring, business and share valuation.

At a breakfast launch at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Friday, Brown noted that the merger brings together the experience and professionalism of Paul Goldson & Co, operating since 1960, with the international network and business consultancy skills of UHY Dawgen, which links 240 independent member firms operating in 82 countries.

"This merger means that UHY Dawgen can serve our clients wherever they are and in whatever area of business, utilising a global network of 7,000 professionals for exceptional competitive advantage," he said.

In terms of client base, the merger places the combined firm — which will operate under the UHY Dawgen brand — among the top seven accounting companies in Jamaica, which includes PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touche and KPMG, said Brown. Combined, the firm will have four partners and 60 employees.

Lisa Cousins, a partner in the management team, noted that with the merger, although much had changed, the high-quality professional service with the personal touch would remain unchanged. Additionally she reiterated the point, made by Brown, of the intention to build on the synergies common to both firms in order to enhance the services and efficiency of the merged entity.

The client list of the firm includes companies involved in construction, manufacturing, financial and professional services, along with medium and small entrepreneurs throughout Jamaica.

Dennis Chung, vice-president at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), congratulated the firms on their foresight and adaptability in seeking to look beyond national borders and tap into an international network of resources in order to ensure continued viability. Chung noted that Cousins represents the third generation of Goldsons who are Chartered Accountants and he also paid tribute to her father, Dennis Goldson, who with his father Paul Goldson, were founding members of the ICAJ.

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