Α living cell
of the economy
KPMG Cyprus is in no need of introductions. Τhe company took its first steps in 1948 with the establishment of the G.Syrimis & Co accounting office, one of the first auditing houses on the island. Following a series of mergers, the office joined the international network of the Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler house (KPMG), becoming one of the largest houses on the island for auditing, taxation and financial consulting services.
A history written by pioneers
KPMG Cyprus is in no need of introductions.
Τhe company took its first steps in 1948 with the establishment of the G.Syrimis & Co accounting office, one of the first auditing houses on the island.
Following a series of mergers, the office joined the international network of the Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler house (KPMG), becoming one of the largest houses on the island for auditing, taxation and financial consulting services.
KPMG Limited in Cyprus has a 73 year old history, mostly growing through the local market and developing along with its clients. Today it numbers 46 executive advisors and employs more than 850 professionals in six offices throughout Cyprus.
It forms part of KPMG International, a global network of independent companies providing auditing, taxation and consulting services. KPMG is active in 146 countries and areas, employing no less than 227 thousand professionals in member-companies worldwide.
KPMG classifies its services in three main sectors: auditing, taxation and consulting. It has set up specialised departments for each of these areas, made up of knowledgeable, well trained professionals in their field and led by experienced partners. Clients come to KPMG for the high quality professional services and solutions it provides, based on its decades long experience and specialisation.
1948 – establishment of G.Syrimis and Co accounting office
1978 – G.Syrimis and Co merged with Metaxas Christofides and Loizides Co
1988 – Metaxas Loizides Syrimis and Co joins the international house Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)
2000 – KPMG Cyprus secures one of the 24 prestigious places on the KPMG International’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMA region) Council
2008 – Headquarters move to the company’s new modern offices on Esperidon 12-14 in Nicosia.
Partners that left their mark on the House over time
Through their perception, professionalism and sheer hard work, as well as the significant contribution of the rest of the partners and staff, certain partners stood out and essentially became the pillars for the KPMG Cyprus growth and success over the past few decades.
Yiorgos Syrimis, amongst the first qualified accountants, was one of the pioneers, establishing an accounting office in Nicosia in 1948. He served as finance minister from 1988 to 1993.
Andreas Loizides served as Commerce, Industry and Tourism minister between 1970-1972 and was a member of the Central Bank’s Executive Board.
Thiseas Metaxas founded an auditing firm along with Andreas Loizides in 1960. In 1978, their company merged with the Yiorgos Syrimis accounting office.
Stavros Vakis was the first executive of the Nicosia based Metaxas Christofides Loizides and Co in the early 60s and served as KPMG Executive Director for a number of years. He was also president of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC).
Takis Clerides worked at KPMG for 18 years. He served as finance minister between 1999 and 2003.
Andreas Christofides worked at KPMG for 39 years, being managing director for 19 of them. He played a major role in KPMG Cyprus securing a seat on the EMA region board.
Nikos Syrimis was KPMG President for 15 years out of his four decades at the House. He also served as President of ICPAC.
Angelos Grigoriades worked at KPMG for 35 years, heading up the taxation department for 26. He was President of the House for 6 years and also served as President of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association (CIFA) for 5 years.
Lefteris Hadjizacharias worked at KPMG for 34 years. He served as managing director of the House for three years. He was also President of ICPAC, as well as a member of the Central Bank’s Executive Board.
Panikos Loizou worked at KPMG for 37 years. He was head of the auditing department for 17. He also served as a liable partner of the Limassol office for a number of years.
The late Lakis Apostolou worked at KPMG for 35 years, also being a liable partner of the Larnaca office for a number of years.
The timeless vision
In its 73 years of life, KPMG Cyprus has always looked upwards, playing a really important part in the country’s economic life. As members of various committees, many company managers make a significant contribution to reforming the taxation framework, investment funds legislation, start ups and so on.
KPMG makes a substantial contribution to attracting foreign investments, both through initiatives of its own as well as in cooperation with other bodies, aiming to establish the country as an internationally recognised, competitive monetary and financial centre.
In addition, the company actively participates in all new developments in the profession. Many KPMG employees, managers and executives are active members of the ICPAC, participating in the Executive Board and a number of its committees.
The strengthening, over the past few years, of the services that the company provides, through the addition of new quality, innovative and viable solutions, has been of critical assistance to clients in responding to the constantly changing business environment, more so now, during the pandemic.
KPMG is an on-going investor in technology, research and innovation, three very important sectors with a primary position in a progressive planning of the country’s professional services model.
The timeless vision is to keep strengthening the company and its establishment as the outstanding option for clients, personnel and society as a whole.
Leadership and management team
Today’s KPMG leadership are Christos Vassiliou, CEO and Michalis Antoniades, President.
- Christos Vassiliou has been a partner at KPMG since 1999 and was elected CEO in 2019. He also heads up the House Consulting Services since 2013.
- Michalis Antoniades has been a partner since 1998 and was elected President of the Executive Committeed in 2019.
The Executive Committee is made up of the following:
– Christos Vassiliou, CEO and head of Consulting Services
– Michalis Antoniades, President
– Dimitris Vakis, Executive Advisor
– Sylvia Loizides, Executive Advisor and head of Audit
– Michalis Halios, Executive Advisor
– Panikos Antoniades, Executive Advisor
– Panayiotis Peleties, Executive Advisor
– Yiorgos Markides, Executive Advisor and Head of Taxation Services
– Maria Papakosta, Executive Advisor
– Christoforos Anayiotos, Executive Advisor
– Constandinos Kallis, Executive Advisor
– Zakis Hadjizacharias, Executive Advisor
Values and principles
As an integral part of the KPMG International network of companies, KPMG Cyprus operates in a coordinated manner, strictly adhering to the values and principles of the International House, the standards and quality of services provided.
Within this framework, all the companies that are members of the network, including KPMG Cyprus, renewed their values during the pandemic; values that express the company’s fundamental convictions and philosophy and guide the professional behaviour of the KPMG Cyprus personnel on a daily basis, irrespective of their position. The corporate values are integrity, excellence, courage, together, for better). Building on these values, the company has managed to establish a two way communication between management and staff, with transparency and honesty.
Α living cell of the economy
Over time KPMG has grown through and with the market, quite simply in the heart of the Cyprus economy, forming an important living cell of its structure.
‘We have learned to grow and develop through the realities of the economy itself’, says the House CEO Christos Vassiliou. He spoke to us about the history of the organisation, its founders, past, present and future.
What’s the feeling of leading a group with such a long history, with executives such as Yiorgos Syrimis, Andreas Loizides, Thiseas Metaxas and others?
KPMG goes back to 1948 when Yiorgos Syrimis created one of the first auditing houses on the island. Various mergers and acquisitions followed over the next few decades and in 1988 the house joined the international network of Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG).
Those that took us there were people Yiorgos Syrimis, Andreas Loizides, Thiseas Metaxas and many others who worked really hard to build the House that is today.
You do realise that the weight of the responsibility on our shoulders to keep up the task of developing KMPG in the same pace as before, is quite the challenge.
Market conditions have drastically changed, with clients now seeking specialised knowledge with a much greater degree of monitoring.
We have adapted to this demand, providing specialised services, per market demand, particularly when it comes to taxation issues and consultations. We house many departments, specialised in services offered. So we do feel the weight of the responsibility, if you will, I feel that weight too personally, in evolving the House and passing on more and better than we received, in the same manner as the previous leaderships.
A people centered organisation
Every organisation established a DNA and culture over time. What’s the KPMG Cyprus DNA?
Over time, KPMG has grown through the market and along with it. So we could say that we grew with the Cyprus economy. We have learned to develop and grow through the realities of the market itself.
Now when it comes to our DNA so to speak, our motto is being a people centered organisation. We implement the timeless values of KPMG, namely integrity, excellence, courage and together for better, working together as a team for the best possible outcome.
These are the values and principles of KPMG’s global network and we work by them here in Cyprus too.
We want our personnel to work in a comfortable, working environment, people looking forward based on our values and principles, finding themselves in a position to provide excellent quality services to our clients-associates.
When it comes to the clients, we aim at becoming the best option for them and that calls for the on-going training of our staff and investing in technology. We consider our personnel as the greatest asset that we have to offer.
What are the benefits of joining an international network? What has KPMG earned?
It’s really a few things. The first is that you join a network with limitless information, knowledge and experience, tools that you can utilise to add even more quality to your services. Secondly, being part of an international network means that you have access to several major clients and international companies that might need the KPMG services in Cyprus. That means you gain access to a much bigger market.
You are also obliged, in a good way, to follow and be in line with the processes and standards of the international organisation, both in terms of operation and procedures as well as personnel.
You can actually take the practices connected to the network of organisations in other countries and implement them in Cyprus. And as we all know, these organisations are quite a long way ahead on many aspects of the job.
Of course you have to meet certain standards and maintain certain procedures in order to become a member. This fact alone drives you to improve professionally. You have all the knowledge and information at your disposal and utilising them makes you a better professional, but you are also responsible in aligning yourself with the demands of the global network.
Why we stand out
What makes KPMG Cyprus different, distinguishes you?
I think we stand out for the quality of our services and particularly specialised audit, consulting and taxation services on offer. Having grown through the Cyprus market is a comparative advantage for us. We are in a position to have significant awareness of what Cypriot businesses are looking for and what their needs are. On the other hand, our House is accessible, approachable to its clients. But we really stand out for the knowledge of the Cyprus economy.
What changed for KPMG Cyprus by securing one of the 24 seats on the EMA region Council of KPMG International?
It means a great deal to us. Taking part in the EMA Council meetings provides us with the opportunity of expressing our views and submitting proposals for further improvement and future changes. We receive immediate information on developments in the European and global economy as well as new services offered internationally.
Taking part in the Council also allows us to promote the work taking place in smaller European countries, such as Cyprus.
Multiple award winners
Your organisation has received many distinctions. What stood out as most significant at local as well as international level and why?
I think that every award has its own value and meaning, so I wouldn’t say that one should stand out or one is more important than the other. What we can say is that the latest awards, which have to do with personnel management, namely in 2015, when we received a preference employer award and the ‘Best Firm to Work For’ award from 2015 to 2020 by Consulting magazine, were of particular importance.
They are distinctions that had to with personnel, whom we consider to be our most important asset. I do want to stress however that awards are not an end in itself. Our steadfast purpose and goal is to create and maintain a working environment in which our personnel are comfortable, simply feel that they really want to work with us. Within a healthy, pleasing environment, people become more productive and that adds to the quality of services.
You are quite active when it comes to community events. What is the KPMG philosophy on Corporate Social Responsibility?
We have a simple approach. We do recognise and appreciate the fact that society and the business community makes a significant contribution to KPMG and has facilitated our growth, so in return, we feel that we need to give back to society, to the best of our ability. We have done a great deal in that respect, quite a number of activities and actions. If I could refer to a recent one, it would be our contribution during the pandemic to covid patients by donating a latest technology ventilator to the Nicosia General Hospital. We were also quite active in the recently established Cancer Research Foundation, providing support in organising its structures so it could start operating, attract personnel and manage all its relevant systems and operation policies. We are very proud to have been able to offer such support. We have always supported disadvantaged families and fellow citizens in need and continue to do so.
In addition though, I’d like to also refer to the ESG (Environmental – Social – Governance), namely actions towards the protection of the environment and contributing to society through Corporate Governance. Only recently KPMG International publicised the KPMG Impact Plan, as part of the ESG framework, a plan in which KPMG Cyprus is an active participant. We have also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and have taken many steps towards this end. Generally speaking I would like to note that we don’t think twice at KPMG Cyprus when giving back to society, returning many of the benefits it provides us.
Pandemic and the next day
How do you find conditions in the economy and more specifically you field, in a pandemic situation? What do you think has to be done?
I really believe that working from home will stay with us, not to the extent that we have now, but it will definitely remain. We will not be going back to the time when everyone had to be at the office every single day, no exceptions. I have to tell you that at KPMG we had implemented a flexible work programme before the pandemic broke out.
When it comes to the economy, I believe that we will achieve adequate growth post-pandemic. Predictions are already in the positive. What really matters is achieving viable growth, finding ways of investing in services of sectors of the economy that need further development. Those could be for example, the tourism industry, providing health services, shipping, investment funds, the green economy, education and technology. Such sectors and a number of others are economy categories on which Cyprus could build upon. But what’s of importance is to build on a viable medium and long term model.
The European Recovery and Resilience Fund provides our country with a first class opportunity at achieving these goals.
Founders with history and contribution
Which of the founders of the company have you met personally?
The only one I haven’t met is Thiseas Metaxas. I did know Yiorgos Syrimis, we met while he was still at the office and the same with Andreas Loizides and Stavros Vakis. Takis Clerides is the partner I replaced when he was appointed minister and I also worked a great number of years with Andreas Christofides; in fact I could say he was my mentor. I also worked with Nikos Syrimis, who served as President of the House for many years, as well as Angelos Gregoriades who was head of taxation and became President 6 years prior to his retirement. All the above partners, as well as other executives made up the leadership of the House during different periods and played quite an important role in the growth of KPMG Cyprus..
When it comes to the first ones, what was special about each of them?
In Yiorgos Syrimis it was the mildness of character, perception and work ethic. The same with Andreas Loizides; he was an astute man, a visionary, who was quite organised in what he set out to do.
Do you believe in coincidences? Three big names in your organisation, Yiorgos Syrimis, Andreas Loizides and Takis Clerides served as ministers. Is that a coincidence?
Not at all, on the contrary. I believe that these particular KPMG partners were appointed ministers on their merit. Obviously, the governments of the time saw their work, appreciated their knowledge with experience of the economy and selected them. Quite a number of other partners have also served in important positions at major organisations, such as CIPA, ICPAC and CIFA.
Major local and international awards
The company is honoured with a number of awards and distinctions every year, either performance wise or regarding the implementation of specific policies and processes. Here are certain of the most indicative of these distinctions:
- ’Services Exports’ Award by the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism for 2007, 2009 and 2013
- Best Tax Team in Cyprus for the Taxation Services field in 2008
- A ‘Financial and Business Excellence’ Distinction of the Employers and Industrialists Federation in 2010
- ’Best Service Company’ at In Business Awards in 2010
In 2008, the company celebrated 60 years on the Cyprus market. The occasion was marked with a special event attended by the former KPMG Europe, Middle East and Africa Senior Executive Partner Jean Paul Thill, who congratulated KPMG Cyprus for its solid rise.
Marking the opening of the company’s central offices in Nicosia, the company hosted a photo exhibition of equipment widely used by the accounting world over the past 60 years.
The company has received quite a few distinctions for its dedication and progress on Human Personnel issues.
In 2012 it acquired the international certification ‘Investors in People’, which was renewed (Silver Level) in 2015.
In the same year KPMG was certified as an ‘Equality Employer’, with this particular certification renewed in 2019.
In addition, the company received a ‘Preference Employer’ Award by the Labour ministry in 2015.
Between 2015 and 2020, the company received the ‘Best Firms to Work For’ distinction by ‘Consulting’ magazine.
KPMG also received an award in the ‘Learning and Development-Best Team Building Program’ at the 2019 Cyprus HR Awards, while in the 2020 edition of the same awards, the company was distinguished in the ‘Excellence in Workplace Well-being’ for its ‘[email protected]’ programme.
It’s important to note that the company’s active accountants, both at local and international level, receive awards annually, relevant to their performance in the examination periods.
Οι συνέταιροι στην KPMG το 1997. Από αριστερά προς δεξιά οι Ανδρέας Δημητρίου, Άγγελος Γρηγοριάδης, Πανίκος Λοΐζου, Τάκης Κληρίδης, Θησέας Μεταξάς, Σύλβια Λοϊζίδη, Γιώργος Συρίμης, Ανδρέας Λοϊζίδης, Ανδρέας Χριστοφίδης, Νίκος Συρίμης, Γιώργος Νικολάου, Λευτέρης Χατζηζαχαρίας, Σοφοκλής Σοφοκλέους, Δημήτρης Βάκης και Μιχάλης Λοϊζίδης.
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