It is important for the Russell Bedford board and Central Office team not to lose sight of what our member firms need. Russell Bedford International is, after all, a member–driven organisation. That’s why, before this year’s meeting in Latin America, our CEO, Stephen Hamlet visited several member firms throughout the region, staying true to one of our fundamental characteristics – being intimate.
These visits are a win-win for both us and our members; since we get to understand more about them and their requirements, and they get to understand more about the network and how we can assist them, continuing to offer excellent service delivery across the network.
The tour started by visiting Russell Bedford Argentina in Buenos Aires; the capital and largest city of the country. The team extended a huge welcome, bringing together the entire workforce to greet Russell Bedford’s CEO. Stephen delivered a presentation where he shared network updates, encouraging the attendees to get the most from their membership.
The next firm he visited was one of the network’s more recently recruited members, Luis Costa Peche & Asociados / LA Corporation Accounting, based in Lima, Peru. The management team of Russell Bedford’s Peruvian firm received him at their offices, presented their team, and hosted a productive and enjoyable meeting in which Stephen gained an understanding of how their practice operates.
Subsequently, our CEO flew to Quito to visit Russell Bedford Ecuador S.A., a top 10 firm in the country among Ecuadorian consulting firms. After a fantastic welcome from the managing partners, he had the opportunity to present the network to the whole team and discuss new initiatives. Stephen tweeted: “….Always a pleasure to present our thriving global network & to learn more about such solid resources in Latin America”.
The final stop was Colombia, where the Latin American managing partners were meeting in the sprawling capital of Bogotá. Russell Bedford Colombia S.A.S gave him a warm welcome at their fully Russell Bedford branded offices, bringing together the whole team. Encouraged by their hospitality, and because at Russell Bedford we like embracing different cultures and enjoy challenges, Stephen presented in Spanish. Much to his surprise, this was met with much praise and admiration for his language abilities!
The next day, the Latin American meeting took place, with all 18 countries from the region being represented. The night before the business sessions, delegates met for welcome drinks and dinner at the famous Andres Carne de Res. The business day commenced with an initial welcome from the managing partner of the host firm, Luis Carlos Robayo (Russell Bedfod Colombia S.A.S.), and opening speeches by Javier Jiménez (Russell Bedford Mexico) and Daniel Ryba (Russell Bedford Argentina); followed by Stephen Hamlet giving a global update on the network (again, in his best Spanish!). Stephen discussed new initiatives, business development and marketing strategies, as well as the network’s latest achivements. This first session ended with a brief presentation from each firm attending the meeting.
After a short break, the second session was focused on the strategy and development of the member firms as a region. We always say ‘exploration is better together’, and that’s why we are working jointly and sharing common objectives; to keep building the Russell Bedford name in Latin America and, what is more important, enhancing best practices to do business.
Following the regional strategy session, further presentations included artificial intelligence and the latest softwares in the market available to accountants.
After lunch, Javier Jiménez led a discussion on branding, showing how Russell Bedford Mexico has adopted the new brand, as an example for firms to promote themselves using our globally recognised name and image. He also led a presentation in regards to contingency, continuity and recovery plans, explaining their importance. Then, Ramiro Pinto from Russell Bedford Ecuador, S.A. held a presentation on secondments; promoting the initiative to give Russell Bedford staff the possibility and opportunity to work in different firms within the network.
The last session of the day was given by Wendy Garcia, from Russell Bedford Guatemala, and Bruno Foggiato from our firm in Uruguay, MFA Consultores. They discussed the Audit Quality Control process, our requirements and results.
To conclude a most productive regional event, delegates had dinner at Gaira Café, which gave them the chance to network and strengthen their relationships, enhancing the Latin American region locally, while maintaining a global presence and focus.
Muchas gracias to Russell Bedford Colombia S.A.S, for hosting this year’s meeting and to all the team for helping deliver a fantastic event! And… Hasta el año próximo!