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Central America 2016: Due Diligence Accountants

In this chapter we identify 12 leading due diligence accountants from across Central America, who work alongside lawyers to complete corporate transactions. These specialists not only look at issues such as financial performance, cash flow, valuation of assets and tax compliance in order to build up a picture of a company’s health, they also assess the risks and opportunities of a proposed transaction offering advice on the relevant conditions, warranties and indemnities that should be included in an agreement.

Guatemala

In Guatemala City, Consejeros en Finanzas Empresariales features highly in this year’s research with an impressive three listings. The firm is “a dominant player in the central American market” and are “renowned for their proficiency in corporate transactions”. Santos Ruddy is an experienced public accountant and auditor with “a sterling reputation for forthright service”. He is well thought of throughout the Central American region and handles “complex issues with ease”. Jaime Corzo is noted for his “no-nonsense, upfront approach” to due diligence and business valuation work. Roger Schaeffer has “extensive experience in business valuation issues” and is known for his “fine attention to detail”.

At Arevalo Perez Iralda y Asociados – a member of the PKF international network – the “eminent” Hugo Arevalo Perez is “a fixture” on notable cross-border transactions. Active for almost half a century, he is “an accomplished accountant that has honed his craft” according to respondents.

Three of the big four accountancy firms are represented in Guatemala. Rolando Lara Leiva at Deloitte is an experienced practitioner who “never misses anything” in his valuation and due diligence work. Clients praised his “probing, inquisitive mind”. KPMG’s Arturo José Aldana is highly respected as “an outstanding professional whose due diligence reports are outstanding”. At PwC, Edgar Mendoza is noted for his “high level of commerciality”. According to clients, “Mendoza offers an unparalleled level of service given his background in both law and accounting”.

El Salvador

International accountancy and business advisory network Baker Tilly is represented in its El Salvador office by Otto Karim Guzman. Guzman offers clients comprehensive financial and fiscal reviews for business acquisitions, mergers and investment purchases and is famed for his “rigorous methods”.

At international accounting firm Grant Thornton, experienced managing partner Jaime Antonio Pérez Mejía is an “outstanding accountant” famed for offering clients “efficiency, precision and results”.

Alliance Group’s José Manuel Rivera Meléndez has significant industry experience in the industrial engineering field and, according to clients, is “second to none” in this respect.

Dominican Republic

PwC’s Santo Domingo office is home to Ramon Ortega, an “outstanding practitioner” with over 27 years of experience structuring corporate transactions. He is particularly proficient when consulting on M&A transactions and, according to peers, is “an exceptional client-facing professional” whose “fantastic technical ability is truly international”.

Panama

In the Panama City office of RSM International’s global network, managing partner Aristides Batista is celebrated for being “highly receptive and adaptable to incoming international business”.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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W11 1QQ, UK