Hoek en Blok started in 1990 with just a handful of employees – now it has a strong 150-person team. We asked Kemal Acar, Partner and Principal Contact for Morison KSi and Wim Stuij, one of the firm’s founding Partners who retires this year, a few questions on the success of the firm and how being a member of Morison KSi has played an important part of that journey.
MKSi: Hoek en Blok is a long-standing member of Morison KSi – we must be doing something right! How has Morison KSi helped you achieve success over the years?
Kemal: The key thing for us is that being a member feels like you are part of a family and a professional community. Being part of that community means that you get to know each other very well - from a business perspective but maybe more importantly, from a personal perspective. This gives us great confidence when referring our clients in cross-border situations.
MKSi: What do you see as the biggest challenge currently in the profession, and how can being a member of Morison KSi help overcome this?
Kemal: Besides the regular compliance work (repeated audit/tax work), clients are demanding more and more financial, strategic, economic, HR and legal assistance in their daily work. We have responded to this by developing and adding new services to our portfolio. By being a member of Morison KSi we have the ability to share knowledge and collaborate with other members facing these same challenges.
MKSi: Share your top three tips on getting the most out of membership?
1 - Participate! We make sure we always attend conferences (both physically and virtually), and encourage other employees and partners, particularly our younger talents to join in. It’s the best way to get to know and gain trust with members.
2 - Find ‘soul mates’ in the community - this leads to a natural way of receiving and forwarding referrals.
3 - Sharing case studies and best practices and learning from each other on how we can do things better or differently to set us apart from our competitors – this is invaluable.
MKSi: What is your key to 30 successful years?
Kemal: We try to differentiate ourselves by providing a wide variety of services and by constantly pushing ourselves to keep focused on what entrepreneurs and businesses really need.
We strive to be an employer of excellence, hiring only the best professional employees.
We give our clients real attention and we really know and understand what drives them. We always stay ahead and focused on the developments in the market and think outside the box. We also have a board that has its eye on the future with a clearly defined strategy.
Congratulations to Hoek en Blok for reaching this milestone anniversary.
Founding Partner, Wim Stuij will be standing down as director and shareholder but will remain connected to Hoek en Blok as an advisor. We asked Wim, who is very well known within the Morison KSi community, a few questions looking back over his time at Hoek en Blok and Morison KSi.
MKSi: Briefly tell us about your Hoek en Blok journey – the highlights and challenges.
Wim: On 1 October 1990, around the same time as Morison KSi was founded, we set up our firm in Sliedrecht with a small team of 5 people. The biggest challenge in the first years was building a customer portfolio and recruiting people that fit our philosophy. In contrast to our competitors, we wanted to build an advisory and customer-oriented office of which the traditional services (audit and tax advice) were a part. Because we had growth figures of sometimes 100% on an annual basis in the first years, we quickly became a player that started to gain recognition.
The highlights were the construction of a new office (on two occasions!) and the many renovations we had to carry out to keep up with our growth. Also the fantastic positive feedback we received from the market has always been an incentive to keep us focused on providing more services.
The main challenge was certainly the changes and tightening of regulations that sometimes require unnecessary time to meet all conditions.
MKSi: What are the main changes you have seen in the profession during your time as a member?
Wim: The biggest change is without a doubt the automation and digitisation, as well as the way of communication. When we used to send things by post, things often took weeks to arrive internationally – now your communications can arrive on the other side of the world in a millisecond!
Furthermore, the total opening up of the world through the internet, making contact with colleagues all over the world very easy. The biggest change in the profession is that it has become much more competitive and if you want to make a distinction, you will have to work in a multidisciplinary manner. The customer is many times more demanding than 25 years ago.
MKSi: What’s your advice to a young accountant starting out?
Wim: Make a clear choice between being an advisor or an accountant, both together are only reserved for a limited number of multi-talented people. Furthermore, make a choice between where you want to work; the large corporate environment or in the SME sector. Do not initially look at your earnings in the short term, but look at what you really like and what gives you energy in the longer term.
MKSi: What is your most memorable membership moment?
Wim: Many beautiful memorable moments have passed during the Morison KSi conferences, the one that stands out as very special was the conference in Singapore in 2011. An unimaginably good conference, co-organised by Paul Wan, who, among other things, had arranged festive clothing for every conference visitor. Fantastic memories!
MKSi: How do you intend to spend your retirement Wim?
Wim: I hope to be able to advise a number of great clients for a number of years and to coach young talented people. In addition, I hope to play a lot of golf and spend a lot of time with my family to give them the attention they often lacked in the past.
On behalf of Morison KSi and its members, best wishes on your retirement and on this new chapter of your life! Wim will attend the Morison KSi Annual and European conference in Vienna in 2021 and looks forward to saying goodbye to colleagues and friends there!