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New CEO for BDO in Belgium

15 July 2019

BDO is pleased to announce that Peter Van Laer will take over from Hans Wilmots as CEO of BDO in Belgium for a 4-year term, effective 1 October 2019.  Peter is currently Managing Director of BDO Digital (formerly BDO Crossroad, acquired by BDO Belgium at the end of 2017) and is an expert in complex digital transformations.  BDO’s Belgian firm has almost 800 partners and staff and Peter is aiming for further growth, including an exhaustive digital transformation of the traditional economic professions and the delivery of integrated total solutions for their clients. He will work in tandem with the current general counsel, Johan Vandenbroeck, who will become Chairman of BDO Belgium on the same date. 

With this appointment, BDO in Belgium is continuing its path of digital transformation and new technologies.  However, Van Laer’s background in innovation and digital technology does not mean that his focus will be solely on niche markets such as cyber security, cloud and ‘platformification’ services. On the contrary, Peter’s ambition is to broaden the firm’s multi-disciplinary service offering from its traditional business lines (Audit, Accounting, Tax & Legal) and to deepen a number of niche offerings at the same time.  This will enable BDO in Belgium to respond to both digital and analogue business issues.

Hans Wilmots, the firm’s current CEO, says: “With Peter Van Laer we will have an atypical CEO leading BDO. He is a seasoned technology expert who breathes digitalisation and innovation.  Peter is the perfect choice to strengthen the cross-fertilisation between all our areas of expertise and to continue the firm’s evolution into a modern and innovative organisation. BDO will play a pioneering role in a profession that finds itself in flux.”   

Peter Van Laer, the incoming CEO, adds: “As CEO of BDO Belgium, I will continue on the road that Hans Wilmots embarked on nine years ago. Technology will become an even greater lever for growth across all our activities, from Tax & Legal to Audit & Accounting to Advisory. At the same time, I want to keep cultivating the spirit of innovation in our firm so that it becomes an integral part of our culture - one where both people and technology are key. True connections are not made by algorithms, they require personal involvement.”      

Peter Van Laer is aiming to use and promote the firm’s expertise as broadly as possible.  Today, BDO in Belgium has a leading position in the mid-market, with a special focus on family businesses. But Peter intends to use the strength of BDO’s global organisation and technology expertise even more to further expand the market.

He adds: “Globally, BDO is represented in almost 1,600 offices in more than 160 countries.  This worldwide experience allows us to support those Belgian companies that are increasingly interested in globalisation. By the same token, we can support large corporates with our local market expertise and in-depth experience.  Sharing such best practices can deliver complete solutions to our clients and be deployed worldwide.”