A historic photograph of the founding fathers of DFK International has been recreated to celebrate 50 years of the global accountancy association.
The picture of François-Maurice Richard, John Douglass and Ronnie Warlow is a famous image in the history of DFK International and is fondly referred to as ‘The Three Wise Men’.
It was taken in the grounds of the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée, soon after the trio met in the French city to formally establish the association on July 20, 1962.
Almost 50 years to the founding day, three of today’s figureheads from DFK International replicated the original pose to mark the half-century milestone.
President Scott Hazy, Executive Director Martin Sharp and Norbert de Montety, representative of DFK France, stood in the same location at the venue as it hosted the Board of Directors’ dinner during the 50th anniversary conference week.
Scott follows in the presidential footsteps of François-Maurice and Martin fulfils the modern day role of Ronnie. Norbert is partner of SNA Experts, Paris.
Scott said: “The photograph of John, François-Maurice and Ronnie is quite famous in the history of DFK International and we thought it would be wonderful to recreate it as we celebrate our 50th year.
“Without them there would be no DFK International and it is a perfect tribute to their original establishment of a group of three firms which has grown into one of the leading associations of its kind in the world.”
The first formal meeting of DFK International was held in Amsterdam in 1965 with François-Maurice, of Paris-based F.M. Richard, as President and Ronnie, a partner of Edward Thomas Pearson & Son in London, as Secretary-General.
François-Maurice went on to preside over every meeting until his retirement in 1982, and Ronnie held his role for more than 20 years.
John retired from practice in 1970 and J.W. Douglass, Gilder & Co, the firm he founded in Sydney, Australia, continued to be a member for over two decades.
Scott added: “All three were hugely important in the early development of DFK International and its expansion into a major force in the international accounting business hence why their names will always live on the association. As well as laying the foundations for a sustainable and continuing growth in membership, they were also instrumental in setting our core objective of expanding the level of client referrals between members. Fifty years on and DFK international now has over 300 offices in more than 80 countries worldwide, with our members firms generating a combined turnover in excess of one billion US dollars.”
The 50th anniversary conference is the largest in the history of DFK International with around 90 member firms and some 180 delegates attending the week-long event, which got underway in Paris on Monday, July 23.
A special book charting the achievements and aspirations of the association, which features the original photograph of ‘The Three Wise Men’, has been published to commemorate the landmark year.