BDO USA makes two acquisitions, launches Customs and International Trade Practice

25 January 2019 4 min. read
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Chicago-based BDO USA has acquired business continuity and crisis management consultancy Lootok, as well as Global Trade Strategies (GTS), a leading provider of customs and international trade regulation consulting. BDO has formed a new Customs and International Trade practice out of the GTS acquisition.

With an accelerating global climate of protectionism, demand for consulting expertise in the areas of customs and trade is spiraling. Hoping to give clients what they need in an environment of shifting trade regulations and tariff threats, accounting and consulting firm BDO USA has bolstered its capabilities in the trade consulting arena with the acquisition of Atlanta-based GTS. The trade- and customs-focused consultancy is a former member of the BDO Alliance collaborative network.

“Between the pinch of tariffs, escalating trade tensions overseas and uncertainty around Brexit, today’s multinational organizations need a deeper understanding of the impacts on their supply chains and global trade operations,” Monika Loving, BDO’s national practice leader for International Tax Services, said.

The new Customs and International Trade practice will support firms with the complex regulations governing cross-border movement of goods and services – aiming to reduce duty, VAT, and excise tax while maintaining compliance. The practice will be led by GTS head Damon Pike, who joins BDO as a principal. The GTS team will join BDO’s West Palm Beach, Florida office.

BDO USA makes two acquisitions, launches Customs and International Trade Practice

“We are thrilled to have Damon join us to lead our newly formed Customs and International Trade practice,” Loving said. “Combined with our significant international tax experience, Damon and his team will help our clients align customs-related requirements with their broader cross-border tax and business strategies.”

Pike is a leading expert in the field, and an adjunct professor of customs law at Emory University School of Law. He was president of GTS for seven years, and also served as president of Pike Law Firm, a boutique law firm specializing in customs and international trade regulation. Pike also spent 12 years as Deloitte's national director of customs services. 

Pike started his career as a law clerk to Judge R. Kenton Musgrave of the US Court of International Trade. He holds a JD from Wake Forest University, as well as BA in political science from Duke University.

“The world is getting smaller through global trade, but regulations are proliferating, and trade tensions are complicating an already complex environment,” Pike said. “We’re excited to join forces with BDO’s International Tax Services practice to help clients both manage the risks and identify the opportunities inherent in global business.”

BDO adds Lootok

BDO USA also acquired Lootok, an NYC-based crisis management and business continuity consulting and technology firm. Founded in 2006, the firm helps companies transform their risk programs through assessment, program design, technology, and gamification. The transaction will further expand BDO’s proactive risk management capabilities.

The firm has helped 100 brands boost their business resiliency. Lootok has served 15 Fortune 500 clients, developed more than 3,000 plans, and facilitated more than 100 workshops.

“We are pleased to add the impressive resources of Lootok to our advisory offerings to address the diverse needs of our clients,” Jay Duke, national managing partner of BDO USA's Advisory Services, said. “In today’s rapidly evolving risk environment, risk managers need a new toolset and a modernized, nonlinear business continuity program. Lootok brings an innovative, proactive approach to building business resiliency that will complement BDO’s existing business continuity services.”

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