Feb. 2, 2015

Mauricio Durango Pérez


Mauricio Durango Pérez

Founder and CEO, Moore Stephens


Mauricio Durango Pérez is an Attorney, a Doctor in Jurisprudence, and a member of the Quito Bar Association, who graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. He is the founding Partner and General Manager of Moore Stephens Profile Consultants. He was formerly a legal advisor to two of Ecuador’s largest financial groups, and manager of Arthur Andersen & Co.’s legal and tax division. Dr. Durango received a Diploma in American and International Law from the Center for American and International Law in Dallas, US. Among other activities, he is currently Director and Chairman of the Board of the Ecuadorian American Chamber of Commerce and Director of the Quito Securities Exchange, as well as being Chairman of the Board of the Managing Council of the Colegio Americano de Quito Foundation.

Moore Stephens has a wide international presence. What is the significance of Ecuador for the group as an international consultancy firm?

Moore Stephens was founded in London in 1906, and now it has a presence in over 105 countries worldwide, one of which is Ecuador. Ecuador is one of our most important markets in the Latin American region. We started not as an auditing firm but as a consulting firm, and, thus, we had numerous multinational clients that required services in other countries. Ecuador has been an important reference to other firms in the region and worldwide.

What is the main focus of your practice in Ecuador today?

We used to work on huge legal studies with partners from Deloitte, Arthur Anderson, PwC, and so on. But we did not want to be just a law firm or an audit firm. We preferred to become a more strategic consulting firm that provides a comprehensive service. In that regard, we use all of this knowledge as a tool to provide strategic business consulting without dividing into practice areas.

Many of your clients switch to you from one of the big four consulting firms. Why is that?

Many companies or clients we work with have normally worked with the big four. But, in Ecuador, they choose to work with us because we create value for them. We provide a difference in our services. We offer considerable personalization, and offer important creative and strategic products that meet customer needs. We are always working within the concept of a factory. We do not produce cars, but we do produce ideas. Ecuador has extensively reformed its constitution and laws. It is not only a matter of understanding the new legal requirements and obligations the companies have to meet, but also how to help them take advantage of those reforms to be more competitive.

What would you say, then, is your value proposition in Ecuador?

We want to be the iPod of consulting. We want to make a difference and I think we are doing that because we have the trust of multinational and national clients. All of the products we create are designed with a focus on creating value or trying to go one step ahead. We want to create products that perceive what the needs and obligations are, and help clients understand their legal requirements.

What kind of services could an international company looking to enter the Ecuadorean market expect to receive from Moore Stephens?

At the beginning, we will send along all the information about doing business so a firm has an overview of legislation in Ecuador. We can then work on the legal establishment of the company or branch, and will advise on the better options. We can also help with the accounting of the company, or even with its representation if the client so wishes. We can help with tax matters and financial issues if a firm needs capital or loans for projects. We can also assist with hiring personnel and headhunting, as well as strategic issues specific to the business you want to implement.

What are the major challenges you see for foreign investors coming into Ecuador?

We have had a lot of reforms, and we have to be aware that Ecuador's is a revolutionary government with a “21st Century socialism" oriented mindset. We also have to understand what its goals are. All of the laws it is issuing have an eye on instituting its overall goals, so it is important that companies understand the new regulations. They have to improve their processes in accordance with those regulations, and they have to see the opportunities that are available.