One of Canada’s largest accounting firms, MNP LLP, has chosen a new CEO, Jason Tuffs, who took over as the fourth CEO in the firm’s 58-year history on October 1.

[IMGCAP(1)]He succeeds longtime CEO Daryl Ritchie, who remains chairman of the board of MNP, formerly known as Meyers Norris Penny. Tuffs officially assumed the role at MNP’s annual general meeting in Montreal.

Ritchie said Tuesday the firm’s CEO leadership transition has been in the works since 2009, when the board asked him to accept a third term as CEO. Ritchie accepted another term but advised the board of MNP that it would be his last.

“We knew the next CEO must believe in and understand our values and culture, be committed to the mid-market and have the appropriate experience to take on the role,” Richie said in a statement. “The selection of the new CEO was a rigorous process as we weren’t just looking for a great CEO, we were looking for a great ‘MNP CEO.’ I’m looking forward to working with Jason and providing any support I can to ensure MNP continues to achieve success for our clients and our people.”

The roots of Meyers Norris Penny were established in 1958, when Ron Meyers started what was to become MNP in Brandon, Manitoba. Don Penny added services and locations to match client needs throughout the late 1970s and 1980s.

[IMGCAP(2)]Ritchie’s vision would further build upon this foundation, evolving MNP into a leading Canadian firm. He started working at MNP as a student in 1978 and grew up with the firm. When he was appointed CEO in October 1998, MNP was the 10th largest accounting firm in Canada, with fees of $41 million and a staff count of just over 400. Seventeen years later, MNP became the fifth largest firm in Canada, with fees of $600 million and a staff of more than 3,500.

“I don’t believe we could have achieved the same success we have without him at the helm,” Tuffs said in a statement. “Daryl had a vision very early on about where MNP needed to go and what we needed to do to get there. For Daryl it was never about being the largest firm, but being the best—the pre-eminent, full service mid-market accounting firm throughout Canada. I am honored to be succeeding him and thankful to have his support as the chairman of the board.”

Tuffs gained international experience working abroad for five years and returned to Canada in 2004 to begin his career at MNP, leading the firm in developing its Public Company practice. In late 2009 Tuffs became regional managing partner of Calgary operations. He was appointed to the board of directors in 2011 and took on the role of executive vice president of the British Columbia Region in 2013. Tuffs became a member of MNP’s strategic planning committee in 2015.

Tuffs said the firm has no plans to slow down. The board rolled out a strategic plan last year, setting the strategic direction for the next five years. A native of Alberta, Tuffs hopes to expand the firm’s presence in the Maritimes and London, Ontario areas. He believes MNP has tremendous opportunity to build upon its strong history, culture and foundation, adding new offices, people and expertise.

“But for MNP it’s not about becoming the fourth largest or the third largest or the second largest,” said Tuffs. “It’s about continuing to serve our clients’ evolving needs, having the resources, having the talent and being in strategic markets, be they rural or urban, while retaining our cultures and values. That has been the factors to our past success and will continue to drive the future of MNP.”

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