Celebrating 25 years of GGI – from pipedream to leading global alliance

Since being founded in 1995, Geneva Group International (GGI), www.ggi.com, has grown into a successful global network with more than 600 member companies across 130 countries and total sales of USD 5.632bn.

In 1995, Claudio G. Cocca, a partner at a Swiss tax advisory and auditing office, saw the need for an international network. Time and again, he needed an international team of highly qualified experts to serve his clients in order to conduct cross-border assignments successfully. For such tasks, time is often of the essence. It is a huge challenge to put together a trustworthy team of international tax advisors and auditors within a few hours. So, in 1995, he made a spur of the moment decision to establish his own network in Geneva, GGI Geneva Group International, which was initially a network for tax advisors and auditors. He contacted tax advisors and auditors in various countries and explained his idea. He visited all the businesses that had expressed an interest in joining. 

“Quality, independence and trust – quintessential Swiss values – form the basis of our work”, explains Claudio, who believes that maintaining personal contact with all members is still extremely important, even today. No member may join before Claudio visits the business in person. The quality of the members is key to building a successful and meaningful network: that is his credo.

It quickly became clear to the members that internationally operating law firms are also often needed to successfully carry out commissions. As a result, in 1997, Geneva Group International was also opened to lawyers, and so the multi-disciplinary alliance was formed.

25years 01
The first GGI conference in Prague, 1995
25years 02
GGI Europe conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, 2014

The need seems to be huge – many successful law firms and businesses who want to safeguard their independence decide to join Geneva Group International. Claudio Cocca organises events with the aim of fostering trustworthy collaboration based on personal contact between members.

GGI’s growth advanced rapidly in Europe but also in Latin America. As a result, the independent region “Latin America” was established in 1999 with its headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dr Miguel Mantelli was appointed to oversee developments in this region and remains CEO Latin America to this day.

Just one year later, a decision was made to independently manage another region: Middle East / Asia / Africa. This region was successfully established by Peter Käser and spans a wide network – he is also still responsible for this region today.

In 2003, Michael Reiss von Filski joined GGI Geneva Group International as Managing Director. The group’s continuous growth meant that professional governance became imperative.

25years 01
Members bonded over shared experiences at the beach during EasyMeet in Goa, India.
25years 02
The wide range of experiences that members share together strengthen personal contacts.

Practice groups have been formed in order to foster targeted exchange of knowledge. In these groups, international experts come together to share their expertise on areas such as international tax law, real estate and trademark law. Today, GGI Geneva Group International AG has 18 practice groups which meet regularly, publish handbooks and newsletters as well as holding intense discussions. As a result, a huge pool of knowledge and experience has been formed.

Since 2011, GGI has been ranked in 6th place every year behind the Big Four in the league table compiled by Accountancy Magazine in London, the official publication of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, in addition to securing top spot in the rankings compiled by the renowned publication Accountancy Age.

In response to rapid growth in the USA, an office in Boston, MA, was also opened in 2011.

GGI is now represented in all of the world’s most influential countries, meaning that members are able to rapidly exchange information across borders for their tasks and put together teams of trusted, highly qualified partners in order to independently and competently solve complex cases. Our members still always take centre stage, with the management team of GGI firmly convinced that people are the key to every success – their ideas, their knowledge, their abilities, their actions, their skills, their professionalism and their perseverance determine success like nothing else. Each year, the GGI team organises around 30 events to give its members a solid platform for discussion and mutual acquisition of knowledge.

25years 01
Claudio G. Cocca at the opening of the World Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

GGI is not only characterised by business success, but also by the personal relationships and shared experiences that influence and bring together such a wealth of strong characters. A familiar, friendly atmosphere defines our conferences.

All GGI members must meet strict quality criteria – only the best firms are accepted. All member firms must commit to delivering the highest level of service. They are all experts in their field – leaders in their region with excellent local networks and highly qualified teams, which undergo regular further training and provide excellent services. All GGI members are independent, international businesses which maintain contacts within GGI and, in so doing, enjoy a worldwide network of professional partners at their fingertips.

GGI would like to thank all member firms for their loyalty and the wonderful moments we have been able to share together, as well as for their effective collaboration. We hope to be able to celebrate our 25th anniversary with many GGI members at this year’s GGI World Conference in Montreal, Canada. We are very much looking forward to furthering our constructive partnership in the future.

Publshed: January 2020 

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GGI Geneva Group
International AG

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P.O. Box 286
8052 Zurich


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