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WINNIPEG, MB. - The year 1945 was a momentous one, marking the end of the Second World War and the beginning of a new era of prosperity for Canada. During this tumultuous time, an entrepreneurial accountant based in Winnipeg pitched opening a branch of the firm in his hometown of Brandon, Man. to better meet the needs of a growing clientele.
Seven decades later, that four-person branch has transformed into MNP, Manitoba’s largest professional services firm and one of the largest accounting, tax and business advisory firms in Canada. Staying true to its entrepreneurial roots, MNP is present in every province from coast to coast and has 3,660 staff and partners, but still calls the West home.
When Edson Boyd opened up the accounting office in Brandon, the world was changing. Agriculture, long a mainstay of the local economy, was increasingly becoming mechanized, manufacturing and export activities grew alongside government spending and women were entering non-traditional jobs at a remarkable pace.
The sense of possibility, entrepreneurialism and the drive to expand sowed the seeds that ultimately produced the firm that MNP is today. Seeing the need to better serve their clients, the ambitious accountants paved the way to further growth through relationship building, mergers and acquisitions.
In 1981, MNP (then known as Myers Norris Penny) made its first move outside western Manitoba and into a large urban centre – Winnipeg. At this time, the firm had five full-time offices as well as part-time offices in several communities. The Winnipeg move, fueled by MNP’s biggest merger at the time, meant accessing a larger market and further expanding the firm’s slate of service offerings.
Within two years, the firm took its first steps outside of Manitoba by merging with a small firm in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, the first of what today totals 11 offices in the province.
The next 20 years were a period of great transformation for MNP, led by visionary CEO Don Penny. The 1980s saw MNP’s Hutterite practice expand across the prairies as the firm recognized the untapped opportunities to provide accounting and tax services to Hutterite communities. At the same time, relationships were strengthened with Indigenous and other agricultural communities through strategic mergers with independent accounting firms, leading to MNP creating specialized niches of services.
As the service lines grew to better meet the needs of MNP’s clients, the firm gained a reputation for successfully combining business consulting services with traditional accounting, audit and tax preparation services. While outside of the norm for many firms at the time, MNP’s entrepreneurial founders had espoused the principal of being business advisors as well as accountants to clients throughout their careers.
Currently, MNP’s suite of service lines include Enterprise Risk, Corporate and Consumer Insolvency, Technology Solutions and Valuations, Forensics and Litigation Support, as well as Assurance and Accounting, Consulting, Corporate Finance, Succession and Tax. Specialized services provide tailored solutions for a range of industries, including food and beverage processing, natural resources, private enterprise, professionals and real estate and construction.
Strong organic growth as well as mergers saw MNP expand in the new millennium into Alberta and British Columbia, and east into Ontario, then Quebec and most recently Atlantic Canada.
Even as MNP continues to grow, the Winnipeg office gives us a sense of rootedness and helps us remain true to MNP’s culture. To this day, MNP’s firm-wide culture has stayed remarkably true to the foundations upon which the firm was built – a foundation of courage, entrepreneurialism and concern for quality client services.
MNP’s office in Winnipeg is located at 201 Portage Avenue at the iconic corner of Portage and Main in the heart of the business district, reflective of the growth of MNP and its services.