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Roland takes the reins as DFK International President

July 27, 2017

DFK International has appointed Roland Graf as the global accountancy association’s new president.

Roland is a popular and prominent member of DFK and a partner and specialist tax lawyer at Peters, Schönberger & Partner (PSP), a multi-disciplinary firm located in Munich, Germany.

Roland, who is an active figure on the DFK International Tax Committee, officially took the reins as president at DFK International’s Annual Conference in Oahu, Hawaii.

He has become the 12th president in DFK’s history and his three-year term of office sees him succeed Demetris Demetriou, co-founder of DFK Demetriou Trapezaris based in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Roland said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed president of this fantastic association, and to pick up from the great work Demetris has contributed during his term.

“DFK continues to grow in stature, and we have many strong members, and we need build on this and strengthen our association, as it remains a competitive global market.

“To develop DFK in the right direction requires us to have quality firms and attract more international clients. This is a challenge, but it is necessary to maintain our strength.

“The needs of DFK member clients are changing over time. We will still have our traditional consulting work to do, but we have to adapt and develop lots of new services which our clients require. This extends from managing the challenge of digitalisation, to automating processes, and is vital for the future.”

Roland, who is 54-years-old, said a major priority will be to build on DFK’s work in bringing through leaders of the future.

He added: “I feel I have collected a lot of experience and hope I have given a lot of input into DFK International, but if we are looking to offer new services to our clients we need to implement younger members to our boards and committees.

“We’re working hard to involve younger people from our member firms and for them to have the opportunity to bring forward new ideas.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting more of our member firms at various conferences and events over the next three years and continue to encourage greater participation to the association.”

Demetris, who becomes immediate past president of DFK International, added: “It has been an excellent three years as president – I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“It was a learning exercise for me, getting to know people across the association and learning from them. I tried to do my best to assist DFK International moving forward.

“Looking back at highlights, we changed the constitution last year and this is working successfully going into a second year. We have created regional executive offices in Asia Pacific and Latin America both working extremely well.

“During my term together with our executive director, Martin Sharp, we visited a number of our member firm offices. We visited firms across China, Hong Kong, Canada, and also the eastern and western coasts of the US. I found this to be extremely rewarding and worthwhile and has vastly strengthened relationships across DFK International.”

Demetris also believes providing a pathway for members’ future leaders is vital for DFK International.

“The next generation is extremely important and getting the future partners of our members involved further in DFK International is vital,” he added.

“Succession planning is a major issue across the world. We have to find a way to help our members to overcome these challenges and involve our future leaders in DFK and we’re working on a number of ways to bridge these gaps.

“I know Roland extremely well and I feel very comfortable handing the presidency over to him. I’ve no doubt he’ll do a fantastic job. I wish him all the best.”

At the conference, Demetris was presented with the Ken McQuillan Award – named after the late Ken McQuillan who founded McQuillan & Co – in recognition of his exemplary service to the association.

Demetris was also made honorary lifetime president of DFK and presented with a photo book with pictures from almost every conference and trip has taken with DFK.

Martin Sharp, executive director of DFK International, said:  “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Demetris during his time as president of DFK International.

“As well as taking a keen interest in the daily running of the association, he has made an amazing effort to connect with members worldwide, putting in an incredible amount of time and energy in to his volunteer role.

“From places as far afield as Beijing to San Francisco and Liverpool to Melbourne, he has been instrumental in drawing DFK members closer together. DFK has gone from strength to strength under his leadership.”