Pieter Klynveld

was born in 1874 in Amsterdam, Holland. He was the founder of the Dutch accounting firm Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co., now KPMG in the Netherlands which was founded in 1917. In 1979 Klynveld joined forces with Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft and McLintock Main Lafrentz to form Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG).

William Barclay Peat

was born in 1852 in Scotland. He joined the firm established by Robert Flatcher in London, in 1870. At the age of 24 Peat was made a partner. In 1891 the firm adopted his name - William Barclay Peat & Co.
He joined the partnership Marwick, Mitchell & Co, USA, as partner in 1911.

James Marwick

was born in 1862 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He founded the accounting firm Marwick Mitchell & Co. with Roger Mitchell in New York City in 1897. In 1911 William Barclay Peat & Co. and Marwick Mitchell & Co. joined for-ces to form Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. later to become Peat Marwick International (PMI).

Reinhard Goerdeler

was born in 1922 in Königsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia). He was for many years chairman of Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft and later first chairman of KMG. Goerdeler is credited with laying much of the groundwork for the KPMG merger.


Have a look at the key milestones in the history of KPMG.


As you may know, the foundation of KMG was a complex process, which we have tried to simplify as much as possible. Take a look:

  • For KMG it all started in 1877 in Glasgow, where Thomson McLintock opened an accounting practice. In 1964 he joined with a US firm and formed McLintock Main Lafrentz.
  • Then there was Berlin in 1890. That was the year when Deutsche-Amerikanische Treuhand-Gesellschaft (German American Trust Company) was established. In 1892 the firm changed its name to Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft (DTG). In 1953 Reinhard Goerdeler joined the Tax Department of DTG (in 1956 he became a member of the Management Board). In 1972 four German accounting firms merged to form Vereinigte Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft (United German Trust Company).
  • Next up is Amsterdam in 1917. Piet Klynveld and Jaap Kraayenhof establish the accounting firm Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co.

RESULT: In 1979 Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co, McLintock Main Lafrentz and DTG join forces to form Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG).


The establishment of PMI looks a bit simpler.

  • For PMI it all started in London in 1867, when Robert Fletcher established an accounting firm. William Barclay Peat joined the firm in 1870 and became a partner in 1877. In 1891 the firm of Robert Fletcher adopted the Peat name and became William Barclay Peat & Co.
  • Then in New York, in 1897, James Marwick and Roger Mitchell established the New York accountancy practice Marwick Mitchell & Co.

RESULT: In 1925 William Barclay Peat & Co merged with Marwick Mitchell & Co. to create a transatlantic firm - Peat Marwick Mitchell, which later becamel Peat Marwick International (PMI).


The famous merger took place on 1 January 1987. Peat Marwick International (PMI) and Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG) merged to form a group of national practices called KPMG - Klynveld, Peat, Marwick and Goerdeler.

It was the largest merger in the history of the accounting business, and drew a lot of attention from the business world. Despite the fact that the combining of two large firms with different operating cultures and management styles proved difficult, and the merger process advanced slowly, from the start KPMG hoped to hold a leadership position across the world.

Learn more about us