Growing MNP office doubles Ottawa footprint

Being forced to hold meetings at nearby coffee shops because there’s no longer space inside the office can be a sign of success for rapidly growing firms.

But for accounting firm MNP, it was also a signal that it was time to start searching for new office space.

Late last month, the business advisory firm doubled its physical footprint when it moved from its old office on Richmond Road to the Churchill Office Park, informally known to many as the Corel building after the software company that used to be the Carling Avenue property’s anchor tenant.

MNP now occupies the top floor of the building and has an option to lease half of the floor below it, says MNP partner Michael Dimitriou. The typical floor in the building is 25,000 square feet, according to the BOMA Ottawa Commercial Space Directory.

The company currently has 54 employees in Ottawa, plus another 55 in Kanata who joined the company through its September merger with consulting company A Hundred Answers. It also has 12 staff in Brockville.

However, Mr. Dimitriou says that’s expected to soon change.

“We see ourselves at 150 to 200 people in the region … in three to five years, if not sooner,” Mr. Dimitriou says. “That’s why we sought out this space.”

MNP’s local expansion has been a mix of organic growth as well as M&A activity.

In addition to the merger with A Hundred Answers this year, locally it joined with Ottawa-based McLarty & Co. in 2014.

Nationally, it’s merged with existing companies from coast-to-coast this year, bolstering its presence in British Columbia, Atlantic Canada and multiple cities in between.

Within the company, MNP has started its insolvency practice in Ottawa, Mr. Dimitriou says, adding that the company is carving out a market niche that allows it to avoid competing head-on with the so-called big four: Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG and PwC.

“We’re not trying to be all things – we’re distinctly midmarket,” he says.

However, it’s still finding ways of providing services to some of Ottawa’s largest companies and organizations by offering speciality services such as enterprise risk analyses for Canada Post and cybersecurity assessments for large landlords, Mr. Dimitriou says.