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Death of one of BDO's founders, Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte

16 March 2020

It is with great sadness that we share the passing away of one of our founders, Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte, aged of 94.

Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte started his professional career as an auditor in 1951 within a Hamburg audit company, soon developing it to a successful audit & accounting practice, later renamed BDO AG. In 1961 he was appointed to the Executive Board of BDO AG and in 1969, he became its chairman.

Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte was instrumental in building BDO into the global organisation that it is today. He was the Chairman of the Global Policy Board from 1980 – 1992 and Chairman of the BDO Council from 1980 – 2001. In both of these roles, Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte provided outstanding leadership and helped to build the foundations for the future success of the BDO organisation. He continued to share his wisdom with his BDO colleagues after he was appointed honorary chairman of BDO International in 2001. It is true to say that he was the “O” in BDO.

Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte always reminded us how important cooperation is in international networks. He was a true cross-selling pioneer, who understood that even small networks can succeed by helping each other. He also believed, already in 1980-1990 when BDO Finland was a small company, that we would grow in the future.

We are deeply grateful for the groundwork he did, creating the strong BDO we are today. We express our sincerest condolences to Professor Hans-Heinrich Otte’s family and friends, our German colleagues and all that knew him and who mourn his passing.