More than a century ago, two Englishmen, Samuel Price and Edwin Waterhouse, launched a business in what was then a comparatively new field¾accounting and consulting services. So began what is today the premier global professional services firm.
That small firm's latter-day descendant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, was created in 1998 through the merger of two companies that by then already enjoyed worldwide renown; both Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand had a long and distinguished history in their own right. The merger brought important benefits: professional leadership, strengthened client service capabilities, broadened coverage in key markets in all, good news for our clients. PricewaterhouseCoopers today operates in over 158 countries, where 169,000 of our people work hard every day to meet the needs of clients of all sizes and descriptions.
The firm began in our country in 1914, when Charles Theedman was charged by Price Waterhouse headquarters in London to establish a presence in the port of Valparaiso to serve nitre companies and other businesses that operated in Chile with British capital. Since then, we have participated in many of the most significant milestones in Chile's business history: auditing the accounts of the government in the 20s, supporting the creation of public services in the 40s and playing a key role in the global expansion of Chilean companies in the 90s. With the 1998 merger we became part of the global PricewaterhouseCoopers organisation.
Today we remain leaders in the Chilean market, serving the top ranks of local and international companies, including half of Chile's "top 100." Our more than 700 professionals operate out of six offices throughout the country: Antofagasta, Viña del Mar, Santiago, Concepción, Valdivia and Puerto Montt. Our reputation for quality rests on our skills and knowledge, our broad and deep experience in the local market¾and our focus on helping our clients succeed.