After parting ways with its former member firm in Singapore earlier this year, Grant Thornton has set up a new member firm in the country from scratch.

With plans to focus more on advisory and tax, as opposed to audit, the firm plans to double its 25-strong workforce by the end of this year. It is also targeting the financial services industry as well as the energy sector in the city state. "Singapore has continued to reaffirm its position as the leading financial hub in this region," Grant Thornton Singapore chief executive Peter Allen told International Accounting Bulletin.

Grant Thornton – which was previously represented by Foo, Kon & Tan in Singapore – is also pitching itself as the challenger brand to the Big Four audit and accounting firms in Singapore.

Citing their low ratio of partners-to-professionals (1:10) as its distinct advantage, Allen believes that this "ensures that clients are equipped with dedicated attention and intelligence from partners".

With the launch of the member firm in Singapore, Allen also hopes it will be the centre for regional collaboration. Although he started as chief executive in the Singapore firm in April, Allen spent the bulk of his time in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila and Kuala Lumpur – "making sure that I’m fully familiar with their capabilities in those locations".

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Written by Xiou Ann Lim