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October 22, 2009

E&Y alters Chinese management structure with appointment of Ng

Ernst & Young Hong Kong (E&Y) has confirmed the appointment of Albert Ng as sub-area managing partner for the firm’s Greater China practice, allaying rumours the reshuffle was the result of the fallout from the firm’s Akai Holdings settlement.

The change introduces a dedicated leader for Greater China, which encompasses mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

As part of this change, David Sun and Jim Hassett remain as co-area managing partners for the Far East area, retaining overall managerial responsibility for the Far East, which encompasses 20,000 people and 16 countries.

There was media speculation Sun stepped down from his co-area managing partner position due to the Akai case but a spokesman for the firm denied this was the case.

Last month, the Big Four firm settled with the liquidator of the Chinese consumer electronics company for an undisclosed amount and suspended one of its partners after finding some of the documents in the audits of Akai could “no longer be relied on”.

Akai was declared bankrupt in 2000 owing creditors about $1.1 billion. Former owner James Ting was jailed for six years in 2005 for falsifying accounts.

The consumer electronics maker employed 100,000 staff at the height of its success and had annual sales of HK$40 billion ($5.2 billion) across several brands, including Singer sewing machines, before its bankruptcy.

The E&Y spokesman said that the leadership changes were the result of a plan announced internally in July to enhance its management structure.

The firm added the leadership change was the result of a realignment process intended to bring Greater China’s management structure into line with the firm’s 32 other sub-areas around the world.

As sub-area managing partner, Ng will report directly to Sun and Hassett. Ng is currently the E&Y Far East area markets leader, having held senior leadership roles at other Big Four practices in the course of his 25-year career.

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