Grant Thornton Russia has merged with
assurance and consulting firm Rosexpertiza, expanding its presence
in the country.

Rosexpertiza has 30 partners and 650 staff at
offices across the country, including Moscow, St Petersburg and
Kazan. In International Accounting Bulletin’s most recent
Russia survey, Grant Thornton would now have more staff than the
seventh largest firm RSM Top Audit, which has 542 people.

Managing partners of the combined firm will be
Sergey Aslibekian and Alexander Kozlov.

“This merger of our fast growing firm with a
true pioneer of the Russian assurance and consulting services
market is one of the first examples of consolidation amongst major
audit companies in the local market and it will certainly set a
trend,” Grant Thornton Russia current managing partner Aslibekian

Aslibekian told International Accounting
he would not rule out further merger activities.

“As far as I am concerned we hope to continue
our expansion: one of the key-elements of our strategy in Russia is
growing by M&A activities, as you can see looking at our
history,” he said. “We’ll always be looking at the market and we’ll
continue to look at the market.”

Assuming the Russian GDP will continue to
grow, Aslibekian said the accounting market will continue to grow,
“though not a double-digit growth and subject to a number of
things, including the whole world economic situation”.

Rosexpertiza general director Alexander Kozlov
added the decision to merge was taken to strengthen the firm’s
market position.

Grant Thornton International chief executive
Ed Nusbuam said: “Russia is a key market in the global economy and
immensely important to us. I look forward to seeing the firm go
from strength to strength in the coming years.”