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April 30, 2008

News briefs

News briefs

Strategy GT opens new office

Grant Thornton US (GT) has announced the opening of the firm’s 50th office. The San Antonio, Texas office will initially support the development of GT’s Global Public Sector (GPS) outside of the Washington DC area and will also use its existing defence client base. Additionally, the new office will assist in accomplishing other GPS business objectives, including serving as a focus for the expansion of the GPS’s state and local government practice. GT chief executive Edward Nusbaum said the new office would expand the firm’s footprint in the south-west.

People PCAOB member to leave Kayla Gillan, a founding member of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has announced that she will leave the board at the end of January 2008. Gillan said she was proud to have been part of building the PCAOB from scratch. Her role with the board has included spearheading its small business program. PCAOB Chairman Mark Olson said: “Kayla has been invaluable in sensitising the board to investor issues as they relate to our work. She also designed and led our outreach to smaller issuers and auditors.”

PeopleExecutive group expands

Deloitte UK vice chairman Margaret Ewing and Deloitte UK senior partner Graham Richardson have been appointed to the firm’s executive group. John Connolly, Deloitte UK senior partner and chief executive, commented: “Margaret and Graham have a wealth of experience and lead significant business areas within the firm. Their focus is on providing a range of financial, consulting and advisory services to our clients.”

Mergers and Acquisitions Rochester firms merge

Freed Maxick & Battaglia (FMB), a US member of the Leading Edge Alliance, has announced it intends to merge with Rochester firm Bernardi & Russo. FMB has 230 professional and administrative staff at offices in Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester. The merger will double the size of the firm’s Rochester work force, bringing the number of staff to 22 and putting it ahead of schedule to reach its target of 30 employees by the end of 2008. FMB managing director Robert Glaser said the two firms previously had a close working relationship.

Strategy A&M adds technology services Consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) has added technology asset management to its services as a way of deriving greater value from technology investments and improving overall performance. Led by chief executive Charlie Hendrickson, the group will be based in the firm’s new office in Tampa, Florida. Also joining Hendrickson to lead the new group are senior directors Jenifer Slocum, William McManus and Larry Stahl as well as directors Carol Stemmle and Shane Philips.

People Firm appoints tax leader Smith & Williamson, a UK member firm of Nexia International, has appointed Alan Long as senior tax manager within the national tax investigations team. The firm said Long has more than 20 years’ experience of tax investigations, including ten years working for the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs in its special civil investigations unit. There, he dealt with serious fraud tax issues on both a civil and criminal basis, as well as acting as criminal prosecution team group leader.

Mergers and Acquisitions DFK expands in US Seven-partner firm Mellott & Mellott has joined DFK International/USA. The association now has 26 member firms in the US and said it has almost doubled its fee income during the past four years to $289 million. DFK International/USA executive director Jay Hauck said: “A mix of recruiting some excellent new firms combined with strong organic growth by existing members has produced this result.” Mellott & Mellott is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was founded in 1956. It is led by Donald Mellott, the third generation of the family to hold the position.

People GT boosts tax team Grant Thornton UK has expanded its tax team with the appointment of a new partner. Peter Woodall, who will be based at the firm’s Bristol office, was employed by Grant Thornton between 1994 and 1999. He is returning to the mid-tier firm following stints at two Big Four firms, where he advised on tax issues in relation to company disposals, acquisitions, management buyouts and company flotation. Woodall said he wanted to rejoin Grant Thornton because of “the firm’s strong entrepreneurial culture”.

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