News briefs

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

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.”

Executive 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
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.

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.

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

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”.