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April 29, 2009

News Briefs

SATYAM

Price Waterhouse advisory board takes shape

Price Waterhouse India has revealed the make-up of an advisory board that will help the firm repair its reputation in light of the Satyam fraud.

The board will be chaired by former cabinet secretary to the Indian Government and US ambassador Naresh Chandra. Other members of the board include V K Shunglu, a former comptroller and auditor general of India; B B Tandon, a former chief election commissioner of India; and Gautam Banerjee, a senior partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore. A further board member is yet to be announced. It is hoped the board can provide an external perspective to the firm on how to meet the expectations of external stakeholders.

The advisory board was established in the wake of the $1.44 billion Satyam Computer Systems fraud in January.

Price Waterhouse was the auditor of Satyam at the time of the scandal. The advice will focus on quality, business strategy, governance and ethics, leadership development and mentoring.

OVERSIGHT

UK investigation launched into Mazars

Praxity member firm Mazars is being investigated by the UK Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) for advice given to the trustee of the First Quench Pension Fund in connection with an employer substitution.

The AADB’s decision to initiate an investigation was taken following a complaint from the UK Pensions Regulator and after consultation with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Mazars said it was surprised at the AADB’s decision to launch an investigation but is confident the advice it provided was to the highest professional standard. If a disciplinary complaint is upheld, sanctions can be imposed on the firm, including a fine, exclusion from membership of a relevant professional body and withdrawal of practising certificates or licences.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Baker Tilly expands in Scotland

Baker Tilly UK is to merge with Gilchrist & Company in Scotland, effective from 5 May 2009. All staff will join Baker Tilly’s Glasgow office, which will have 85 staff and 10 partners. Baker Tilly has 200 staff and 25 partners in Scotland. The last Baker Tilly merger in Scotland was with Scott & Paterson in Edinburgh in 2007.

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