Mazars builds insurance

Mazars has appointed two partners to
its insurance practice. Gary Oliver and Jean Claude Lam Hung will
join the governance, risk and internal control (GRIC) team at the
firm’s London practice.

Mazars said Oliver has more than 15 years of
experience in the non-life insurance sector, providing internal
audit, advisory and regulatory consulting services to Lloyd’s
syndicates, brokers, insurance and reinsurance companies.

For the past three years, he was a risk
management and compliance director at insurance company underwriter
Ark Syndicate Management.

Lam Hung has more than 10 years of non-life
insurance experience, providing internal audit and internal control
advisory services to Lloyd’s syndicates, brokers, insurance and
reinsurance companies.

Most recently he led the insurance internal
audit practice at BDO Stoy Hayward.

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Deloitte UK accused of conflict of interest

Woolworths Group former chairman
Richard North has accused UK firm Deloitte of a potential conflict
of interest in relation to the firm’s dual role as both adviser to
Woolworths’ banking syndicate and then administrator once the
retail giant collapsed in November last year.

North and former chief executive of Woolworths
Group Steve Johnson claimed Deloitte played a key role in the
lender’s decision to reject an emergency rescue plan devised by the
Woolworths management team.

The former executives said Deloitte’s
objectivity may have been compromised by the higher fees on offer
by acting as Woolworths administrator. As administrator, Deloitte
earned £3.8 million ($6.3 million) in fees.

“There is a conflict of interest. They are not
going to look positively on plans to stop a business failing,”
North said.

The Deloitte partner who led the Woolworths
administration, Neville Khan, strongly rebutted the claims and
pointed out it was the directors of Woolworths who approved
Deloitte’s appointment as administrator and this had no bearing on
the collapse.

“The reason Woolworths failed was because it
was making substantial losses. Its working capital was impacted
because of the withdrawal of credit insurance and it ran out of
money,” Khan said.

The failure of the one of the UK’s longest
standing household retail brands resulted in nearly 30,000 jobs
losses and 800 store closures.

E&Y appoints partners

Ernst & Young UK has appointed
12 new partners, including three from rival firms.

Alison Christian, Emi Kono, Carmel Moore,
Terry Moore, Vincent Oratore, Robert Russo and Carolyn Steppler
have been appointed to the firm’s tax practice.

Martin Cook, Errol Gardner and Dave Ryerkerk
have been appointed to the firm’s advisory services team, and Imran
Ahmed has been appointed to the insurance claims management

All of the partners are based in London.

Russell Bedford US member expands

PMB Helin Donovan, a Russell Bedford
International US member firm, has expanded by opening a new office
in Dallas, Texas.

Two new partners have been appointed and the
firm now has 15 partners and 92 employees.

One new partner, Jeffery Jamieson, was
previously at a Big Four firm and is experienced in serving real
estate, financial services and technology companies.

The second new partner, Michelle Strain, has
been at the firm since 2008.

PwC backs England’s World Cup bid

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has
become the first sponsor backing England’s bid to host the 2018
FIFA Football World Cup.

PwC will provide advice on various aspects of
the bid, including discussions with key stakeholders such as the UK
government, applicant host cities and FIFA, football’s governing
world body.

Preliminary economic impact figures indicate
that staging the tournament could be worth up to £3.2 billion ($5.3
billion) to the English economy.

The 2018 world cup host will be decided by
FIFA in December 2010.

KPMG Spain builds advisory practice

KPMG Spain has grown its advisory
practice with the addition of 18 professionals.

New hires include partners Alvaro Sanmartin,
Carlos Trevijano and Jose Angel Cantera, and directors Ignacio
Portela, Jose Manuel Cea, Iriberri Mikel and Javier San Miguel.

Within KPMG’s 600 strong advisory business,
the performance and technology practice will be led by José Luis
Guillen. Risk and compliance comes under the responsibility of Paul
Bernard, and Hilary Albarracín will lead transactions and

Meyers Norris Penny grows in Canada

Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) has
expanded by merging with two Canadian firms.

Ontario firm Collins Barrow Region of Waterloo
and Vancouver firm Cinnamon Jang Willoughby will operate under the
MNP name from January 2010.

MNP is the seventh-largest firm in Canada,
with a workforce of more than 2,500 people from Vancouver Island
and Greater Toronto.

“Working together with like-minded firms will
allow us to keep our strong brand and maintain a high degree of
independence,” MNP chief executive Daryl Ritchie said.

Deloitte launches recruitment programme in Middle East

Deloitte is to launch a recruitment
programme in the Middle East targeted at graduates.

The ‘Deloitte Invites Top Talent’ initiative
is being implemented in Beirut, Amman, Riyadh, Jeddah and Al
Khobar. So far 250 students have joined.

The goal is to provide experience in areas
such as auditing, consulting, risk and financial or tax advisory

Assessment activities include meeting Deloitte
leaders and working in teams with professionals on case studies
where they are required to role play employee

AGN International admits UK member firm

AGN International has admitted UK
firm Wright Vigar to its membership.

Wright Vigar provides audit, accounting,
taxation and other work, focusing on the charity sector, corporate
finance and tax consultancy. The new member firm has five
shareholder directors, 44 qualified staff and 18 admin staff.

Audalia merges with Madrid practice

Audalia, a member firm of MSI Global
Alliance, is to merge with a small auditing practice in Madrid. The
combination will increase Audalia’s headcount to 60 staff. Joaquin
Martin becomes a new partner in the firm’s Barcelona office.