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November 29, 2009updated 29 Apr 2022 11:49am

News Digest

PEOPLE Mazars builds insurance team

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.

ETHICS 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.

RECRUITMENT 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 team.

All of the partners are based in London.

STRATEGY 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.

STRATEGY 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.

STRATEGY 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 restructuring.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS 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.

RECRUITMENT 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 services.

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

STRATEGY 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.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS 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.

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