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October 8, 2009

News DigestNewds

RECRUITMENT

KPMG China appoints new partners

KPMG China has appointed 28 partners and principals as part of the firm’s growth strategy.

Over the past few years, the firm has expanded its headcount to more than 9,500 people and expects its numbers in China to exceed 10,000 by 2010.

“Despite the challenges we face in the current business environment, we remain focused on providing high-quality services to our clients and to our long-term growth strategy,” KPMG China chairman Carlson Tong commented.

Tong said the firm is planning to recruit between 1,500 and 1,700 new graduates in the coming year.

STRATEGY

HLB Netherlands network expands

Accountancy and tax consultancy firm Kallen Raeven has joined the HLB Netherlands network.

The firm is based in the city of Limburg, in the south east of the Netherlands, and has almost 100 staff.

Kallen Raeven partner Leo Peters said joining HLB will allow the firm to provide clients with personal service, while offering access to an international network.

HLB Netherlands consists of five firms, with combined fee income of about €66 million ($96.4 million) in their most recent financial year.

Their firms have combined staff of about 650.

HLB International has member firms in more than 100 countries with annual revenue of more than $1.9 billion and 13,500 staff.

LEGAL

Icelandic police raid PwC and KPMG offices

Police in Iceland have raided the Reykjavik offices of KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as part of an investigation into alleged criminal activity at three collapsed Icelandic banks.

The police have allegedly seized documents and computer data from the firms.

The Icelandic investigator, Olafur Thor Hauksson, is said to be investigating a possible violation of laws on accounting and annual reports, violation of laws on financial institutions and securities transactions, and violations of laws on public limited companies.

KPMG Iceland chief executive Sigurdur Jonsson said the raids related to some of the firm’s clients but none of the firm’s staff had been questioned.

He added that the investigations were not focused on any KPMG staff or the firm itself.

Several Icelandic banks have been under investigation since February following allegations of fraud, embezzlement and market manipulation.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

PwC Canada acquires Ontario office

PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada (PwC) has merged with Ontario firm Goldfarb, Shulman, Patel & Co (Goldfarb).

The merger brings PwC a new office in the industrial community of Concord, which is now PwC’s York region private company services office.

PwC has a dedicated private company services practice and real estate industry group and growing these is a major strategic focus of the firm, according to Israel Mida, the Greater Toronto Area leader of PwC’s private company services practice.

“Goldfarb, Shulman, Patel & Co has been a very successful firm and a leading player in the real estate and construction industry for many years,” Mida said.

“We are looking forward to building on our collective strengths and experience as leaders in serving the privately owned real estate and construction market.”

The concord office will be led by Goldfarb managing partner Jag Patel.

Patel said Goldfarb clients will benefit from the merger by gaining access to additional services and expertise. Goldfarb was formerly a member of UHY International. The merger was effective on 1 October.

STRATEGY

KPMG Europe welcomes Luxembourg firm

KPMG Europe is to expand to 14 members with the addition of Luxembourg, joining recent entrants KPMG Commonwealth of Independent States and KPMG Turkey.

In the 2008 financial year, KPMG Luxembourg’s 900 staff generated fee income of more than €100 million ($145 million).

The 14-member European firm now has more than 30,000 partners and staff working from more than 100 offices with net revenues of about €4.7 billion, according to combined 2008 figures.

KPMG Luxembourg offers the whole spectrum of services with a strong focus on the financial services sector, including a 21 percent audit market share in regulated investment funds, the firm said.

KPMG Europe added that its Luxembourg clients include a variety of subsidiaries of internationally operating banks and insurance companies as well as the European Investment Bank.

PEOPLE

Vantis appoints forensic partner

UK publicly-listed mid-tier consolidator Vantis, a member of HLB International, has appointed Michael Taub as a client partner within its forensic accounting and dispute resolution division.

Taub, who started his new role this week, will act as an expert witness in a wide variety of UK and international litigation and arbitration cases, such as commercial, shareholder and matrimonial disputes; professional negligence; wrongful and fraudulent trading; other criminal and civil fraud; and personal injury.

He was previously national head of forensic services at Baker Tilly.

Taub is an experienced witness in the High Court and the International Court of Arbitration.

He has also testified in the US Tax Court as well as prepared evidence for and attending the European Court in Luxembourg.

STRATEGY

Grant Thornton US launches new stock option service

Grant Thornton US has combined the resources of its compensation and benefits consulting and valuation services groups to provide a new under water stock option service.

The term ‘under water’ is used when the current price of the stock sinks below the exercise price of options.

“Stock options have generally played a critical role in US companies’ total compensation programmes, making up the majority of equity-based incentives granted to key employees and executives,” Grant Thornton US executive director Don Nemerov said.

The new service will help companies develop strategic frameworks for exploring exchange strategies.

It will also analyse the extent of the issue and model alternative scenarios that quantify programme effects on cost, dilution and likely participation.

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