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.


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

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


Icelandic police raid PwC and KPMG

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.


PwC Canada acquires Ontario office

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

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

“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.


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

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

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


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

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


Grant Thornton US launches new stock option

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

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

“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.