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September 29, 2008

Region round-up

• Deloitte China has appointed 44 new partners across a range of services…• The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants has celebrated its centenary…• The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants has published a research report…• Mid-tier association AGN International has admitted a new member firm in Egypt…• PricewaterhouseCoopers Czech Republic (PwC) has appointed two directors…

Asia-Pacific

Deloitte China has appointed 44 new partners across a range of services, including audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory and risk management.

The firm said the appointments reflect the firm’s recognition of high-performing professionals, as well as its commitment to developing service lines. The new partners are located in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou and Tianjin.

• The New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants has celebrated its centenary. Formerly known as the New Zealand Society of Accountants, the organisation was officially established on 15 September 1908. New Zealand Minister of Commerce Lianne Dalziel was a guest at the anniversary celebrations.

• The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants has published a research report giving an overview of the new limited liability audit corporation system. Japan’s Certified Public Accounting Law was changed in June 2007 allowing audit firms to choose between operating as a limited liability partnership or non-limited liability partnership from 1 April 2008. Previously, all accounting firms were required to be organised as non-limited partnerships. The report also includes practical steps that should be considered by firms when changing partnership structures. It is available in Japanese only.

• The global accountancy association Enterprise Network Worldwide has strengthened its Asian presence by admitting a Malaysian member firm. Tan Yen Wooi & Co, a Penang-based accountancy firm, specialises in assurance, advisory, tax planning, secretarial matters, internal auditing, financial planning and business consultancy.

• Former chief executive of Intech Investment Consultants Michael Monaghan and Big Four superannuation tax partner Noelle Kelleher have been appointed as partners within the superannuation practice at Deloitte Australia. The appointments follow the acquisition by Deloitte in 2006 of actuarial superannuation advisers Buttler Walker.

Deloitte actuaries and consultants managing partner Andrew Gale said: “Australia has the fourth-largest wealth management industry in the world with superannuation accounting for about 85 percent of that industry. By December 2015 Australia will rank first in the Asia-Pacific region and Deloitte aims to be a dominant provider of professional services to the sector.”

CPA Australia said it has been awarded a contract by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to develop an accounting practice guide for small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs). The guide will cover a diverse range of strategic and operational topics and will help firms practise in a safe, profitable and professional manner, CPA Australia said.

It is intended to help member bodies and SMPs in countries where the profession is in a developmental phase or where neither IFAC member bodies nor commercial providers have published practice management guidance.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia

Ernst & Young Global will donate $1 million of in-kind resources over the next three years to person-to-person micro-lending website Kiva.org. The website helps connect developing world entrepreneurs with individuals who want to loan funds.

Ernst & Young Global chief executive Jim Turley commented: “The work we will be conducting with Kiva.org is well-aligned with what we see as Ernst & Young’s broader corporate responsibility, which is to put our people’s workplace skills toward making a difference in our communities around the world.

“We recognise the power of entrepreneurship for job creation and poverty alleviation and we are pleased to be able to use our experience to help Kiva.org assist these unique and innovative entrepreneurs in developing countries.”

• The Dubai Financial Services Authority has appointed Paul Koster as chief executive. Koster succeeds David Knott who retires from full-time employment in December this year.

The incoming chief executive was previously commissioner and a member of the executive board for the Netherlands authority for financial markets – Autoriteit Financiële Markten and chairman of the financial arm of the Committee of European Securities Regulators.

• Mid-tier association AGN International has admitted a new member firm in Egypt. Joseph Andel Messih & Co has two offices in Cairo, four partners and more than 50 professionals and staff. The firm offers tax advice, audit, accounting and consulting services.

PricewaterhouseCoopers India has opened a new office in Ahmedabad to service an increasing demand for assurance, tax and advisory services locally in Gujarat. Western region managing partner Jairaj Purandare said the office will soon have about 50 qualified professionals and he expects this number to grow to 150 by 2010.

• The Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa has produced a report following its eighth annual congress which took place last year in Cotonou, Benin. The report, Regional integration and economic development in West Africa, outlines seven of the papers presented at the conference.

Topics discussed in the report include the convergence of French and English accounting standards and the harmonisation of accounting standards in the West Africa sub-region to enhance public sector transparency and accountability.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has appointed John Forbes as the real estate industry leader for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Forbes has been with PwC for more than 20 years, including six years in Russia where he led the real estate practice.

Global real estate leader Henrik Steinbrecher said: “The global real estate market is in a period of crisis. The bubble was already bursting before the liquidity crisis, and real estate investors, developers and lenders are now also facing a prolonged period of economic uncertainty. Forbes’ appointment comes at a crucial time to help our clients deal with the challenges they face – his range and depth of experience makes him an ideal choice to lead in this region.”

Europe

• Mazars member firm Marccus Partners, based in Paris, France, has appointed two partners within its corporate M&A and restructuring departments. Christophe Clerc, a corporate M&A, capital markets and corporate governance specialist, was formerly with professional services firm Shearman & Sterling. Pierre Forget, a qualified restructuring and insolvency specialist, was formerly with professional services firm Clifford Chance.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Czech Republic (PwC) has appointed two directors in its assurance department. Richard Jones has been promoted to director of real estate, while Paul Facer becomes director within the firm’s accounting consulting service. Jones has been based at PwC for nine years. Facer specialises in the provision of IFRS advisory services to clients in the financial services sector, particularly banks and insurance companies.

Alvarez & Marsal has strengthened its European representation by opening an office in Madrid. The new office will be co-headed by managing directors Ramón Tisaire and Stefaan Vansteenkiste. Tisaire will be responsible for performance improvement advisory services and Vansteenkiste will be responsible for the firm’s restructuring and turnaround/crisis management advisory services.

• Ireland’s second highest fee earning firm KPMG Ireland has revealed revenues for its 2008 financial year climbed to €307.7 million ($452.8 million) following growth of 14.3 percent. KPMG Ireland’s strong growth followed a 28 percent increase in fee income from 2007. The results push KPMG closer to the Irish market leader PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2008 fee income of €355 million. The firm’s staff total also increased over the past 12 months with about 2,000 people and 85 partners now supporting its clients from offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway. The firm plans to recruit 300 graduates this year.

• Nexia International UK member firm Smith & Williamson has launched a new entrepreneurs’ platform aimed to significantly increase its share of the entrepreneurial and growth business market. The new platform, Enabling Entrepreneurs, includes a registration facility, a new resource centre, an expanding toolkit for entrepreneurs, an events portal and links to other useful websites. The firm already has a strong presence in the entrepreneurial sector but the new platform is an exciting opportunity for growth, according to Smith & Williamson’s managing director of tax and business services Jeremy Boadle.

• The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales has launched a new standalone business qualification. The Certificate in Business Accounting and Finance (CFAB) is intended to widen access to the accountancy profession in the UK and internationally. It comprises six modules from the Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification’s professional stage.

North America, Latin America

• Marc Siegel has been appointed a member of the US Financial Accounting Standards Board by the Financial Accounting Foundation Board of Trustees. Siegel is an expert in forensic accounting and has 17 years of experience in industries including technology, media, telecommunications, health care, retail and insurance. His four-year term will begin on 20 October 2008.

CPAmerica International has strengthened its US membership with the addition of three new member firms. Kushner LaGraize, based in Louisiana, has 52 staff, including nine partners. Florida-based Hughes, Snell & Co has 26 employees, including eight partners. The firm specialises in estates and trusts, professional practices, construction, non-profit organisations and health care industries. Kentner Sellers employs 25 staff, including eight partners.

KPMG US has named Angela Avant as the firm’s first partner in charge of diversity. The newly created position aims to maintain the recruitment, retention and advancement of a diverse team of professionals at KPMG.

• Mark Sponseller has become managing director of the transaction advisory group at professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal US. Sponseller previously worked as a partner for PricewaterhouseCoopers and specialises in providing accounting and transaction advice to private equity clients in the middle market with a focus on add-on acquisitions, direct platform investments and divestitures.

Deloitte US has appointed Donna Schlegel as a director in the firm’s insurance consulting practice. Schlegel, who will be based in New Jersey, will assist insurance and financial services clients with product and service development as well as delivery strategy. Deloitte said Schlegel has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance consulting industry. She most recently served as president of DLS Consulting.

• The US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is seeking comment on three exposure drafts. Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets and Amendments to FASB Interpretation No 46(R) addresses amendments to FASB Statement No 140 Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities, and to FASB Interpretation No 46 Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities. Proposed FASB Staff Position FAS 140-e and FIN 46 (R)-e Disclosures about Transfers of Financial Assets and Interests in Variable Interest Entities focuses on related disclosure requirements for public entities.

• A Grant Thornton US audit partner has been appointed to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Women’s Initiative Executive Committee. Jacqueline Akerblom, who is also the firm’s national managing partner of women’s initiatives and programmes, will begin her two-year term next month. Made up of representatives from both large and small firms, the committee focuses on developing best practices and tools for accounting firms interested in launching women’s initiatives.

• The former US chief of staff for the Joint Task Force Global Network Operations, Colonel Gary McAlum, has joined the federal government services practice at Deloitte US.

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