A round-up of the latest news, appointments, executive moves and acquisitions from the world of practice in August 2017.
* * *
Mazars promotes three new partners
31 Aug - Mazars has promoted three new partners from the tax and global infrastructure finance business lines across the UK and US.
Vaneera Khurana has become the employment tax partner. With 14 years’ experience in employment tax, Khurana is responsible for growing the employment tax practice. Before she joined Mazars in 2014, Khurana served as PwC’s senior manager of human resource tax for 13 years and also worked in their audit practice. As well as her tax experience, she is ACCA qualified.
After working with Mazars for five years, Ben Morris ascends to the global Infrastructure finance partner position. Morris started with the firm after four years with KPMG where he was manager of energy corporate finance. Since then, he has progressed from senior manager in the renewable energy space to the director of infrastructure advisory and valuations.
Across the pond, Haydn Palliser is the recipient of the third partner promotion, leading the global financial modelling business. Palliser’s expertise in the financial modelling field has led him to delivering lectures at MIT, Harvard and Columbia. He will also act as regional co-lead for the Americas.
Phil Verity, Mazars’ UK senior partner, said: “The success of our business is based upon recognising and developing the skills and expertise of our people. Vaneeta, Ben and Haydn represent the breadth of experience, entrepreneurial outlook and client focus to which we all aspire. I am proud to welcome these talented and dedicated people to the partnership.”
* * *
Former RSM partner joins Wilkins Kennedy
24 Aug - Wilkins Kennedy has hired Steve Jacob as tax partner at the firm’s Maidstone office.
With more than 20 years’ experience, Jacob specialises in structuring and shareholder planning, offshore structures and transitions for corporates and individuals. He started his career training at Arthur Andersen. Since then he served as the tax director with RSM Tenon and then progressing to partner under RSM UK. In this role Jacob specialised in business tax.
Commenting on his appointment, Jacob said “I am thrilled to have been appointed as Partner at Wilkins Kennedy and I am pleased to be part of a firm that mirrors my own values in terms of delivery and one to one service.”
* * *
Hall Morrice creates new senior tax post
28 Aug - Aberdeen-based Hall Morrice has appointed Shona Duncan as senior tax manager after a growing client demand for tax services.
Duncan comes to the firm from Halliburton where she was UK regional tax manager. Duncan explained that she had considered returning to general practice for some time. As well as the variety that general practice offers, Duncan looks forward to applying her expertise in corporate tax, VAT and payroll.
Commenting on the need to create the new post, Shonagh Fraser, a partner at the firm, explained: “Hall Morrice has experienced an uplift in demand for tax and payroll services over the past year, due to an increased need for the accountancy function to provide added value to businesses.”
* * *
Rathbones plans Smith & Williamson merger
21 Aug - Wealth management firm Rathbones is close to completing a £2bn takeover of Smith & Williamson, which would give them access to the accountancy firm’s tax advisers.
As first reported on Sky News, the deal would bring the eighth biggest accountancy firm under Rathbones roof. But it is still unclear whether the wealth management firm would retain the adviser division of Smith & Williamson.
Sky News reports that the deal is expected “within weeks”. In addition to adding Smith & Williamson’s asset management division, the report says the access to tax advisers would help Rathbones’ clients who are seeking sophisticated wealth management services.
In a statement Rathbones confirmed the talks: "Whilst these discussions have been underway for some time and the boards of both Rathbones and Smith & Williamson are confident that the combination would bring meaningful benefits for the stakeholders of both businesses, discussions are ongoing and there can be no certainty any transaction will be agreed.”
* * *
BDO appoints new forensic expert
21 Aug – Steven Law, a forensic accounting expert, has joined BDO as a partner with the London forensic team.
Law comes with experience working at Big Four firms KPMG and Deloitte in the UK, US and Canada. His areas of expertise include as an expert witness, and client disputes. Law has experience dealing with quantification of losses, contentious private business valuations and post-acquisition disputes.
In a statement, BDO’s managing partner Paul Eagland stressed the importance of having experts in legal and financial investigations because it gives clients “peace of mind” during challenging times. He added: “The team has considerable experience in advising on complex disputes and litigious matters across multiple jurisdictions. Steven’s appointment reinforces our commitment to attracting and retaining the best talent in this area.”
* * *
Crowther Accountants banks on former HSBC commercial manager
16 Aug – Yorkshire-based Crowther Accountants has appointed a former HSBC senior commercial banking manager as its new business development manager.
David Busfield who has been an associate of the firm for many years will focus on generating new opportunities, working with existing and managing sales activities. He started his career in 1976 working in the retail banking sector before moving into the commercial and corporate environment over 20 years ago.
Commenting on his new role, Busfield said: “In the past we’ve shared some of the same customers and I’ve always been impressed with the way Crowther do things. The team is extremely proactive, on-the-ball and quick to spot opportunities for clients.
“So when this new role became available and I saw their plans for growth, I decided that I wanted to be part of it. I’m excited to be joining such a great team.”
* * *
PwC expands insight services
2 Aug - PwC’s acquisition of Optimisa Research signals an expansion of its insight consulting business, particularly its qualitative and consumer-led research capabilities.
PwC Research, as the merged teams will now be known, expands the firm’s connected insight reach, with additional capacity in London, Belfast and Leeds.
PwC Research leader Honor Mallon said the Optimisa merger would give the firm "unrivalled" market differentiation. "By merging our business expertise, research capability and data analytics we can provide insight that will help organisations worldwide, make better strategic decisions."
* * *
Pullan Barnes joins Baldwins group
1 Aug - Baldwins continues to add to its rapidly increasing portfolio with the announcement of its latest acquisition, Durham-based firm Pullan Barnes.
News of the acquisition comes as Pullan Barnes celebrates its 25 year anniversary. The firm’s partners Mike Barnes and Yasmin Bari will continue to lead both its offices, while co-founder Keith Pullan will stay with the firm as a consultant.
Bari said: “In a year where we have been reflecting on the firm’s past successes, it’s fitting that we have also been able to future-proof the business by joining the Baldwins Group.”
The deal increases Baldwins’ North East presence, joining the recent acquisitions of Rowlands, SV Bye, Brennan Neil & Leonard and GT Grant. Commenting on Baldwins’ North East expansion, Martin Barber from Baldwins said: “The Group is always on the search for potential areas where it can use its specialisms to help businesses to flourish.”