People in the News: May 27

Forni Joins Smart Devine as Managing Director

John Forni

John Forni

Smart Devine (FY12 net revenue of $12.1 million) of Philadelphia announced that John Forni has joined the firm as a managing director in their business advisory consulting practice.  Forni will focus on expanding Smart Devine’s domestic and international tax, financial services industry, restructuring and transaction advisory services, specifically in the Greater New York and Mid-Atlantic markets.

Forni has over 25 years’ experience working within the financial services industry advising U.S. and multinational corporations on a diverse range of tax issues and strategies. Most recently, he served as chief tax officer of Chartis and as a vice president at AIG within the P&C Strategic Finance Group.

During his time at AIG, Forni’s focus was on establishing the P&C tax functions, financial reporting, tax planning and restructuring, SOX 404, transfer pricing, tax controversy, tax technology implementation, and Solvency II readiness. Additionally, Forni’s expertise includes capital management including stress testing, rating agency, overall capital adequacy, controls around CCAR capital flows, capital preservation and reinsurance optimization.

“John brings an executive perspective and hands-on experience in the development and implementation of domestic and international business tax strategies,” says Jim Smart, CEO of Smart Devine.


BKD Transitions Into New Management

Doug Gaston

Doug Gaston

Reaching the mandatory retirement age of 62, Doug Gaston will step down May 31 as regional MP at Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY13 net revenue of $417.9 million).

Gaston held the role of regional MP for six years. Before that was PIC of the Kansas City office for 14 years.

Gaston says his transition to retirement is easy because Barry Davis will be moving into his job. Davis has been with BKD for 31 years, spending the past six as MP in Kansas City.



Transactional Tax Specialist Joins Marks Paneth as Partner

New York-based Marks Paneth (FY12 net revenue of $86.9 million) announced that David Gette has joined the firm as a tax partner.

Gette brings over 20 years of tax experience and has an extensive background advising private equity funds and public and private companies on the tax implications of domestic and cross-border transactions. He has represented clients in all aspects of federal taxation including acquisitions, dispositions, internal restructurings, joint ventures, post-deal integration and other capital-related matters. He also provides assistance with deal process preparation as well as tax planning and structuring for potential sale transactions.

“Privately owned companies and their owners comprise an important part of our client base. David’s knowledge of complex transactional tax issues adds value to the services we offer these sophisticated clients,” says Steven Eliach, PIC of the tax practice at Marks Paneth.