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Dennis Morrone to Lead Non-Profit and Higher Ed Practices for Grant Thornton 

Dennis Morrone

Chicago-based IPA 100 firm Grant Thornton has appointed Dennis Morrone national MP of the firm’s not-for-profit and higher education practices, succeeding the retiring Mark Oster effective Aug. 1.

Morrone has been with Grant Thornton since 2002, having previously served as the national PIC of audit services in the not-for-profit and higher education practices for the firm. He is a sitting member of FASB’s not-for-profit advisory committee, and has developed and taught a number of courses on not-for-profit accounting and compliance topics.

“This year’s historic disruptions have dramatically impacted the not-for-profit and higher education spaces,” says Grant Thornton CEO Brad Preber. “Dennis’s excellent leadership and client-service skills will help our clients overcome today’s exigent challenges, while also managing the long-standing trends that require shrewd decision making.”

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Robert Shea to Lead Public Policy Group at Grant Thornton

Robert Shea

Chicago-based Grant Thornton, an IPA 100 firm, has named Robert Shea as the new national MP of its public policy group. Shea will assume the role effective Aug. 1, taking over for the retiring Mary Moore Hamrick.

In his new role, Shea will serve as the firm’s primary liaison with members of Congress, serve as the chair of the firm’s political action committee and represent the firm’s policy positions with the accounting profession’s standards-setters, regulators and other policymakers. He will also retain his existing role as a principal in the strategy practice at Grant Thornton Public Sector LLC.

Prior to his last 10 years with Grant Thornton Shea served for six years as the associate director for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he led an award-winning initiative to measure government programs using its Program Assessment Rating Tool and oversaw programs to implement large-scale personnel reform at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

“Robert’s sterling credentials and track record improving federal governance make him the ideal person to represent Grant Thornton among policymakers,” says Grant Thornton CEO Brad Preber. “Moreover, he will be a leading voice for the accounting and consulting profession as it helps America surmount the historic disruptions and daunting challenges it now faces.”

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Carlos Ferreira to Lead Private Equity Services at Grant Thornton

Carlos Ferreira

Carlos Ferreira is the new national MP of private equity services for Chicago-based IPA 100 firm Grant Thornton. Ferreira will assume the role effective August 1, taking over for the retiring Doug Gawrych.

In his new role, Ferreira will lead the strategic direction for a range of private equity services, including areas such as growth, transformation, operations, resilience, compliance and diligence. He will also serve on the firm’s national leadership team, and will retain his role as the global co-leader for transaction advisory services at Grant Thornton International Ltd.

As a transaction advisory partner, Ferreira previously led the advisory services practice for Grant Thornton’s metro New York and New England market territory, supporting transaction strategies for private equity firms and their portfolio companies. His almost 25 years of experience includes work in buy- and sell-side due diligence, integration and exits for private equity investors and cross-border transactions in Europe, South America, Africa, North America and Asia.

“Carlos is an outstanding leader who will step into a critical role during a time of historic disruption and uncertainty,” says Grant Thornton CEO Brad Preber. “He will ensure we are consistently providing quality, value and innovative solutions to help our private equity clients.”

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Lisa Walkush to Lead Firmwide Industry Program at Grant Thornton

Lisa Walkush

Chicago-based Grant Thornton, an IPA 100 firm, has named Lisa Walkush as national MP of the firm’s industry program. In this new role, Walkush will oversee all strategy and operations for a program that includes of a broad range of more than 15 different industries.

Walkush previously served as national leader of the firm’s life sciences industry practice. She has experience in enterprise program management, customer relationship management and operational excellence, as well as compliance, validation and technology consulting services.

“Lisa is an exceptional leader who understands that every business is facing historic new challenges – not to mention longstanding industry trends that are equally significant,” says CEO Brad Preber. “She is the ideal person to help build industry teams that will deliver Grant Thornton’s unique mix of quality, value and innovation to our clients.”

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New Grant Thornton Partnership Focuses on Digital Transformation

Chicago-based Grant Thornton, an IPA 100 firm, is teaming with corporate performance management (CPM) outfit OneStream Software to help clients accelerate their digital transformation and streamline their financial operations on the OneStream XF platform.

The goal is for companies to be able to unify their data and simplify their financial planning, forecasting and analysis by migrating from multiple legacy systems and cloud-point solutions to one platform. Grant Thornton will also deliver its Unified Financial Model on the OneStream XF platform, enabling financial scenario planning using factors such as revenue data, expense analytics and human capital information to generate projected financial statements.

“To put it simply, this alliance means Grant Thornton and OneStream can help enable companies to make educated business decisions and deploy comprehensive financial solutions on a leading performance-management platform,” says Chris Lilley, Grant Thornton’s national managing principal of business applications.

“Grant Thornton is helping drive the digital transformation of the finance team with its highly respected services and its strong commitment to quality – and focus on putting its customers first,” adds OneStream Software vice president of global alliances Stephanie Cramp. “This complements OneStream’s strengths and our own mission to deliver 100% customer success. These similarities have helped forge a powerful alliance that is already delivering results.”

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Grant Thornton Names New OMPs and Principals

Chicago-based Grant Thornton, an IPA 100 firm, announced the following new OMPs:

  • Brett Beightol, OMP – Orange County, Calif., replacing Alan Herrmann effective Aug. 1
  • Mike Desmond, OMP – Charlotte, N.C., replacing Dave Wedding effective Aug. 1
  • David Gifford, OMP – Phoenix, replacing Tim Zingraf effective Aug. 1
  • Doreen Griffith, OMP – Dallas, replacing Wally Gruenes effective Aug. 1
  • Amanda McCarty, OMP – San Jose, Calif., replacing Tony Perazzo effective Aug. 1
  • Bryan Merrigan, OMP – Metropark, N.J., replacing Matt DiDonato effective immediately
  • Jason Perry, OMP – Atlanta, replacing Wade Weeks effective Aug. 1
  • Dan Powers, OMP – Seattle, effective Aug. 1
  • Barbara Koosa Ryan, OMP – Columbia, S.C., replacing Mark Ballew effective Aug. 1
  • Seth Siegel, OMP – Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., replacing Doug Gawrych effective Aug. 1
  • Adam Steinmetz, OMP – San Diego, replacing Brett Beightol effective immediately
  • Rimma Tabakh, OMP – San Francisco, replacing Tony Perazzo effective Aug. 1

In addition, Mark Sullivan has been named office managing principal of the firm’s Chicago office, replacing Vince Tomkinson effective immediately.

“Our new office managing partners and principals are the definition of servant leaders – professionals who are committed to our firm’s people, clients and communities,” says CEO Brad Preber. “It is a privilege to name such a talented and accomplished slate of leaders to provide our clients with innovative, high-quality solutions during the challenging times ahead.”

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BKD Takes on Part of Grant Thornton’s Municipal Government Audit Practice

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY18 net revenue of $662.9 million) has reached an agreement with Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY18 net revenue of $1.87 billion) to acquire a portion of the latter’s municipal government audit practice, most of which is based in Texas and Oklahoma. BKD will also acquire several not-for-profit (NFP), commercial and benefit plan clients in the transaction, providing a boost to one of the firm’s fastest-growing niches.

As part of the deal, BKD is admitting three new partners: Ben Kohnle joined the firm’s Dallas office effective April 1; Angie Dunlap will join the Houston office on June 15; and Dan Barron will join the Dallas office on Aug. 15.

“We’re excited about the clients that Ben, Dan and Angie will bring to BKD, and we also see tremendous promise in their abilities to help us grow our public sector practice, especially with large cities and public universities,” says BKD CEO Ted Dickman. “The South region’s public sector and NFP practice has grown nearly 14% in FY 2020 so far, and adding this new talent will help us maintain our momentum into 2021 and beyond.”

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Grant Thornton Embraces Blockchain Technology

With global supply chains facing major disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY18 net revenue of $1.87 billion) is launching a new blockchain-enabled offering for intercompany transactions. The firm’s inter.x system provides real-time data analytics dashboards to monitor things like transfer-pricing compliance and cashflow management, and can offer deeper insight into rapidly changing supply chains.

By integrating disparate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, aggregating real-time data and establishing end-to-end workflows that behave like a single transaction, inter.x is designed to reduce the human capital required for such work. The idea is to allow companies to make immediate decisions based on the data in front of them instead of waiting for the end of an accounting cycle, and to create a permanent and unforgeable audit trail.

“Grant Thornton designed inter.x to provide a simple user experience that can red-flag missed opportunities tied to intercompany transactions and identify instances when transactions may have fallen short of company policies,” says Jamie Fowler, the firm’s chief transformation officer. “The inter.x solution has a simple value proposition: Companies bring their underlying data, while inter.x brings the automation and transparency.”

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Grant Thornton in UK Gives Staff Offer: 40% Pay Cut or Voluntary Sabbatical

One of Britain’s largest accounting firms is combatting the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic by “inviting” thousands of staff to agree to a 40% pay cut or a sabbatical, The Financial Times reported.

Grant Thornton said that the move would help it to support staff and clients while navigating “clearly exceptional times,” the newspaper reported.

The firm encouraged staff to consider the pay cut, with a similar reduction in hours, until the end of May, or a sabbatical until June while being paid 30% of their standard compensation.

The firm employs about 4,500 people in the UK.

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Grant Thornton Announces New Roles for David Platt, Nichole Jordan

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY18 net revenue of $1.87 billion) has named David Platt as its MP for the firm’s East region while expanding the role of regional MP Nichole Jordan by adding the Midwest to a portfolio that previously consisted of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

The roles complement an existing position held by Grant Thornton partner Tony Perazzo, who is the MP for the firm’s West region – a position he has held since 2019. He also serves as the OMP in the San Francisco Bay area.

The triumvirate of roles will allow Grant Thornton to more quickly respond to market opportunities and clients, while also supporting people and culture initiatives, the firm says.

Prior to his new role, Platt served as the Northeast region MP. Before that, he was the firm’s New England MP. He works with organizations on financial matters that include strategic planning, corporate board governance, profitability enhancements, and merger and acquisition services. He has served clients as an audit partner in a variety of industries.

Jordan became Grant Thornton’s MP for the Central region in December 2019. She has held a number of senior leadership roles since joining the firm in 2003. She most recently served as the national MP of markets, clients and industry, overseeing more than 1,000 client relationships, industry sectors, regions, sales, market intelligence and analytics.

Perazzo serves public and private audit clients, primarily in the technology and manufacturing industries, with a specialty in the food and beverage sector. He has also worked extensively with large multi-national companies, handling key financial matters. These include initial public offerings and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. Prior to his current role, he was the firm’s California market leader.

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