HLB International Welcomes New CEO

Marco Donzelli

Marco Donzelli

HLB International, a global accountancy network with presence in 140 countries, has announced that Marco Donzelli has been appointed CEO.

Donzelli, previously COO, is leading the network’s mission to ensure that HLB International cements its position as a global player in the industry.

Donzelli joined HLB International in February 2012 as head of strategic network development and then moved to the position of COO in August 2015. During that time, he has diligently helped grow the network’s cross-border business, and drove HLB International’s growth rate.

David Stene, HLB International chairman, says, “We are delighted to have Marco in place as our CEO. His efforts have led to the significant growth of the network and he is well respected by members and clients alike. He has a great vision for the network and is dedicated to ensuring the future success of HLB International.”

Donzelli’s career has focused on leading business development projects, entrepreneurial initiatives, business transformation and change management programs. He started his career in Italy, where after a brief period with Deloitte, he moved to Deutsche Bank, where he spent over six years in both commercial and internal consultancy roles before moving to the U.K. There, he set up a food-tech business and then joined MagicSolver, a top U.K. mobile innovator.

Donzelli says, “I am excited to be taking up my new position and delivering on our mission to help support our member firms and their clients leverage business advantages that will result in growth.”

PrimeGlobal Welcomes 3G Gadras & Associes and Segeco

PrimeGlobal, comprised of approximately 300 successful independent public accounting firms in 85 countries, has announced the addition of 3G Gadras & Associes and Segeco to the association’s Europe, Middle East & Africa Region.

3G Gadras & Associes is headquartered in Artigues Près Bordeaux, France, and provides services to about 500 companies of all sizes and sectors in the southwest of France and surrounding areas. 3G Gadras & Associés has considerable experience in the wine sector, and works with a number of both wine producers and wine merchants. The firm is also experienced in the auditing of French subsidiaries of international groups.

Segeco, based in Lyon, has 46 offices in France with 700 employees. In addition to providing quality standard accounting and audit services, Segego is experienced in providing quality executive search, cyber security and technology solutions. Segeco also operates with a law firm, specializing in social law, tax and business law, litigation and intellectual property.

PrimeGlobal Announces Axens Audit as its Newest Member Firm in France

PrimeGlobal announces the addition of Axens Audit to the association’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Region.

Axens was established in 1975 in Andrezieux, France, with one employee. Today, the firm
is comprised of seven chartered accountants and more than 100 employees in four offices across the Auvergne Rhône Alpes region.

President and MP Benoît Perin is proud of the depth of the firm’s experience and expertise. Axens boasts an experienced professional staff, which is comprised of chartered accountants from the biggest international audit firms, including several years’ experience in North America; a legal audit team of 16, who are also experienced with international clients; and six specific teams focused on providing top-quality services in accounting, legal audit, tax, payroll, management/transitional services and company law.

Axens is member of France Defi, the first French group of independent chartered accountants. The local and regional support of France Defi, coupled with the international support of PrimeGlobal, ensures that Axens can take care of any client need, PrimeGlobal announced.

Both PrimeGlobal and its EMEA Chief Regional Officer, Thierry Delvaux, are pleased to welcome Axens Audit on board, joining PrimeGlobal’s approximately 300 member firms in 85 countries.

Praxity Celebrates 10th Anniversary

After a decade of consistent growth since its foundation in April 2007, Praxity celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Praxity announced that record global revenues for 2016 make it the world’s largest alliance of independent accounting and consulting firms. Combined global revenues of its 66 participant firms from 100 countries hit a record $4.5 billion. The International Accounting Bulletin’s has named Praxity its Association of the Year.

Praxity Chair Hilton Saven celebrated the anniversary with a tribute to the Alliance’s 45,000 worldwide experts and partners at participant firms. “The continued success of the alliance demonstrates the commitment of participant firms to sharing expertise across international borders and delivering world class service at a local level.”

Praxity’s Executive Director Graeme Gordon says the ‘can do’ attitude of Praxity firms sets it apart. “They take pride in providing a fresh perspective, working collaboratively to deliver an unmatchable service. By working together seamlessly across multiple borders, participant firms provide clients with a truly local yet totally global service.’

Past and present leaders share the view that while the future holds common challenges for all members – keeping up with the pace of globalization and the impact of technology on the professional services sector and communications – the Alliance is fit for what’s to come.

“Although delighted with the result of our collective endeavors over the past 10 years, we’re not complacent, and will continue developing a platform for participant firms to connect and share international expertise, seamlessly and cost-effectively,” Saven says. “Here’s to the next 10 years.”

Olleros Abogados Joins Andersen Global


Andersen Global welcomes the addition of Olleros Abogados, a Spanish firm with locations in both Madrid and Valencia. The firm will join Andersen Global as a member, officially adopting the Andersen name and combining forces with the existing Barcelona team with whom they already share a close relationship. Together, they will operate as Andersen Tax & Legal in Spain.

Olleros Abogados joins Andersen Global with nearly 160 professionals and 30 years in the legal sector. In 2016, Olleros Abogados increased both turnover and headcount by 20%, becoming one of the leading Spanish firms in consolidated growth within the legal market.

“I began my professional career at Arthur Andersen in Madrid in the tax, legal and foreign investment departments, and later founded Olleros Abogados with the goal of offering the most innovative and comprehensive solutions for our clients. A decade at Andersen instilled important principles in me such as transparency and high-caliber client service capabilities that remained strong at Olleros Abogados and will continue at Andersen Tax & Legal,” says Jaime Olleros, MP of Andersen Tax & Legal.

The professionals at Andersen Tax & Legal provide both legal and tax advice, including corporate compliance, business law, regulatory, litigation, arbitration, labor law, transaction services and restructuring and intellectual property law, to individuals and corporate clients.

“Jaime and his team represent the best qualities of our culture. Through the addition of synergistic individuals, we are continuing to strengthen our capabilities in Spain as we add groups that embrace our core values,” says Andersen Tax CEO Mark Vorsatz.

With the addition of these Andersen Tax & Legal locations in Madrid and Valencia, Andersen Global now has more than 1,800 professionals and a presence in 59 locations worldwide.

Allinial Global Adds New Members in U.S., Latin America and Asia Pacific

Allinial Global has announced that three firms have joined the association of independent accounting firms – The Pun Group of Santa Ana, Calif., Enspira Financial in Australia and MOS Auditores Consultores Limitada in Chile.

The Pun Group provides accounting, auditing, tax and advisory solutions. Municipalities and public agencies represent a significant share of the client roster, along with companies operating in diverse industries such as manufacturing, health care, real estate, entertainment and gaming.

Enspira Financial, born from the merger of three successful firms in 2016, is an advisory accounting firm with two offices in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Offering a complete range of accounting, audit, tax and consulting services, the firm serves a diverse client base in a variety of industry sectors, including construction, professional services, not-for-profits, financial licensees and foreign subsidiaries.

MOS Auditores Consultores Limitada is a growing firm with a strong focus on international tax, and its industry niches include retail, manufacturing, construction and mining. Multinational companies in Chile make up a large portion of its client base.

The addition of these new firms reflects the association’s growing international presence and its continued strength in North America, Allinial announced.

“I am pleased to welcome our new members and look forward to seeing how they enrich our increasingly collaborative and connected culture,” says Terry Snyder, the president and CEO of Allinial Global. “This year is off to an exciting start for us, and it only promises to get better going forward.”

PrimeGlobal Adds Panama Firm as a Member

PrimeGlobal is pleased to announce the addition of Mendoza & Asociados to the association’s Latin America and Caribbean region.

Since 2007, Mendoza & Asociados has been providing a full range of CPA 
services to its clients in the Republic of Panama. Today, the firm boasts a staff of 60. Over the past 10 years, Mendoza & Asociados has built trust with clients, government and Supreme Audit institutions, financial entities and the public. The firm invests in staff development and provides continuous training in the various specialties of the accounting profession, as well as the local regulatory framework and the current fiscal rules.

PrimeGlobal is comprised of approximately 300 successful independent public accounting firms in 85 countries.

CPAFMA Announces that the AAAPM Designation is Now the PAFM Designation

The Association for Accounting Administration became the CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA) for many reasons, all of which are applicable to CPAFMA’s certification program.

To better align with the association’s new name, CPAFMA has officially changed the name of its Accredited Administrator in Accounting Practice Management (AAAPM) designation. The designation will continue to transition from a designation of AAAPM to PAFM, Public Accounting Firm Manager.

Certification for firm managers enhances the status and the position within the industry, and creates a significant professional recognition for those managing accounting firms who achieve the PAFM designation.

Mitchell Titus Joins BDO Alliance USA

New York-based Mitchell Titus has joined BDO Alliance USA.

“As a member of the BDO Alliance USA, we are able to supplement our services in addressing the diverse needs of our current and future clients,” says chairman & CEO Anthony Kendall of Mitchell Titus.

Joining the BDO Alliance USA provides member firms like Mitchell Titus with enhanced capabilities through the availability of supplementary professional services, focused industry knowledge and thought leadership. The BDO Alliance USA presents firms with an opportunity to expand services to clients without jeopardizing existing relationships or our autonomy by accessing the resources of BDO USA, LLP and other Alliance members.

Forty years since inception, Mitchell Titus is still holding steadfast to its core value: Achieving Excellence Together. Kendall affirmed that “We [Mitchell Titus] cannot achieve growth without listening to our clients, friends of the firm, and what the market has to say. We learn a lot about our areas of opportunity just from listening. Our goal is to achieve excellence in client service every day. Our joining the BDO Alliance USA is just one of the many ways that we are continually evolving our commitment to superior client service.”

IPA Spotlight On … Jim Proppe, Plante Moran

Name: Jim Proppe
Firm: Southfield, Mich.-based Plante Moran (FY16 net revenue of $480.7 million)
Title: Managing Partner-elect
Accomplishments:

  • Beginning July 1, will serve as the seventh MP in the firm’s 93-year history.
  • Served 13 years as Plante Moran Group MP, coordinating client service, growth, people development and risk management.
  • Assisted with the development and launch of several firm services, including Plante Moran Group Benefit Advisors, Enterprise Risk Management, Tax Solutions Group and ERP implementation services.
  • Helped launch firm offices in Shanghai, China, Monterrey, Mexico, and Mumbai, India.
  • Led the design of Plante Moran’s partner performance management process.

Your term starts July 1 – what work are you doing now to transition into the role?

Jim Proppe

Jim Proppe

After being elected as managing partner, my focus was on selecting our next management team. I wanted to surround myself with people who have a skill set that is complementary to mine and will bring strong diversity of thought. The six partners selected will begin their appointments July 1 when my term begins. A big part of preparing for my role is to help the new management team transition into theirs: preparing them to take on new responsibilities and transitioning their previous roles to their successors. This transition has created a lot of great opportunities for people across the firm – it’s a really exciting time.

You’ve said that you plan to place a strong focus on anticipating client needs – how can Plante Moran solve clients’ problems before they even know they have them?

We have deep knowledge in a variety of industries and services. Our staff can leverage that knowledge by collaborating and identifying disruptors in one industry that will eventually impact others. For example, the driverless car will impact more than the automotive industry. It will also impact retail auto dealers (what is the impact on vehicle sales?), design and construction of real estate (how much parking will you need?), insurance companies (will they have fewer claims?), local government (what changes in infrastructure will be required?) and the list goes on. Many times business owners aren’t aware of disruptors in other industries that could significantly impact their business. We help our clients stay in front of these issues.

What kinds of opportunities are available to the firm through technology?

Advancement in technology –  things like machine learning and data analytics – will significantly change our profession and create new opportunities to serve clients. We’re already working with clients to find better ways to analyze and use their data to develop strategies around creating new products, services and/or business models. Plante Moran is built for change, and we feel we’re well positioned to lead in this area.

Which practice areas at Plante Moran are ripe for growth?

While I think the changing economy creates opportunities for growth in all the industries we serve, as the world becomes more technology-dependent, we’re seeing a lot of growth in our technology consulting practice, particularly in cybersecurity. Plante Moran Wealth Management also continues to experience significant growth as we have uniquely integrated investment advisory, trust, life insurance, estate planning, tax and family office services. Also, with a new administration, there could be significant changes in tax reform, regulations and how organizations do business internationally. We’re prepared to help clients navigate those changes and adjust their business strategies accordingly.

Gordon Krater called you a “natural leader,” do you agree? Which aspects of leadership don’t come so naturally to you?

I’ve had the good fortune to spend my entire career at Plante Moran. From training opportunities to formal mentoring initiatives to a robust career development program, the firm’s first priority has always been developing staff to become incredible client servers – and it’s hard not to develop some pretty strong leadership skills along the way. For me, I am a compulsive helper and one of the most challenging parts of leadership is realizing you can’t do it all by yourself – especially at a firm with the breadth and depth of Plante Moran. Fortunately, there’s always a pool of qualified partners and staff ready to lead.

Final thoughts?

As Plante Moran’s seventh managing partner, I look forward to guiding the firm’s client service, growth, people development, risk management and strategic direction – all with the goal of being a good steward and working to leave the firm better than I found it, just as Gordon did.

Do you know someone else who would make a good Spotlight? Contact Christina Camara.