HLB Names Versteden as Chairman

Corney Versteden

Corney Versteden

HLB International named Corney Versteden as Chairman effective January 1, 2018. He will take over for Dave Stene, HLB International’s Chairman since 2015.

Versteden has been the senior tax partner at HLB Van Daal & Partners since 2003, a member firm in the Netherlands where he serves as the leader of the firm’s regional and international tax services practice.

“In my role as chair I want to show that within HLB International the relationships with our clients are key. Next to helping on the development of the HLB-network, I also want to look into the new opportunities at hand. One of them is IT because it offers new ways to set up processes and it gives room for new services,” says Versteden.

Baker Tilly International Names Christen as Chairman

Tim Christen

Tim Christen

Baker Tilly International named Timothy Christen as its new chairman of the board of directors. Christen is chairman emeritus of Baker Tilly International member network firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, which he led as its CEO for 17 years.

Christen was elected chairman by Baker Tilly International’s board of directors at the network’s Americas Conference in Cancun in June 2017. He began his four-year term on Oct. 30.

“Tim has been a consistently indispensable contributor to our board of directors,” says Ted Verkade, CEO and president of Baker Tilly International. “He is a widely respected and highly regarded leader in our profession. We look forward to his ongoing guidance and influence on our network as its new chairman.”

“We are an exceptionally strong network of firms who share an overriding commitment to quality, innovation and exceptional client service,” says Christen.

Hansen Named as Chair of AICPA

Effective Feb. 1, 2018, Eric Hansen, COO of Springfield, Mo.-based BKD LLP (FY17 net revenue of $564.4 million), will be the next chair of the AICPA.

Eric Hansen

Eric Hansen

“The future is uncertain, and change is accelerating,” says Hansen. “But if we’re early – if we have the courage to be bold and a bias for action – we’ll be prepared.”

Hansen’s priorities for his term include:

  • Harnessing technology to create more value for clients and businesses. “Technology isn’t only about data,” Hansen says. “It’s about making connections. It’s about empowering individuals and businesses to expand their scope of possibilities.”
  • Extending the profession’s influence in a connected, global society. It is essential for today’s leaders to look beyond definitions, demographics and geographic dimensions that once constrained the scope and reach of professional accountancy.
  • Evolving professional skills, advancing learning opportunities and creating future leaders.

Heigel Returns to Elliott Davis as Chief Operating Officer

Catherine Heigel

Catherine Heigel

Catherine Heigel has returned to Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY17 net revenue of $118 million) as its chief operating officer.

In this role, Heigel manages the firm’s operational support functions, including legal, information technology, human resource, marketing and communications, and firm administration. In addition, Heigel is charged with leading strategy and innovation efforts for the firm to promote the efficient operation and strategic growth.

In 2013, Heigel joined Elliott Davis as general counsel and corporate strategies officer. She left Elliott Davis in June 2015 for a period of public service when Gov. Nikki Haley named Heigel director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

“Her experience, her knowledge and her integrity make her a valuable asset to us, our partners and the communities we serve,” says Rick Davis, CEO.

Prager Metis Names Mayer as Chief Revenue Officer

Robert Mayer

Robert Mayer

New York-based Prager Metis CPAs (FY16 net revenue of $60.8 million) announced that Robert Mayer has been promoted to the newly created position of chief revenue officer.

Mayer will be responsible for working with and providing guidance to all OMP’s on their office’s profit and loss results in order to support a healthy increase to firmwide net income. In this role, he will report directly to the chief operating officer.

“Since joining the firm in 2016, Bob has established himself as a respected member of our leadership team,” says Craig Michelson, COO. “This role utilizes Bob’s talents, and I’m confident that Prager Metis will continue to see tremendous growth with him in the position.”

Whitley Penn Welcomes Stotts as CIO

J.D. Stotts

J.D. Stotts

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY16 net revenue of $83.6 million) welcomed J.D. Stotts as a new chief information officer.

Stotts has more than 20 years of experience in information security, software development, infrastructure and operations. He will be responsible for Whitley Penn’s entire IT operation and will work closely with the management committee, department leaders, IT council, and WPIT team to develop and implement an IT vision and strategy aligned with the firm’s overall business objectives.

“His experience will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen our IT department to support rapid firm growth,” says Larry Autrey, MP.

KPMG International Welcomes Thomas as Global Chairman

William Thomas

William Thomas

William Thomas is now the global chairman of KPMG International. He will lead the KPMG global network of professional services firms for a 4-year term, succeeding John Veihmeyer, who completed his term as chairman and is retiring from KPMG.

Thomas previously served as chairman of KPMG’s Americas region beginning in 2014 and has been a member of the Global Board since 2009. He was CEO and senior partner of KPMG in Canada from 2009 to 2016.

In his 28 years with KPMG, Thomas has also held a number of leadership roles in the Canadian firm and within KPMG International, and has served as an audit partner for prominent clients in a variety of industries.

“We have been driving innovation across all parts of our business and I intend to continue and accelerate that trend,” says Thomas. “I believe the transformation that will take place in business and our profession over the next 5 years will eclipse what we’ve experienced in the past 50 years and I’m convinced the opportunities for KPMG will be greater than ever. KPMG is well placed to be at the heart of this transformation.”

BDO USA Announces New Leaders

Albert Lopez

Albert Lopez

Chicago-based BDO USA (FY17 net revenue of $1.4 billion) named Albert Lopez CEO of the Americas region of BDO International. Mike Musick will succeed Lopez as assurance MP for BDO USA’s Southeast region and Stephen Ferrara will succeed him as the U.S. representative to the BDO Americas board, which Lopez will now chair. Each of these appointments is effective Jan. 1, 2018.

As Americas CEO, Lopez will lead strategic initiatives in the Americas region for the global network. He will be responsible for the operational oversight of the entire region, including market analysis, practice management, business development and the growth of BDO member firms in the region.

Mike Musick

Mike Musick

Lopez has more than 30 years of experience in public accounting works closely with his clients’ management teams on general business counseling and planning. He has extensive technical experience with the SEC, taking companies public, and consulting on mergers and consolidations.

Musick has more than 25 years of public accounting experience serving both publicly and privately held clients in various industries, including health care, real estate, manufacturing and distribution, and communications and entertainment. He has worked on numerous initial public and secondary offerings and has managed the periodic filings of clients in a variety of industries.

Stephen Ferrara

Stephen Ferrara

Ferrara has more than 30 years of experience working in public accounting and in industry as a CFO. As the COO of BDO USA, he is responsible for oversight and leadership of the firm’s assurance and tax business lines and the development and performance of each practice office. Ferrara oversees BDO’s business development, corporate planning, finance, information technology, marketing and communications functions.

BDO International Names New Global Leaders

BDO International announced three global appointments within the network’s global leadership team.

The current CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Anders Heede, is taking on the newly created role of COO. Heede has been in an international role since 2011, having joined BDO Denmark as CEO in 2008.

Trond-Morten Lindberg has been appointed CEO EMEA, replacing Anders. Lindberg is currently CEO of BDO Norway, having joined the firm in 1999, becoming a partner in 2006 and taking on the MP role in 2010.

The new global CEO, Keith Farlinger, currently holds the position of CEO Americas and a replacement has now been appointed to take up this role in his stead. Albert Lopez will become the new CEO Americas effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Lopez was made partner at BDO USA in 1988 and managed the assurance practice of BDO USA’s Miami office for a number of years, until taking on his present role as Southeast assurance regional MP in 2005. During this time, he has helped grow this BDO region through both organic growth and a series of mergers.

Wipfli Welcomes Laakso as Executive Human Resources Officer and Partner

Bill Laakso

Bill Laakso

Milwaukee-based Wipfli (FY17 net revenue of $274.8 million) has hired Bill Laakso as the firm’s new executive human resources officer and partner.

In this role, Laakso will be responsible for developing the strategies related to associate recruitment, development and engagement, and will oversee human resources operations for the firm. He will also work with Wipfli’s strong talent and culture team to continue to evolve the firm’s employment brand and culture.

“Bill’s deep expertise in the human resources area and strong track record of driving individual, team and corporate performance will enable the firm to build upon our strong culture and continue to attract and retain the best and brightest professionals in the industry,” says Rick Dreher, MP.

Laakso has 28 years of experience including leading operations for large organizations and managing internal and external communications, community relations, organizational consulting, change management and culture development for several large organizations.