O’Beirne Named Leader of EisnerAmper’s International Tax Services Group

Gerard O’Beirne

Gerard O’Beirne

New York-based EisnerAmper LLP (FY17 net revenue of $352.6 million) announced that Gerard O’Beirne has been named the leader of the firm’s International Tax Services Group, specializing in international taxation, advisory and compliance services, publicly traded and closely held businesses, and high-net-worth individuals.

O’Beirne has more than 25 years of experience with both inbound and outbound structuring, including mergers and acquisitions. He also works with expatriates on their financial management and tax issues, including pre-departure and subsequent-return tax planning and tax compliance.

His clients span public, private, multistate and multinational entities. His practice has involved serving clients with operations throughout Western Europe and Asia. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences and writes extensively on international tax matters.

“Brexit, corporate repatriation and a host of other issues continue to greatly impact the global marketplace,” says Christopher Loiacono, MP of services. “Thanks to his experience and unique skill sets, Gerry is the ideal person to lead the firm’s international tax efforts to service clients with these broad-based, often-complex issues.”

Mandatory Partner Retirement Age Gets Scrutiny in Australia

The Australian arm of EY has decided to maintain its requirement that partners retire at 60.

CEO Tony Johnson told The Australian Financial Review that the decision was made after discussions with the firm’s partners, despite legal opinion that the clause violates the Age Discrimination Act.

“In consultation with elected representatives of the partnership, we recently considered the relevance of the retirement age and it was determined that it continues to operate as an appropriate marker to help partners plan and transition their lives financially and professionally,” he said. He added that “partner retirement and transition is also fundamental to effective succession planning across the organization.”

The Age Discrimination Act, which extends to partnerships, was introduced in 2004. It was widely believed that the law would eliminate mandatory retirement clauses. The Financial Review has been reporting that the clauses were often used at Big 4 accounting firms. KPMG agreements, for example, “expect” partners to retire at 58 and allows the CEO to determine if they continue beyond that age.

Questions were raised during a Senate inquiry into the future of work, during which an EY director, Louise Rolland, testified May 4. “The whole thing around EY’s situation, and I hope I’m not talking out of turn here, is that there has been a tradition in professional services firms to maintain a retirement age for partners,” she said.

Meagan Lawson, CEO of the NSW Council on the Aging, said the continued existence of retirement clauses among the big four had been a “genuine shock to me.”

“I think it’s clearly out of step with community standards at this point. We used to be a lot more accepting of sexual harassment too but we’re not anymore – and I think this is in the same vein.”

She said studies showed many people wanted to work beyond 60 and 65 and she was “genuinely surprised that people haven’t objected to this or taken action through the Age Discrimination Commissioner.”

Appel Rejoins Berkowitz Pollack Brant

Judd Appel

Judd Appel

Miami-based Berkowitz Pollack Brant (FY16 net revenue of $51.2 million) announced that Judd Appel has returned to the firm. In his new role, Appel will assist clients with raising capital, exploring strategic partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions activity. Appel returns to the firm following positions with ITT Inc., Honeywell International, Global Infrastructure Partners and General Electric Company.

Appel has overseen global M&A transactions exceeding $10 billion during his career as a head of corporate strategy and M&A. He was also a CFO at Honeywell International, managing a $550 million business unit.

He most recently served as vice president of finance, corporate strategy and M&A with ITT, where he executed on more than $500 million of M&A transactions, including deal cultivation, leading the diligence process and contract negotiations. Prior to this he was a vice president of M&A and strategy at Honeywell International’s Automation and Control Systems Group.

Earlier in his career he worked in private equity at Global Infrastructure Partners and in finance, business development and M&A in various divisions of Honeywell International and General Electric Company. Appel has spent a significant portion of his time working in Europe, Middle-East and Asia.

Contryman Associates Named Charron as President

Dan Charron

Dan Charron

Hastings, Neb.-based Contryman Associates PC has named Dan Charron as president, effective May 1. Charron has been the tax department shareholder lead for two years and will effectively take over the day-to-day operations of the CPA firm.

Charron has been with Contryman Associates since 1997 and a shareholder since 1999. He is also a wealth care professional for Wealth Advisors Network Inc. which is owned by Contryman Associates.

Charron is taking over for Jeff Anderson has been the President and CEO of Contryman Associates since 1999. Anderson will focus his time and attention on the growth of Wealth Management business while retaining the CEO title in Contryman Associates. He will help facilitate Charrons’s transition over the next year or two.

KPM CPAs & Advisors Announces New Director

Sean Balisle

Sean Balisle

Springfield, Mo.-based KPM CPAs & Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $15.7 million) announced that Sean Balisle has been promoted to the position of audit and assurance director. In addition to leading the firm’s financial institutions team, he will now serve in this increased capacity where he will preside over one of the firm’s largest practices.

As the firm’s audit and assurance director and financial institutions team leader, Balisle has more than 29 years of accounting experience. He provides accounting and tax services to clients primarily in the financial institutions industry.

“We look forward to the nearly 30 years of experience and expertise that Sean can share with our audit and assurance team and its leaders; guiding them in a strategic direction while also maintaining the highest level of personalized customer service you can expect from KPM,” says Randall Moots, KPM’s managing shareholder.

Kirk Named Lead of Elliott Davis’ Cybersecurity Practice

Brian Kirk

Brian Kirk

Greenville, S.C.-based Elliott Davis (FY17 net revenue of $118.1 million) announced that Brian Kirk has been named practice lead of the firm’s growing cybersecurity division. He is based in the company’s Greenville headquarters.

“The need for solutions that mitigate the risk of cyber threats has never been greater,” says Jimmy Buddenberg, director of Elliott Davis’ risk advisory and cybersecurity practice. “Brian brings more than two decades of experience building, implementing and overseeing cyber security programs for companies in a variety of industries. He’ll use this knowledge to help clients identify vulnerabilities and create strategies to protect their enterprise.”

As the lead for Elliott Davis’ cybersecurity team, Kirk, who has more than 25 years of IT experience, the last 10 of which were in cybersecurity, will partner with organizations to develop and implement comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to safeguard their businesses, as well as their customers’ critical assets and data. He will work with clients to assess and improve their security posture through areas such as security and vulnerability assessments, IT budget and staffing reviews, and advisory services associated with technology and sourcing solutions.

“Competition aside, cyber-attacks are now one of the most formidable challenges facing today’s businesses,” says Kirk. “The impact of even a single data breach can be devastating, both to a company’s finances and its reputation. We’ll work with clients to develop tools, policies and procedures that minimize exposure and, enabling them to focus on running their business rather than worrying about a potential cyber-attack.”

Prior to joining Elliott Davis, Kirk most recently served as Chief Information Security Officer for CH2M, a Fortune 500 engineering firm that provides consulting, design, construction and operations services for corporations and federal, state and local governments. In this role, he led the establishment and growth of the company’s Information Security practice and directed all day-to-day information security operational activities for the global organization.

Resnick Joins Friedman as a Tax Principal

Barry Resnick

Barry Resnick

New York-based Friedman LLP (FY16 net revenue of $94 million) announced that Barry Resnick has joined the firm’s New York office as a principal in the consumer and industrial products group. Resnick has more than 35 years of experience providing accounting, tax, mergers and acquisitions, consulting and business advisory services. Through a hands-on and personalized approach, he advises clients across a range of industries, with a special focus on retail and apparel/textile as well as health care providers.

“Having worked in this industry for over 30 years, I have seen many transformations. I know that Barry’s in-depth industry knowledge and passion for staying at the forefront of change make him a perfect addition to the Friedman family,” says Harriet Greenberg, Friedman’s co-MP and leader of the fashion and diamond and jewelry practices.

“There are many nuances involved with navigating the rapidly evolving apparel/textile industries as well as working with healthcare providers. These areas require in-depth knowledge, flexibility and ensuring that clients are fully aware of the opportunities before them,” says Resnick. “I look forward to helping clients reach their unique business and financial goals.”

Prior to joining Friedman, Resnick served as a principal and senior advisor at Mazars, where he specialized in advising local and international business owners on succession planning strategies to ensure long-lasting, intergenerational wealth. He also positioned clients for long-term business success using in-depth business consulting services that identified process inefficiencies and recommended streamlined alternatives.

Schellman Elects Desai as New President

Avani Desai

Avani Desai

Tampa, Fla.-based Schellman & Company LLC has elected Avani Desai as President of the firm.

As President of Schellman, Desai, who is 37 years of age, is one of the youngest leaders of a major accounting firm, and one of the few female leaders.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead one of the most innovative companies in our space,” says Desai. “I look forward to partnering with our talented team in our pursuit of providing the highest quality professional services to our clients.”

Since joining Schellman in 2012, Desai has held key leadership roles, serving most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

Desai will succeed Chris Schellman, who co-founded the company in 2002 and has served as its President since 2009. Schellman had planned to serve as President until the company became one of the largest accounting firms in the U.S.

“Avani is the most dynamic professional that I have ever worked with,” says Schellman. “Her charisma inspires our team and her knowledge garners the trust of everyone she encounters. She is, by far, the best person to shape the future of this company.”

In her new role, Desai will be tasked with further expanding Schellman’s market leadership in compliance and attestation services. Her previous experience leading distributed teams in business development, sales and client service delivery, as well as providing general oversight of operations, including marketing initiatives and service line expansion, position her to be a highly effective leader.

Desai’s promotion was effective on May 2, the 16th anniversary of the founding of the company. Chris Schellman will continue to serve as CEO and will also assume COO responsibilities.

Alvarez & Marsal Establishes a Formal Global Transaction Analytics Service Offering

Steven Lee

Steven Lee

New York-based Alvarez & Marsal launched its new service, global transaction analytics (GTA). Led globally by Steven Lee, a managing director with the global transaction advisory group, GTA will focus on the development, application and implementation of data analytics to enhance clients’ buy-side and sell-side transactions and capital markets activity.

A&M’s global transaction advisory group is investing heavily in advanced technology and resources worldwide. A&M’s GTA investments will include bolstering the firm’s data analytics “center of excellence” team in Mumbai and adding resources throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, India and Asia.

“Data analytics is integral to the future of due diligence and the transaction advisory process,” says Paul Aversano, global head of the transaction advisory group. “The continued development and deployment of these services, under Steven’s leadership, is critical to A&M’s overall growth and competitiveness in the marketplace. GTA’s insights combined with A&M’s operational heritage will maximize value and enhance performance improvement of our clients’ underlying assets.”

Lee has more than 15 years of experience. He counsels private equity firms and other strategic buyers and sellers on applying data analytics and metric transparency to inform investment decision making and performance improvements. Additionally, he has international experience working across a wide variety of industries throughout the world. Prior to his current role with A&M’s global transaction advisory group, Lee worked in the firm’s global disputes and investigations practice where he led the applied data analytics service offering advising clients with investigative analytics, regulatory compliance, and data risk management.

BKD Admits New Partners and Managing Directors

Springfield, Mo.-based BKD CPAs & Advisors (FY17 net revenue of $564.4 million) admitted new partners and managing directors, effective June 1.

“I want to congratulate our newest partners and managing directors on this major career milestone,” says Ted Dickman, CEO. “Both positions require significant personal and professional investment. The new responsibilities these leaders face will bring challenges, but I’m confident they’ll find innovative ways to transform them into opportunities.”

The newly admitted partners include:

  • Chad Back
  • Kristen Bright
  • Bryan Callahan
  • Tim Chitwood
  • Robb Conner
  • Michael Earls
  • Chad Garber
  • Michael Gerber
  • Scott Humphrey
  • Corey Jennings
  • Susan Jones
  • Lindsey Oakley
  • Juli Pascoe
  • Anthony Pasternak
  • Don Rawe
  • Erica Smith

The new managing directors include:

  • Bill Clark
  • Tod Eastlake
  • Denise Gros
  • Marcus Mitchell
  • Michael Pallas
  • Nancy Schoolman
  • Tammy Totzke