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Grant Thornton Recognizes Its Rising Stars

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.8 billion) has announced that Patrick Hughes has been promoted to lead corporate development for the firm and Sylvia Cho has been recognized by Consulting magazine as a “Rising Star of the Profession.”

Hughes, based in the firm’s Chicago headquarters, leads the execution of mergers and acquisitions on behalf of Grant Thornton in the United States. Most recently, he led Grant Thornton’s acquisition of life sciences management consultancy TayganPoint Consulting Group, which closed in October 2018.

Sylvia Cho

Sylvia Cho

For the last decade, Hughes has served as a financial advisor to more than 50 public and private clients. Before joining Grant Thornton in 2014, he spent five years at Phoenix Capital Resources, an investment banking boutique. Prior to that, he was an investment banking analyst for Harris Williams & Co.

Cho, transaction services principal in the advisory services practice, received the Rising Star award recognizing the best young talent the profession has to offer – 35 consultants under the age of 35 poised to change the industry, the firm says.

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Grant Thornton Admits Roiz as Partner in Philadelphia

Angelica Roiz

Angelica Roiz

Chicago-based Grant Thornton LLP (FY17 net revenue of $1.8 billion) has admitted Angelica Roiz as a partner in the firm’s Philadelphia office. Roiz serves clients in the not-for-profit and higher education practice, and is part of Grant Thornton’s National Higher Education sector committee.

“Angelica brings her industry acumen and 13 years of experience to our not-for-profit clients in the Philadelphia region,” says Sean Denham, Grant Thornton’s Philadelphia OMP and Atlantic Coast regional MP. “She is deeply committed to serving our not-for-profit clients and engagement teams, and we’re proud to announce her appointment to partner.”

Roiz joined Grant Thornton in 2005 and has served a wide variety of clients in the firm’s not-for-profit and higher education practice. She has directed audits for multiple large clients, including those subject to Uniform Guidance audit requirements and those with complex endowments. Additionally, Roiz serves as the local office champion for Women at Grant Thornton in Philadelphia, and is a member of the National Women at Grant Thornton external relations committee.

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Grant Thornton Appoints Director for Advisory Services

Oliver Dennison

Oliver Dennison

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) has announced that Oliver Dennison has joined the firm as a managing director in the financial services advisory practice.

Based in Grant Thornton’s New York office, he will be responsible for global banking clients and driving fintech-enabled business solutions, with a focus on risk and compliance.

Dennison has nearly 20 years of experience as a senior manager and technology consultant, working for financial organizations and multinational corporations in Europe and North America. Most recently, he was a director leading the enterprise risk technology function within Deutsche Bank Americas.

“Having spent his career in financial services, Oliver has witnessed rapid, technology-driven industry change,” says Nigel Smith, national financial services advisory leader. “His experience leading the re-engineering of business processes and catalyzing change through technology is a strong addition to our solutions-focused client approach, especially as fintech continues to transform financial services.”

Before Deutsche Bank, Dennison was director of CFO program services for Credit Suisse and spent nine years at RBS Global Banking & Markets.

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Deltek and Grant Thornton Form Alliance

Software provider Deltek has formed an alliance with Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion).

“The alliance will help both public and private companies of all sizes, including government contractors, to comply with accounting rules, regulations and standards using both technology and expertise,” Grant Thornton announced.

Grant Thornton will provide Deltek’s customers with specialized know-how in systems integration, change management, finance optimization, digital transformation, compliance and business consulting. Deltek clients that service the government can benefit from Grant Thornton’s specialization in government contract compliance – including professional services companies, manufacturers, high-tech services companies and engineering firms.

“Government contractors can now tap into an integrated team that utilizes Deltek’s solutions and applies Grant Thornton’s acumen in transformation, change management and compliance,” says Greg Wallig, OMP of the firm’s Metro D.C.-Arlington, Va., office. “It’s important to have the best solutions and system integrators teamed together to provide clients with the highest-value transformation services.”

Matt Strazza, senior vice president of global sales at Deltek, says, “Grant Thornton understands the unique challenges that government contractors and project-based businesses face when looking to transform their business. As businesses change and grow, they need to adjust their systems and transform to maximize effectiveness. Together, Deltek and Grant Thornton will offer organizations world-class solutions and best practices to solve those issues and maximize the value of their Deltek investments.”

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Grant Thornton Gives $3 Million to Indiana University for GT-IDEA

Mike McGuire

Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., has announced a $3 million gift from Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) to establish the Grant Thornton Institute for Data Exploration for Risk Assessment and Management, or GT-IDEA.

The institute will intersect with Bloomington’s Kelley School of Business, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.

GT-IDEA students will work on real industry issues, participate in case studies and competitions, and interact with risk assessment and management practitioners from Grant Thornton. The idea is to prepare students to become more effective industry leaders while allowing Grant Thornton to recruit students who are well versed in risk assessment and management.

“GT-IDEA will give students the multidisciplinary acumen they’ll need to lead the dynamic companies of the future,” says Mike McGuire, CEO of Grant Thornton. “This program will also build on Grant Thornton’s reputation as an innovation leader with the exceptional students at Indiana University and beyond. “Initiatives will focus using data analytics and artificial intelligence for risk assessment and management.

IU alumnus Srikant Sastry, MPA ’88 and Grant Thornton’s national managing principal and leader of advisory services, says, “Businesses today are faced with a constantly evolving risk environment, and leaders need to be able to integrate analytics and innovation in all aspects of their operations to stay relevant and a step ahead. Moreover, they need employees who are capable of such integration. GT-IDEA will do just that: develop the employee of tomorrow, while also driving value for Grant Thornton’s clients by providing them with access to the innovative thinking coming out of the program.”

This gift counts toward The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign. The campaign aims to raise $3 billion, and will conclude in June 2020 to coincide with IU’s bicentennial celebration.

Grant Thornton Names OMP in Boston

Kim O’Connor

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) has named Kim O’Connor as the OMP in Boston.

“New England is a dynamic market that is well positioned for continued growth across all of our service lines,” says David Platt, Northeast regional MP at Grant Thornton. “Kim’s passion for growing our practice across New England and sincere interest in our people make her the perfect leader for our Boston office.”

O’Connor joined Grant Thornton in 2004. As an assurance partner, she specializes in working with public and private international companies in the life sciences and consumer industrial products industries.

In addition to her client work, O’Connor has served on numerous national committees and business resource groups to help define and support the firm’s collaborative culture and related employee programs. She has also led dozens of leadership workshops for clients, prospective clients and employees.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, O’Connor spent 16 years at a large professional services firm, serving as both an audit and consulting partner.

Grant Thornton Adds to Partnership Board

Brad Preber

Brad Preber

Partners and principals of Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) announced elections to its partnership board – Brad Preber was named as chairman, Lori Davis was reelected as a member, and both Janet Malzone and Enzo Santilli are new members.

Lori Davis, Denver OMP – Davis has served on the board since 2013. With 29 years of experience in public accounting, Davis specializes in developing tax planning strategies for corporate, partnership and individual clients. She has worked in a variety of industries, including construction, real estate, hospitality and financial services.

Janet Malzone, Midwest Regional Audit Practice Leader, Chicago – Malzone joined Grant Thornton in 2002. With more than 25 years of public accounting experience, she serves both public and private companies that range from small, entrepreneurial businesses to large multinational corporations.

Brad Preber, Phoenix OMP and national MP for Business Risk Services – Preber joined Grant Thornton in 2004 and has served on the board since 2014. Preber’s client service specialty is forensics, where he serves as an expert witness, neutral arbitrator and fraud investigator.

Enzo Santilli, Pittsburgh OMP – Santilli joined Grant Thornton in 2013. He works with clients across industries on a variety of financial reporting and performance improvement solutions. Santilli specializes in applying business technology to assist clients in enterprise transformation and emerging issues.

Grant Thornton Names New OMP for New York

Greg Westfall

Greg Westfall

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) has named Greg Westfall as the new OMP in New York.

David Platt, Grant Thornton’s Northeast region MP, calls Westfall a “driving force” in the city office. “His dynamic leadership style and close connections with our clients, our people and the community at large in New York will help our office continue to grow.”

Westfall joined Grant Thornton in 2010 and has served as assistant managing principal for industries and markets in the Northeast. He was responsible for developing and executing Grant Thornton’s strategic industry plans to drive revenue growth across all service lines. He is also a principal in the forensic advisory services practice, where he specializes in assisting companies, as well as their in-house and outside counsel, with investigations, forensic accounting matters and complex commercial disputes.

Westfall has been retained as an expert in accounting investigations and financial damages. He has significant experience reporting to executive management, boards of directors, auditors, and in-house and outside counsel. Westfall has also reported to the FBI and Department of Justice in connection with accounting investigations.

Serafin to Lead Grant Thornton’s U.S. Industry Program

George Serafin

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) has named George Serafin as the firm’s national managing principal of industry.

In this newly created role, Serafin will work closely with Grant Thornton industry MPs to execute strategy while creating a consistent industry program and client experience across its practices.

In addition to his new role, Serafin will continue to serve as national managing principal of Grant Thornton’s health care/life sciences practice, as well as regulatory and compliance services principal.

“George brings a unique blend of industry, technology and consulting knowledge and experience to our firm and clients,” says Nichole Jordan, national MP of markets, clients and industry for Grant Thornton. “He’s been instrumental in growing our health care/life sciences practice, and his continued leadership in this new role will enable us to deepen client relationships and share valuable insights with client executives.”

Serafin has served as national managing principal of health care/life sciences since August 2017 after joining Grant Thornton that January. Serafin started his career in industry, working for companies including Novartis, Roche and Fresenius Medical Care before transitioning to technology at SAP. Serafin has also served as Deloitte & Touche LLP’s health care and life sciences regulatory practice leader.

Kevin Pleiter joins Grant Thornton’s Financial Services Advisory Practice

Nigel Smith

Kevin Pleiter has joined Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY17 net revenue of $1.75 billion) as a principal in its financial services advisory practice. Pleiter will be responsible for shaping and driving Grant Thornton’s innovation efforts in financial services and will work out of the firm’s Stamford, Conn., and New York offices, the firm announced.

Pleiter has more than 25 years of financial services experience. He spent the majority of his career advising global financial services firms across investment banking, asset management, wealth management and custody businesses in the United States, Europe and Asia.

“Kevin has deep knowledge of the financial services industry and understands how technology can solve business challenges,” says Nigel Smith, national financial services advisory leader for Grant Thornton. “As fintech continues to transform traditional financial services firms, Kevin’s lens will help us guide enterprises toward adopting technology at a manageable pace, taking a holistic, long-term approach that positions them to thrive.”

Pleiter’s financial services business and consulting experience began at Deutsche Bank in London before his time at Salomon Brothers and a Toronto-based fintech company. He spent the majority of his global career at IBM, serving most recently as vice president and senior client partner in the firm’s Global Business Services unit.