15/07/2010 - 00:00

Accountants shore up positions

15/07/2010 - 00:00

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ACCOUNTING firm Ernst & Young has cemented its lead as Western Australia’s biggest professional services firm, boosting the number of Perth-based partners to 45.

Accountants shore up positions

ACCOUNTING firm Ernst & Young has cemented its lead as Western Australia’s biggest professional services firm, boosting the number of Perth-based partners to 45.

The firm has added seven new partners in the past six months, including three local promotions in July: Tanya Ross Jones, who works in human capital-related tax field; Mathew Chamberlain, who focuses on corporate tax in oil and gas; and Nathan Roost, who works in resources sector-linked performance improvement advisory.

Late last month, Brenton Steenkamp, formerly of EY’s South African practice, became head of the local forensic investigations and disputes team in Perth.

Three other partners have joined EY in recent months. They are: Ian Rakich, a lead partner in finance transformation who came from a Melbourne consulting firm; Chris Degenaar, also from Melbourne, is focused on IT advisory and information systems; and resources specialist Rob King, who rejoined the firm’s tax division following time overseas.

EY western region managing partner Jeff Dowling said the appointments reflected anticipated needs of the firm as part of a strategy that looked as far as five years in advance.

Mr Dowling said WA’s strong economy and Perth’s resources strength were making it increasingly attractive as a career destination.

However, he said the war for talent was on again as corporate players sought to bolster their own teams.

“That is one of the reasons we believe our continuing investment in capability is absolutely the right strategy, because we can see what the corporate are doing,” Mr Dowling said.

Among the big four firms, Deloitte has also been active, recruiting the audit practice of mid-tier player PKF, led by partners Neil Smith, Conley Manifis and Chris Nicoloff. Internally, Deloitte promoted Angelo Karelis and Coert Du Plessis as partners.

PricewaterhouseCoopers appointed advisory transactions director Paul Hennessy and corporate tax director Rob Bentley as partners.

PwC has also transferred four specialist partners to WA. Wayne Huf relocated from Queensland, Darren Carlton relocated from Melbourne in the past six months, Nick Brasington will relocate from Moscow, and Garrick Robinson from Melbourne.

KPMG named Matthew Popham as a corporate tax partner.

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