Norgard joins Pitcher network

ACCOUNTING firm Norgard Clohessy is aiming to expand into a larger, full-service practice after rebranding as Pitcher Partners.

The expansion includes a merger with Ceglinski & Co, a four-person practice established last October by former Ernst & Young tax partner, Mark Ceglinski.

The firm is planning to move into audit work for the first time and will also establish an in-house corporate finance practice to complement its 70 per cent owned subsidiary Norvest Corporate.

Managing partner Bryan Hughes said the merger and name change flowed from a desire to become a full service practice.

“It was immediately apparent that membership of a strong national and international network is ever increasingly more important if we were to be truly capable of servicing our clients,” he said.

Mr Hughes said he also wanted to break down the misconception that the firm was purely an insolvency practice.

“Hopefully the name change will allow the other areas to flourish,” he said.

The firm has a long-established tax and business services practice and the merger with Ceglinski & Co will add to its capabilities in the area.

Partner Vincent Smith said the firm was about to start recruiting audit staff, including an audit partner.

In the short term, former Deloitte partner Greg Wheeler will run the audit practice on a consulting basis.

Mr Hughes said the firm would also recruit a new partner to establish the corporate finance practice.

Once the changes are implemented, the firm expects to have eight partners and up to 50 staff. As a result, Pitcher Partners will be similar in size and scope of service to most other second-tier accounting firms in Perth. There will also be a widening of ownership, with Messrs Hughes and Smith being joined by current partner Chris Munday and Mr Ceglinski as shareholders.

The rebranding severs another link with Ross Norgard and Trevor Clohessy, who founded Norgard Clohessy just more than 10 years ago.

They retired from the practice in 2001 but have continued in consulting roles.

The rebranding also represents the latest step in the national growth of Pitcher Partners, which is the fifth largest accounting firm in Melbourne.

In the past year, smaller firms in Sydney and Brisbane have rebranded as Pitcher Partners.

Collectively the group will have 55 partners and 600 staff across Australia.

Mr Smith said Pitcher Partners was structured as an independent association of accounting firms.

The four member firms will share training resources, work towards the same business systems and procedures and share strategies and thoughts on the group’s national direction.

The historic linkage between the rebranded firms was their mutual membership of the Baker Tilly International network.



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