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[轉載]香港两大會計師行低調合并  

2010-11-10 01:31:47|  分类: 转帖:我是搬运工 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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——香港兩大著名會計師行合并了。但有多少人真正地注意到了呢?

香港立信德豪會計師事務所有限公司(BDO Ltd,簡稱BDO)董事主席兼首席執行長區嘯翔(Albert Au)對《中國實時報》記者說,這也許是我們的職業風格。作為香港第五大和第六大會計師事務所,BDO和均富會計師行(Grant Thornton,以下簡稱均富)於10月份宣布合並,但幾乎沒有任何媒體報道。區嘯翔說,一般情況下,會計師成為新聞頭條不是件好事。

去年底,均富前合夥人司徒嘉(Gabriel Azedo)遭兩位客戶起訴後失蹤(迄今仍未露面)的消息走漏,均富因此不情願地成為了新聞焦點。其中一項起訴是因違反信托、違反信托義務及欺詐行為索要總數為1,170萬美元的索賠。另一項起訴索賠230萬美元。

田生集團有限公司(Richfield Group Holdings Ltd)董事兼財務總監、卓智控股有限公司(Ione Holdings Limited)董事及主席Brian Lee說,均富與BDO的合並將有助於擺脫司徒嘉醜聞的不良影響。田生集團是一家房地產投資控股公司,是均富的客戶,卓智是一家從事金融印刷服務的投資控股公司,是BDO的客戶。

Brian Lee認為此次合並是正確的。他說,對我們來說這是一個全球網絡,為我們提供更好更大的網絡。除了要支付更多工資,BDO並未支付其他費用獲得均富的客戶名單和員工,合並後BDO將擁有約1100名員工和70名合夥人。

區嘯翔說,沒有任何形式的商譽付款,我認為他們的行動就代表了一切,我的意思是,他們覺得他們正在加入一個他們致力於並信任的平臺,客戶知道了合並的消息並有權選擇其他會計師事務所,但所有客戶都在這次合並中與均富共進退。

均富首席執行長羅柏達(Patrick Rozario)說,我們的決定和司徒嘉無關,即使他還在公司,我們也會做同樣的決定。合並至少有一個好的副作用,就是均富這個名稱不復存在了。羅柏達還說,最終,因司徒嘉而起的訴訟還會將香港均富與這家世界級公司聯系在一起。

兩家公司宣布合並時沒有媒體進行報道,這有點奇怪。原因何在?雙方都未舉行新聞發布會。日期為10月7日的新聞稿並不是通過常規渠道發布的,盡管兩家公司10月8日在當地報紙投放了兩個四分之一版的廣告。

區嘯翔說,說實話,我們並沒有一個高水平的媒體部門,所以我認為我們的營銷部就通過一個媒體公司發布了這個消息,可能就導致消息不脛而走。

 上周三,兩家公司共同發布消息約一個月後,南華早報(South China Morning Post)頭版文章稱此次合並是BDO大規模挖角行為,是“香港會計師領域最大規模的挖角”。區嘯翔稱根本沒有挖角,這有點嘩眾取寵,到處選人才是挖角,而現在是整個公司,也就是說所有的合夥人和員工都加入了BDO。

區嘯翔和羅柏達都希望在香港對四大會計師事務所構成強大的威脅:安永(Ernst&Young)、羅賓咸永道(PricewaterhouseCoopers)、德勤(Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu)和畢馬威(KPMG),這四大公司均拒絕置評,也未回復采訪電話。

區嘯翔說,雖然此次合并抹掉了香港著名會計師事務所名單上的一個名字,但事實上卻給了香港更多的選擇。BDO以前排在第五位,但遠遠落後於前面四家,這次合並將會使這個第五名的分量重得多。

 

原文:這裡

Missed It? Hong Kong’s Big Accounting Merger

- Two major accounting firms in Hong Kong have merged. But it’s not clear how many people actually noticed.

“It’s probably the style of our profession,” Albert Au, chairman and CEO of BDO Ltd, told China Real Time. His firm and Grant Thornton, the fifth and sixth largest accounting firms in Hong Kong, respectively, joined forces in October, but the event managed to generate virtually no media coverage. “Generally it’s not good when accountants are in the headlines,” said Au.

Grant Thornton managed to make a few unwanted headlines late last year when news leaked out that its former partner Gabriel Azedo disappeared (he still hasn’t surfaced) after two clients filed writs against him.

One of the writs is seeking a total of US$11.7 million for breach of trust, breaches of fiduciary duty and acts of fraud. The other is seeking US$2.3 million.

Grant Thornton’s merger with BDO could help shed the legacy of the Azedo scandal, says Brian Lee, director and financial controller of Richfield Group Holdings Ltd., and director and chairman of Ione Holdings Limited. Richfield, a real-estate investment holding company, is a client of Grant Thornton, and Ione, an investment holding company engaged in financial printing services, is a client of BDO.

Lee believes the merger is the right move. “It’s a global network for us, it gives us a much better, much bigger network,” he said.

Aside from increasing payroll, BDO isn’t paying anything to acquire Grant Thorton’s client list and staff, which will increase BDO to about 1,100 employees and 70 partners.

“There is no goodwill payment of any kind,” Au said. “I like to think they are voting with their feet. By that, I mean they think they’re joining a platform they have commitment to and believe in.” Clients were informed of the change and had the option to find another accounting firm. All clients have stayed with Grant Thornton for this merger.

“Our decision is not based on Gabriel,” said Patrick Rozario, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Even with Gabriel around, we would’ve made the same decision. It’s a good byproduct at least that the [Grant Thornton] name isn’t there anymore.”

Rozario added that at the end of the day, Grant Thornton in Hong Kong will still be tied to the world-wide firm by litigation stemming from the AWOL Mr. Azedo.

It’s a bit odd that none of the major media covered it when the merger was announced. Possible reasons? Neither party held a press conference. The press release dated Oct. 7 wasn’t distributed through usual channels, although the firms did place two quarter-page ads in the local press on Oct. 8.

“To be honest, we don’t have a sophisticated media division,” Au said, “so I think our marketing department just did it through a media company that I guess in turn helped disseminate it.”

On Wednesday, about a month after the joint press release, the South China Morning Post featured a front-page article describing the merger as a mass poaching of staff by BDO, “the biggest such raid in the city’s accounting sector.”

“It’s a bit sensational,” Au said, adding there was no raid. “Poaching is I pick a few heads here and there,” he said. “What you’re seeing here is the whole firm, meaning the partners and staff, coming to join us in BDO.”

From here, both Au and Rozario are hoping to be a formidable threat in Hong Kong to the Big Four in accounting: Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and KPMG, all of which declined to comment or didn’t return phone calls.

Even though the merger eliminates one name from the list of accounting giants in Hong Kong, Au said this move actually gives the city more choices. Whereas BDO was previously a distant fifth to these firms, Au said the combined staff will make it now a much closer fifth.

–Alice Truong

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