Moore Stephens International member firm, Grassi and Co has announced that Eric Hananel, CPA, has joined the firm as a Tax Partner. Eric has over 35 years of experience of tax consulting, compliance, financial statement income tax provision reviews and the management and administration of multi-national client accounts and a staff of professionals. He has been actively involved with privately-owned and publicly-held businesses, with a strong focus on manufacturing, distribution and service companies. His specializations include corporate taxation, pass-through entities, publicly traded corporations, S Corporations, limited liability companies and high net worth individuals.

“Eric’s extensive background will be a great asset to Grassi & Co. and especially to our clients who are always faced with new issues and regulations in their respective industries and need proper guidance and advice,” says Lou Grassi, CPA, CFE, Managing Partner, Grassi & Co.

Eric is an active member of the New York metropolitan business, cultural and not-for-profit communities. He serves on the Council of Overseers at the LIU Tilles Center for the Performing Arts and is a member of their Finance Committee. He is a frequent speaker at many business and community events and covers various tax topics such as “Tax and Year-End Planning.”

Eric is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

Tagged with:  

Ernst & Young LLP today announced that Sidney Silhan has joined the firm’s National Indirect/State and Local Tax practice as a partner in Atlanta. Silhan has nearly 20 years of experience in state and local tax and corporate structuring and merger and acquisition issues. He also advises in the areas of controversy, tax structuring, consulting and compliance matters. Silhan’s client service background spans industries, including manufacturing, retail, consumer and industrial products, hospitality, healthcare, financial services and transportation.

“We are delighted to welcome Sid to Ernst & Young at a time when our clients are faced with significant and ever-changing state and local taxes,” said Kate Barton, Ernst & Young Americas Vice Chair of Tax Services. “His extensive experience and his outstanding reputation for client service in the industry will strengthen the Ernst & Young LLP tax practice.”
Silhan will work with the firm’s National State Income tax team and National Domestic Structuring Group and will be directly involved with a number of clients in the Southeast.
“Sid has dedicated his entire career to state and local tax, and we’re excited to bring his considerable knowledge, deep technical ability, and outstanding planning skills to Ernst & Young,” said Jeffrey Saviano, Director of Indirect/State and Local Tax, Ernst & Young LLP. “Sid offers a broad view of the state and local tax issues that are important to our clients, including income tax, sales and use tax issues and credits and incentives. This perspective enables the firm to help companies effectively manage their tax burden in the shifting tax landscape.”

Silhan spent 13 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, most recently as the state and local tax M&A leader for the Southeast. Before relocating to Atlanta in 2007, he was a state and local tax director for the firm in Chicago and New York. Silhan also has worked in a tax and business advisory role at Arthur Andersen, focusing on state and local income tax.
He holds a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he served as editor of the Chicago-Kent Law Review; a M.S. in Taxation from DePaul University; and a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Northern Illinois University. Silhan, C.P.A. and C.M.A., recently co-authored BNA’s U.S. Inbound Business Tax Planning, a practical planning guide for structuring foreign investment into the United States. He regularly writes and speaks about state tax issues.

KPMG International has announced Tim Gillis as the new leader of the Global Indirect Tax Services practice, effective 1 June, 2012.

Tim brings over 20 years of professional experience as an attorney prior to joining KPMG LLP the U.S. member firm of KPMG International and as an auditor and tax advisor to the global position, having served both Fortune 500 and mid-market companies across a wide range of industries.

In addition to serving KPMG member firm clients since joining the firm as partner in 1998, Tim is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches global indirect tax.

“Around the world we are seeing the growing importance of VAT/GST. Indeed, governments are increasing their reliance on VAT/GST systems for economically sound reasons,” comments Tim, “I look forward to taking on this role in this challenging environment to help our clients manage their risks and maximize the performance of their indirect tax functions.

Tim succeeds Niall Campbell, who has led the practice for 5 years and helped realize tremendous growth and profile for this strategically important service. Niall will return to his practice in Ireland to serve local and multi-national clients based in that market.

“We thank Niall for his continued contributions at the global level, and the focused growth and development of the Indirect Tax practice to date,” says Greg Wiebe KPMG’s Global Head of Tax. “Tim has a track record for his excellence in leadership and a demonstrated depth of technical knowledge. He will certainly take on the role with drive and commitment and I am excited for the opportunities that we will have for the KPMG Tax practice globally.”


Macfarlanes has announced the appointment of Martin Zetter to the newly created role of Head of Transfer Pricing and Senior Economist in its Tax and Structuring Group. The hire is a strategic move, reflecting the increasing importance of transfer pricing in corporate and fund structuring and will allow Macfarlanes to offer unparalleled structuring advice to its clients.

Martin joins the firm from Ernst & Young, where he was a Director in the financial services transfer pricing group, specialising in the asset management, banking and insurance industries. Previously he was Global Head of Transfer Pricing at BNP Paribas.

Recent changes in corporate culture and public oversight have led to an increased scrutiny of related party transactions, with transfer pricing becoming a strategically important element in corporate and fund planning. Appropriate transfer pricing can result in direct improvements to the bottom line of businesses whilst improving the robustness of their structures from tax authority challenge.

Ashley Greenbank, head of the Tax and Structuring Group at Macfarlanes comments: “The increasing importance of transfer pricing has put corporations and funds under pressure to adopt a holistic approach to structuring. We see Martin’s appointment as an opportunity to complement our existing transfer pricing and tax structuring expertise and enhance our offering to clients. This ability to provide fully comprehensive advice and structuring solutions to our international corporate and fund clients stands us apart from our peers.”

Martin Zetter, Head of Transfer Pricing and Senior Economist at Macfarlanes adds: “Macfarlanes has a strong track record in delivering high-quality and innovative client solutions. In today’s marketplace, global businesses must ensure they are stringent in their compliance with international rules while maximising returns. In this context, transfer pricing has become a crucial element in corporate structure considerations. I look forward to working with the team at Macfarlanes to help its clients achieve their business goals.”

Tagged with:  

HMRC’s new top team has been finalised, with the appointment today of three Directors General, and following the recruitment of two Executive Committee members earlier this year.

It is the result of an extensive recruitment campaign that considered candidates from within the Department and the wider Civil Service, as well as the private sector and internationally.

The new appointments are:

Jennie Granger, currently Second Commissioner at the Australian Tax Office, appointed as HMRC’s new Director General (DG) for Enforcement & Compliance

Ruth Owen, currently Work Services Director and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, appointed as DG for Personal Tax

Nick Lodge, currently Personal Tax Change Director and HMRC Change Director, appointed as DG for Benefits & Credits for the next 15 months

Earlier this month, Edward Troup was named as HMRC’s Tax Assurance Commissioner, and Jim Harra took over as DG for Business Tax in February 2012.

The creation of the new Executive team has seen two internal promotions, two appointments from elsewhere in the Civil Service and one international recruitment. It means that HMRC’s top team now has four members with deep tax knowledge and another with experience of large-scale customer service operations. This is in addition to the experience and expertise that remains with the Corporate Function Directors General.

It is expected that all five recruits to the Executive Committee will serve as HMRC Commissioners, which means they will be responsible for providing leadership to the Department as a whole, and for delivering the objectives and targets set by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

HMRC Chief Executive Lin Homer said: “I’m delighted to have completed the important task of assembling a new top team. Jennie Granger, Ruth Owen and Nick Lodge are exceptionally-experienced and expert public servants and it’s a pleasure to welcome them on to ExCom.

“The new top team strikes an ideal balance between a fresh, outside perspective and deep understanding of tax and experience of HMRC’s work.
“The appointments made this year fill critical roles in succession to Dave Hartnett, Mike Eland, Stephen Banyard and Steve Lamey, and we are planning a handover that will capture the knowledge, skills and experience of our retiring DGs.”
Jim Harra is already in post, Nick Lodge will take up his new role in early August, Edward Troup in late August, Ruth Owen will join HMRC in early September and Jennie Granger is expected to be in post by October.

More detailed bios are shown below:

Jennie Granger

Jennie has been a Second Commissioner (currently Law) with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for ten years. Most of her career has been in a range of senior positions within the ATO and Australian Civil Service, previously serving on secondment as Deputy Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and for seven years as Second Commissioner Compliance.
Jennie has wide experience and is regarded as an expert in both domestic and international tax administration and is a member of the International Monetary Fund Panel of Tax Administration Experts. In 2009 she was awarded an Australian Public Service Medal for ‘outstanding public service in administration of taxation in Australia and internationally’, in part for bringing greater openness and transparency to ATO compliance activities.
Jennie is also a part-time member of the Clean Energy Regulator and, as part of the Australian Public Service’s Top 200, contributes to the strategic leadership of the APS through a range of committee memberships and activities. She is also a member of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Law School Advisory Committee.

Ruth Owen

Ruth is currently Work Services Director and Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the DWP. She was previously Chief Operating Officer in Jobcentre Plus and has operated at Board level for more than seven years, balancing both strategic and delivery roles. Ruth started her career in the civil service as a National Insurance Inspector and has wide-ranging experience within DWP on policy, projects and Minister’s private office. She has spent two spells in the private sector on secondment, most recently in PC World in 2005-6. Ruth has spent the last year as Head of Profession for Operational Delivery in DWP.

Nick Lodge

Nick is currently Personal Tax Change Director and HMRC Change Director and has held a range of other senior management and project roles within HMRC, including Director for Debt Management & Banking, Programme Director for Tax Credits and Child Benefit and Director of Customer Contact. In his early years, he worked in policy, HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office. He joined the Inland Revenue in 1990 after ten years in retail banking.

Tagged with:  

Crowell & Moring LLP has announced the addition of two prominent tax controversy and litigation partners to the firm’s Tax Group in Washington, D.C. David B. Blair and David J. Fischer bring more than 50 years of combined litigation and trial experience, advising domestic and international clients in the areas of federal tax litigation and controversy, with a specific focus on transfer pricing and international tax issues. The additions expand the tax controversy and litigation capabilities of Crowell & Moring’s Tax Group as the firm expands its leading national tax practice. Blair joins from Miller & Chevalier and Fischer joins from Cooley LLP.

“As transfer pricing continues to be a focus of increased IRS audit and litigation scrutiny, both David Blair and David Fischer bring a wealth of credentials and knowledge that will serve our clients well in these and other complex tax controversy matters,” said Harold J. Heltzer, chair of Crowell & Moring’s Tax Group. “In addition, their work involving the application of the economic substance doctrine, partnership-level litigation, and alternative dispute resolution with the IRS, as well as managing the overall tax needs of multi-national corporations, makes them an excellent fit for our group and clients.”

A former trial attorney for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Blair’s experience includes representing Fortune 500 companies in the petroleum, retail, timber, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, government contracting, and chemical industries. He has handled large tax litigation and controversy matters in the areas of transfer pricing, foreign tax credits, partnerships, tax-exempt bonds, consolidated returns, federal excise taxes, employment taxes, tax treaties, and tax accounting issues. Blair also has extensive experience handling tax controversies before Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Exam, IRS Appeals, the IRS National Office, and representing taxpayers before the Advance Pricing Agreement program and Competent Authority (now the Advance Pricing and Mutual Agreement (APMA) office).

Blair is the editor of PLI’s The Transfer Pricing Answer Book and co-author of BNA’s Transfer Pricing: Audits, Appeals, and Penalties. Active in pro bono litigation, Blair represents non-profit organizations and individuals in federal, state, and local tax matters. He is a member of the U.S. Tax Court J. Edgar Murdock Inn of Court. He holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Cornell University and a B.A. from Georgetown University.

“Crowell & Moring has a great heritage of successful tax litigation work,” said Blair. “I look forward to being a part of this growing group, which encompasses an impressive mix of substantive technical tax experts and litigators, partnered with a solid transactional practice.”

Focusing his national practice on tax controversy work, Fischer represents Fortune 500 companies, publicly traded corporations, and high net-worth individuals in tax matters. His clients include companies in the semiconductor, software, petroleum, mining, automotive, and banking and finance industries. With extensive experience handling IRS alternative dispute resolution procedures, Fischer has worked on accelerated appeals and mediation matters before the IRS Appeals office, and counseled clients on numerous IRS examinations, including coordinated examination audits, the Fast Track Settlement program, and the Industry Issue Resolution program. He also has supervised the litigation of coordinated industry issues, partnership-level cases, and test cases.

Fischer has extensive transfer pricing experience, currently focusing on buy-in royalty payments in connection with cost-sharing arrangements and other related issues. His cases include tax-sensitive leasing, partnership issues, foreign currency, commodity, option and stock trading issues, and amortization of sports player contracts.

Co-author of the Aspen Publishers Examination and Appeals Chapter of A Practical Guide to U.S. Transfer Pricing, Fischer has also been an editorial advisor to The Tax Advisor and is a frequent speaker on tax topics. He is a director of the Anglo-American Charitable Foundation, Ltd. and represents charities before the IRS as part of his pro bono practice. He holds a J.D., with honors, from George Washington University and a B.A., with high honors, from Michigan State University.

“With its deep roots in Washington, D.C., Crowell & Moring’s Tax Group has an impressive platform that will allow my tax controversy practice to continue to grow,” said Fischer. “I am thrilled to be joining a firm committed to growth that has such strong regulatory and litigation practices already in place.”

Ernst & Young LLP announced today the appointment of Julie Canty and Carlos A. Schmidt as partners in the firm’s Asset Management Tax practice. They will be the sixth and seventh new senior professionals to join the expanding group in the US this year to provide clients with insights and perspective on issues relating to tax, regulation and compliance for the asset management industry.

“Julie and Carlos bring with them deep knowledge that will broaden our US experience and leadership in asset management,” noted Michael Serota, Global Hedge Fund Services co-leader and Global Asset Management tax leader for Ernst & Young. “Their collective experience will strengthen our team’s ability to help clients grow their businesses and respond to new tax regulatory changes. Their addition to Ernst & Young LLP underscores our continuing investment and growth in the firm’s asset management industry practice across the US.”

Canty was formerly with Deloitte Tax LLP’s New York hedge fund group, where she focused on tax advisory, compliance and structuring fund clients. Prior to her association with Deloitte, Canty was a principal with Eastpointe Management LLC, a spinoff of Continuation Investments Group, Inc., where she was the fund controller.

Canty is also a former assistant controller for Oak Hill Capital Management, Inc., and was a tax manager with Arthur Andersen LLP. A certified public accountant, she earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa.

Schmidt was with the Passthroughs group of the National Tax Office of Deloitte Tax LLP. He specialized in partnership tax matters with a specific focus on the formation and operation of hedge and private equity funds. Prior to joining Deloitte Tax LLP, Schmidt was Director of Tax for Highbridge Capital Management, LLC, a leading alternative asset management firm, with assets under management of over $20 billion. There he helped structure a number of credit and equity funds and oversaw cross-border investment tax planning. Schmidt was also responsible for all fund tax reporting and all financial statement matters pertaining to ASC 740.

In addition, Schmidt is a former sell-side research analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he was a member of Global Investment Research covering the lodging sector. He is a guest lecturer at the Practicing Law Institute, the Georgetown University Law Center and the Wharton School of Business, as well.

A certified public accountant, Schmidt received his master of business administration in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s in taxation and bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Southern California.

Tagged with:  

Global audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars announced today that 6 partners, two consultants and more than 60 staff members from Grant Thornton Cape Town will join Mazars effective 1 August 2012.

Mazars has more than 13,000 professionals in 69 countries, in addition to correspondents and joint ventures in a further 15 countries. As at 31 August 2011, Mazars’ Group turnover was €956.7 million. The move will increase Mazars’ staff nationally to more than 750 and result in a turnover in excess of R350 million.

The team joining Mazars is the original Grant Thornton team that merged with BDO Cape Town two years ago and practised under the Grant Thornton name. That merger has been unwound, and the original Grant Thornton practice will now merge with Mazars.

“We’re delighted to welcome such an exceptional group of professionals into the Mazars family, and are confident that our cultures, values and strategic visions will merge seamlessly,” says Hilton Saven, National Chairman of Mazars South Africa and Co-CEO of Mazars International. “Their business mirrors ours remarkably in many ways, and will strengthen our offering across the board.”

Saven says the merger has been enthusiastically welcomed at international level, and is seen as an important development in its strategy of combining both organic and external growth.

Neil Miller, Joint Managing Partner of Grant Thornton Cape Town, who will join Mazars as a Partner says that the partners and staff are excited at the prospect of working with the calibre of professionals that Mazars offers: “We are all firmly of the belief that it is in the interest of all stakeholders in our business and, most importantly the clients, that we work in a strategic direction that places people and values at its core to enable us to develop and grow our service offering.”

In addition to Miller, the partners joining Mazars are Danny Naidoo, Mike Teuchert, David Smith, Larry Auret and Melanie Odendaal. Retired partners David Wener and Deryck Woolley will also join as consultants. The new partners and staff will be integrated into Mazars’ Cape Town based office in Century City.

Tagged with: