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First Names Group has significantly expanded its corporate services offering by acquiring Temmes Management Services and appointing a new Group Managing Director, Corporate and Institutional Services.

The Temmes deal is First Names Group’s second acquisition this year, its first in the corporate services sector. The transaction supports its strategy to expand its corporate services into France, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and the USA whilst also adding to its existing corporate presence in Switzerland and Ireland.

Established in 1996, Temmes Management Services is a privately owned boutique firm specialising in the implementation and operation of sophisticated, multi-jurisdictional corporate tax structures. It has a team of 32 employees and its primary focus is accounting, corporate secretarial, management and treasury services for privately held companies, private equity firms and publicly held companies, principally stemming from the European and USA marketplace.

To strengthen and drive its corporate services line, Armin Kirchner has been appointed as Group Managing Director, Corporate and Institutional Services. Armin joins from the TMF Group, where he played an instrumental role in its global expansion. Armin has served in numerous senior roles throughout his career with TMF, working as both Managing Director and Regional Director throughout Europe before being promoted in 2011 to Global Director Corporate Services based in New York where he was a member of TMF Group’s Executive Committee.

Post integration First Names Group will have a headcount of over 500 ‘First Names’ and operate in 11 countries across the world.

Founding partner of Temmes, Pieter G. C. van Tol, said:

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to join First Names Group, it is a fantastic organisation with outstanding people that share our passion for superior service. Our clients come first and our team of highly experienced personnel, wide range of services and fixed fee approach have enabled us to distinguish ourselves in the global marketplace. We are all looking forward to the next chapter and becoming part of a larger team. First Names Group is committed to hiring additional experienced professionals who will facilitate future expansion into further countries.

Morgan Jubb, Chief Executive Officer at First Names Group, comments;

“I am delighted to confirm our acquisition of Temmes and welcome Armin to the Group. We are focusing on expanding and strengthening our global corporate services offering as part of our overall strategy and Temmes is the ideal acquisition to drive this. It will allow us to offer our clients a high-quality, high value multi-jurisdictional offering in key locations within the corporate services world. Armin’s knowledge and experience will be of great benefit to the business and I am very much looking forward to working with him.”

first names groupArmin Kirchner, Group Managing Director, Corporate and Institutional Services at First Names Group, further comments:

“I am really excited to join First Names Group and to be part of such a unique firm. I believe that in the corporate services arena, First Names Group stands out as a dedicated and passionate provider appealing to multinational corporations. One of the Group’s key values is to focus on its people in order to deliver outstanding service to its clients. This has already brought it a fantastic reputation and I am confident that with a true multi-country service offering we will grow this further for the benefit of our clients and people.”

First Names Group is a global, independent provider of trust, fund and corporate administration services, with over 500 employees (550 post integration of Mercator – subject to regulatory approval) and offices in Jersey, Isle of Man, Cyprus, Switzerland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, France, Ireland, UK, the British Virgin Islands and Japan.

Armin Kirchner served as Managing Director of various TMF European offices before becoming regional director for Central and Eastern Europe in 2006. Two years later, he was promoted to regional director for the EMEA region. In mid-2011, Armin took up the role of Global Director Corporate Services, became a member of TMF Group’s Executive Committee and moved to New York to also assume the role of Regional Director North America. Armin will focus on growing First Names Group’s international corporate and institutional service offering.

UHY Hacker Young has announced an acquisition, re-brandings and the appointment of new tax partners.

hacker young tax jobsHoward Spencer, Chairman of UHY Hacker Young, says: “UHY Hacker Young is an expanding and ambitious accountancy group and, as our reputation grows, clients are increasingly attracted by the additional expertise offered within our key technical centres and across our local offices.  We are delighted to be starting 2014 with a bang, with a bigger and more visible presence across the country and some really exciting new senior appointments.”

UHY Hacker Young’s Scottish firm, Campbell Dallas LLP has recently acquired Aberdeen-based tax consultancy, Iain A Prentice, bringing five new professionals with significant experience of international tax to the firm, and helping Campbell Dallas extend its reach into one of the UK’s most important commercial cities.

In addition to the Scottish acquisition, UHY Hacker Young has recently boosted its profile across England and Wales.  As of 1st January this year, the group’s Newport, Letchworth and Royston offices have all rebranded as UHY Hacker Young from their local firm names.

UHY Hacker Young also announces the recent appointment of several new tax partners (some already reported here on Tax Grotto):

  • Simon Browning, who was recognised as one of the country’s Top ‘40 under 40’ tax professionals by Tolley’s Tax Journal in 2012/13 has joined the Nottingham office as a Tax Partner, bringing more than fifteen years’ tax experience at top four and top ten firms.
  • In Manchester, Matthew Hodgson has been appointed as Tax Partner.  He specialises in corporate tax issues including the tax aspects of corporate M&A and restructurings.  He joins from a specialist automotive practice having previously spent over a decade at a top four firm.
  • The London office has appointed Michael Avient as partner within the private client services team.  He has previously held a number of senior roles within large firms and written for leading tax publications. He has significant expertise with complex tax planning and resolution of tax enquiries and investigations.  Michael has had a number of notable successes especially for high profile clients and has been asked to supply expert reports and evidence in his areas of specialism.


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Cordium, a leading global compliance and regulatory services provider to the financial services industry, has announced the acquisition of HedgeStart. Formed in 2000, HedgeStart offers a unique blend of UK tax, accounting and regulatory compliance consulting services to the investment management and securities industries.

The deal marks another chapter in a period of planned expansion for Cordium, following quickly on from the acquisition of The Sigma Partnership in December 2013. The HedgeStart acquisition allows Cordium to add a highly regarded corporate and private client tax capability to its wide range of client services. It also expands Cordium’s core compliance specialism and provides a further boost to its regulatory accounting division.

All of HedgeStart’s staff and the majority of its partners will be joining Cordium. HedgeStart’s Founder and Managing Partner, Matthew Wilson, will become an advisory consultant to Cordium.

HedgeStart’s regulatory compliance consultants will join Cordium’s UK compliance consulting team, working under the leadership of Director Philip Naughton, while its accounting and tax teams will merge with Cordium’s regulatory accounting division under the leadership of HedgeStart partner Rob Edwards. Stephen Burke, Cordium’s Managing Director of EMEA, said “There will be no change for HedgeStart’s existing clients, save for the fact that through Cordium they will now have access to additional UK and global resources, offering a wider range of services and greater depth of support.”

hedgestart tax jobsMichel van Leeuwen, group CEO of Cordium, said: “The rationale for this move is similar to that behind our recent acquisition of Sigma, and the deal forms part of the same overall strategy. Over the past years, firms have been subjected to an avalanche of regulatory and fiscal obligations globally. We know this will continue. The ever increasing globalisation of the economy only contributes to the complexity. The lines between compliance, regulatory accounting and tax have become blurred. We know from our clients that there is now real demand for holistic advice across these areas from a single, trusted global provider. Acquiring HedgeStart with its well-deserved reputation, and absorbing its expertise, allows Cordium to strengthen its position in that role.”

Matthew Wilson added: “We are proud of HedgeStart’s reputation in the market and the high level of client service we have consistently delivered in our 13 plus years. We would not have embarked on this deal without full confidence in Cordium’s ability to continue that legacy uninterrupted. Our clients will now benefit from Cordium’s increased size, global reach and considerable international regulatory expertise. Furthermore, this deal is also a ringing endorsement of the calibre andprofessionalism of the HedgeStart team, who will now continue the delivery of our existing services under Cordium.”

The deal was funded by Cordium’s private equity sponsors, Sovereign Capital, as part of its long-term strategy to grow the business both organically and through acquisition. Cordium will continue to make further acquisitions in 2014.

About Cordium

Cordium is the leading global provider of regulatory compliance consulting services, regulatory accounting, tax services and software to the asset management and securities industry. Today, Cordium has offices in London, New York, Boston, San Francisco and Hong Kong and employs more than 170 experienced professionals who support more than 1500 clients in the financial services industry, ranging from ultra-high net worth clients to family offices and start-ups to global financial services firms.

About HedgeStart

HedgeStart was founded in 2000 to offer a range of start-up and on-going outsourced services predominantly to alternative investment businesses. Services include: Corporate Tax; Private Client Tax; FCA Regulatory Compliance; Accountancy & Payroll; and Strategic Consulting. The firm has grown continually for the last thirteen years and operates out of a single office in London with a headcount of 36 people.

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ryan tax jobsRyan has announced that it has acquired Burke & Associates, LLC. The acquisition adds more than 100 new client relationships to Ryan’s Property Tax practice. It also supports the Firm’s continued geographic expansion with a new office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, staffed with a team of seasoned property tax professionals that will support the Commercial Real Estate Property Tax group. Byron Burke, Principal of Burke & Associates, joins Ryan as Property Tax Director and will manage more than 500 property tax client sites across Oklahoma. The Burke & Associates team of consultants and associates joins Ryan’s national network of property tax professionals—the largest in North America.

We are excited to grow our North American network of property tax experts into Oklahoma through the acquisition of Burke & Associates,” said Joe Mulcahy (pictured), Ryan Principal and Property Tax Practice Leader. “Their reputation is widely respected, and they will play an important role in our ability to offer a more comprehensive suite of value-added services to our property tax clients.”

“My associates and I are thrilled to be joining forces with Ryan to provide world-class property tax services to our long-standing clients,” said Byron Burke, Principal and Owner of Burke & Associates. “As we surveyed the industry landscape, it became clear that Ryan’s core values and commitment to client service aligned most closely with ours.”

“This acquisition represents another step in the execution of our growth strategy to build market share dominance in corporate tax services,” said G. Brint Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Ryan. “We are excited to add the skilled professionals of Burke & Associates to the Ryan team and are committed to providing our new clients superior value and results.”

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Ernst & Young LLP has acquired the Tax Preparation and Court Accounting Outsourcing businesses of Thomson Reuters in the US, the two companies announced today. Approximately 175 employees will join EY.

The transaction benefits the long-term strategies of both organizations. Ernst & Young LLP and the global EY organization plan to continue growing these full–service outsourcing businesses, focusing on expanding service offerings to financial services organizations and law firms. Meanwhile, the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters will focus resources on its core software and implementation services businesses.

EY tax jobs“This is just the latest example of EY’s commitment to offering the most advanced technology and services available to our clients,” said Kate Barton, EY Americas Vice Chair of Tax Services. “EY and Thomson Reuters share a strong cooperative relationship, working closely in connection with these outsourcing capabilities, and we will continue to be a software customer of Thomson Reuters. We have a great deal of respect for Thomson Reuters, and we’re excited about welcoming these new professionals to EY.”

The software businesses of ONESOURCE Trust Tax and ONESOURCE Trust & Estate Administration will remain with the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters.

“We are focused on delivering value to our customers and believe we can best execute through our software platform. We have determined that an accounting and consulting organization like EY can better serve our customers’ full-service outsourced tax preparation needs,” said Brian Peccarelli, President of the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. “We will continue to work closely with EY and will license our ONESOURCE Trust Tax and ONESOURCE Trust & Estate Administration software to them so that our customers have a seamless transition.”


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Independent accountants Campbell Dallas LLP has acquired Aberdeen-based tax consultancy Iain A Prentice & Co, as the firm looks to further strengthen its international stronghold.

Iain Prentice & Co brings five members of staff to Campbell Dallas. They have experience in global tax planning through assisting personal and corporate clients around the world eg in Norway, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Campbell Dallas is Scotland’s only member of the UHY Hacker Young worldwide network of accountants and it was this association that appealed to Iain Prentice & Co.

Iain Prentice, founder and partner of Iain A Prentice & Co said: “Campbell Dallas is affiliated to a strong association of international accountants and it was this rich network that was a huge attraction to us.  We have enormous experience of working with businesses on a global scale and we look forward to adding our significant international tax expertise to the current Campbell Dallas portfolio of services.”


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JTC Group has acquired Ardel Trust Company, based in Geneva.

ATCSA, formerly known as Bachmann Trust Company SA, which was established in 2002, is a full service trust company providing foundations, company and trustee services.

JTC Trust jobsNigel Le Quesne, Group CEO and Chairman of JTC Group, commented:

“The company is a long established private wealth operation in Switzerland which has grown rapidly. It has an excellent reputation, with skilled multi-lingual employees and high calibre international clients. This latest acquisition is part of our broader international growth strategy and complements other deals completed this year, including the purchase of Ardel’s third party fund administration business in Guernsey, the opening of a representative office in the USA and a significant strategic alliance in Asia encompassing Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur amongst others.”

ATCSA’s 13 staff in Geneva, led by Martin Pugh, are joining the JTC Group and the business will continue to operate from its Geneva offices.

Martin Pugh, who remains Managing Director of the new Swiss business, added:

“This is an exciting development, which will significantly enhance our capabilities in providing clients with multi-jurisdictional solutions for their private wealth needs. Our existing clients should notice no change to their relationship with us and it remains business as usual.”

Mr Le Quesne concluded:

“The decision to acquire the Geneva trust business brings further strength in depth to our private wealth offering, adds to our capabilities in providing multi-jurisdictional solutions and, importantly, provides the Group with a stronger presence in a traditional private wealth jurisdiction which remains a leading centre for fiduciary business.

“It will also provide an important platform for us to develop our business in Latin America, where clients are familiar with the attractions and legislative features of Switzerland.”

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Ryan, a leading global tax services firm with the largest indirect tax practice in North America, today announced that the Firm has acquired Thomson Reuters Property Tax Services (PTS) business. The acquisition will add an estimated 600 property tax and unclaimed property professionals, making Ryan the largest global provider of property tax services, with the largest indirect tax practice in North America and the second largest unclaimed property practice and sixth largest corporate tax practice in the United States. It will also provide a Center of Tax Excellence in India, with more than 145 professionals, and serve as a launch pad for Ryan’s entry into South Asia, while extending the Firm’s indirect tax practice to support emerging markets such as China.

This acquisition will represent a dramatic shift in the market leadership structure of the tax services industry. With revenues of over $350 million annually, Ryan becomes the largest global provider of tax services outside of the major accounting firms. With 1,600 professionals serving clients in more than 40 countries, Ryan will deploy the largest workforce in the industry, unencumbered by accounting firm rules, restrictions, and regulations. As a result, the Firm can compete directly with the accounting firms and not be restricted in its approach to tax minimization and advocacy.

Ryan’s acquisition of Thomson Reuters PTS will form the largest property tax practice in the world, with more than 750 global professionals leveraging the expertise, methodologies, and best practices of both groups. Ryan’s strategy to ensure the success of the acquisition is built on the maximum retention of Thomson Reuters PTS professionals. Its leadership team will have a prominent role in the future direction of the Ryan Property Tax practice, as well as the entire Firm. And the ability of its professionals to deliver even higher levels of client service and results will be unleashed through Ryan’s innovative and award-winning myRyan work environment, recognized worldwide for incredible employee flexibility and freedom.

Revenue generation and accelerated return on investment will be realized by offering Thomson Reuters PTS clients additional access to Ryan’s integrated suite of state, local, federal, and international tax services. New and existing clients can leverage a single-source solution of more than 45 global tax practices for improving cash flow and minimizing tax liabilities, backed by the highest level of client service in the industry.

Ryan recently became the first company to ever achieve the prestigious International Customer Service Standard (ICSS) Gold Certification from the Customer Service Institute of America (CSIA). This exclusive, three-year certification is the result of an extensive review of Ryan’s client service and quality management processes, and independently validates a new international standard of client service excellence set by the Firm. This standard of excellence will be the framework used to maintain the highest level of client service and results during the integration of Thomson Reuters PTS.

“In just 22 years, Ryan has become the largest firm dedicated to corporate tax services, capturing substantial market share from competitive firms that have been operating for more than 150 years,” said G. Brint Ryan, Chairman and CEO of Ryan. “As this acquisition launches an exciting new phase of global growth for our Firm, all of us remain committed to providing our clients world-class service and superior results.”

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