Forensics head and tax partner appointed at Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton’s forensic offering has been boosted with a new head of financial crime.

Tom Townson has been appointed as a partner and head of financial crime at the top six firm. The financial crime offering will be led by Townson and focus on banks, lenders, loan servicing companies and insurers.

Townson said: “The level of sophistication and the frequency of financial crime is increasing and is a source of continued focus in the media and of importance for businesses. I am looking forward to working with Grant Thornton’s team of experts to tackle this growing issue.”

He has more than 15 years’ experience in financial crime as a practitioner and as a consultant and has advised financial service firms on issues including fraud, anti-money laundering, sanctions, and misconduct. He has an interest in the growth of new technology, and has led global programmes where he has advised on building, reviewing, and improving financial prevention frameworks.

Will Davies, head of forensic and investigations at Grant Thornton UK, said: “Identifying and mitigating financial crime is essential to instilling trust and integrity in markets which underpins a vibrant economy. Tom’s extensive experience in the financial crime space and his wide-ranging knowledge base will really strengthen our existing team, I am excited to welcome him to the team.”

Additionally, Grant Thornton has strengthened its tax offering with the appointment of Vinny McCullagh as partner. He will focus on strengthening the firms VAT offering in the real estate and financial service sectors, leading on VAT automation.

McCullagh said: “In a period of change in the indirect tax world, both at a macro–economic and regulatory level, there are a number of factors that have the potential to alter the current landscape.

“This includes Brexit and the introduction of VAT regimes in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Combine these with the on-going shift from direct to indirect taxation and we can see why indirect tax is becoming the fundamental tax issue for our clients. I am looking forward to working with Grant Thornton’s team.”

He has nearly 20 years’ experience specialising in providing expert indirect tax advice and had been nominated by International Tax Review as one of the UK’s leading indirect tax advisers for the past two years.

Clive Fathers, head of London tax, Grant Thornton, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Vinny to the firm. Technology is starting to become a major disruptor in the tax arena and Vinny’s extensive experience will be invaluable in leading the firm’s VAT offering.”

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