News in Brief – 13 May

PwC expands in Europe

PricewaterhouseCoopers has poached KPMG’s management consulting practice in Belgium and acquired Italian management consultancy Galango & Merli. PwC said the Belgian practice will add around $11m in turnover to its existing $90m consulting practice in the country. Galango & Merli has annual revenues of $8.8m and employs 40 professional staff. The news follows KPMG’s poaching of six partners from PwC’s associated law firm, Arnheim Tite & Lewis, to start its own firm KLegal. Sage launches free internet services Accountancy software company Sage announced a free internet service for customers on Tuesday 11 May. Subscribers will get an email address and access to newsfeeds and credit-checking facilities at the company’s online ‘portal’.

Stakis FD joins Wembley plc Neil Chisman, the high-profile former Stakis finance director, is to join Wembley plc as FD following the departure of three dissident directors who tried to prevent the sale of the famous stadium. Chisman left Stakis after the board of the hotel and casino chain accepted a £1.16bn offer from the Ladbroke Group. Meanwhile, life assurer Prudential Corporation has announced that its finance director Jonathan Bloomer is to succeed Sir Peter Davis as chief executive.

Howell holds off on Heritage Insolvency minister Kim Howells has refused to intervene in the row over Heritage – put into receivership amid allegations of a conflict of interest involving Grant Thornton. Howells, quizzed in a parliamentary adjournment debate last week, said banks were reviewing their experience of using investigating accountants as receivers.

ASB to review SSAP 20 The Accounting Standards Board has withdrawn its proposal to amend SSAP 20 ‘Foreign Currency Translation’ to require companies to disclose investments in foreign companies in the local currency. It has decided to tackle hedging disclosures in a wider review of SSAP 20 as a whole.

FD loses £20m pension fund A chartered accountant and former finance director of a leading City investment house has confessed to losing £20m of colleagues’ retirement funds on the stockmarket. The losses occurred in the mid-1980s when Hugh Eaves was finance director of the Swiss-owned Phillips & Drew. The money, which belonged to at least 15 partners at the firm, was held as bonds in a Swiss bank account. Eaves lost the money in a series of bets he made on the derivatives markets.

US firms join HLB Kidsons HLB Kidsons has doubled the size of its international arm, HLB International. Three US firms have joined bringing 206 extra partners and 1,400 staff.

From June, users will be able to design and display their own Web pages on the site.

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