BusinessCompany NewsFTI targets Big Four position

FTI targets Big Four position

US business advisory group FTI wants to be considered alongside the Big Four, it said after announcing the purchase of Forensic Accounting in the UK

Nick Hood, partner at Begbies Traynor's

Nick Hood: False accounting on the increase

The move is the US group’s latest foray into the UK market, where it is
trying to get a foothold.

FTI is expected to pay between £5m and £10m for
Forensic
Accounting
, whose 31 staff would be relocated to Holborn Gate ­ the advisory
firm’s London headquarters where 400 employees are based.

Chief executive officer Jack Dunn said: ‘It has been on our radar screen to
have a presence in the UK to serve the rest of Europe as the scope of our
business has turned international and we are representing international
companies. Our clients want someone who knows the legal rules and this
acquisition is very important for us.’

He said FTI would be looking to expand its economic consulting presence,
where it currently has a 15% to 20% global market share, in the UK or the
continent. ‘We would like to have a global brand where companies feel as
comfortable using us as the Big Four.’

Dunn added that he expected forensic accounting in the current tough economic
climate to come to the fore.‘There are a lot of people who go along with certain
business practices, such as including current sales in the previous quarter,
which is fine as long as it can be made up in the next quarter. In a declining
market this sort of thing can’t be made up.’

Fraud work is predicted to be on an upsurge as the likelihood of a downturn
increases.

Andrew Durant, managing director of fraud investigations at forensic
accounting firm Navigant said: ‘As things get tighter, people will look at the
bottom line, how can we make things look better, they will start examining their
costs more closely and will uncover fraud.’

Nick Hood, a partner in Begbies Traynor’s London office, said: ‘More and more
when you go into companies to restructure there are issues to do with false
accounting and fraud.’

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