RegulationAccounting StandardsMazars comes out fighting as AADB announces probe

Mazars comes out fighting as AADB announces probe

Mazars admits being surprised at AADB probe into its advice on the buyout of the Threshers pension scheme, but claims it conducted itself under the ‘highest professional standards’

Mazars' offices

Mazars’ offices

Mazars has claimed it
conducted itself under the ‘highest professional standards’, after accounting
watchdogs launched an investigation into its advice on the buyout of the pension
scheme of wine store
Threshers.

Mazars’ guidance on the transfer of First Quench Pension Fund is being probed
by the Accountancy and
Actuarial Disciplinary Board
following a report from the Pensions Regulator.

‘We are surprised at the AADB’s decision to launch an investigation into this
matter,’ said Mazars. ‘We are confident the advice was to the highest
professional standards and we will of course fully co-operate with the AADB
during the course of the investigation. It would be inappropriate to make any
further comment at this point.’

The probe will set the alarm bells ringing among pension fund trustees,
pensions experts have warned.

David Johnson, of trustee recruiters
Trustee
GAAPS
, said: ‘The desire among companies to offload their pension schemes is
not going to go away. Buy-outs can create a win/win solution for pension fund
holders and the sponsoring company. However, neither the sponsoring company nor
trustees want a bad deal to come back and haunt them.’

The AADB confirmed this week it had launched a probe into the conduct of
Mazars and of an individual in relation to ‘the provision of advice to the
Trustee of the First Quench Pension Fund in connection with an employer
substitution’.

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