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Today’s news in brief – 3/1/2024

Opus Restructuring LLP, the insolvency arm of Opus Business Advisory Group, has acquired SKSI Limited and its subsidiary MLM CPS Limited. Fred Satow, former SKSI CEO, now partners with Opus Restructuring LLP. The transaction involves two direct hires and eight indirect hires. SKS Business Services, founded by Sanjay Swarup, remains unaffected. Opus focuses on financial and operational challenges, offering strategic advice, business rescue, corporate finance, and more. Tim Dolder, Opus group partner, expresses pleasure with the acquisition and looks forward to a strategic partnership with SKS Business Services.

Amid scandals and audit failures, Big Four firms have plans to reassess governance, according to the Financial Times. EY’s US partners adopt a new system with a board overseeing management. PwC considers Australia’s reforms as a blueprint. The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board conducts a culture review to address audit quality. Laura Empson, a business school professor, suggests governance changes are overdue, criticising the partnership model. In the UK, the FRC recommends independent non-executives for audit firms and separate audit boards. Governance reforms are deemed necessary to enhance accountability and address regulatory concerns.

Midlands-based PKF Smith Cooper has announced promotions across all departments following significant expansion. Notable promotions include Julie Stringer to audit director, recognized for her role in advancing the audit service. Josh Gurton rises to manager in the corporate finance team. Deniss Sipovics is promoted to transaction services manager. Internal promotions include Caitlin Monteath as assistant HR manager and Lucy Campion as assistant marketing manager. The firm’s success includes winning awards and being shortlisted for prestigious recognitions. PKF Smith Cooper’s managing partner, James Bagley, emphasises ongoing recruitment efforts amid ambitious growth plans.

Evelyn Partners introduces a financial planning graduate programme starting in September 2024. The initiative, initially offered in London, Glasgow, and the North West, complements existing programs. Graduates receive guidance, support, and professional qualifications through partnerships with leading training providers. The curriculum emphasises relationship-building, financial assessment, and recommendation skills. Emma Sterland, head of financial planning at Evelyn Partners, underscores the company’s commitment to investing in both experienced hires and the next generation of financial planners. The program aims to provide hands-on experience, ensuring graduates develop a broad skill set.

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