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Today’s news in brief – 12/2/2024

EY has reportedly borrowed over $700m (£558m) for its failed attempt to split its consulting and accountancy arms, known as Project Everest. New accounts filed at Companies House show EY’s borrowing increased to $983m (£778m) in 2023, up from $296m (£234m) the previous year. The separation plan, abandoned in April, led the firm to increase its floating rate credit facility and take on additional debt. EY informed partners that the borrowed sum for Project Everest would be “almost entirely” paid off by July 1, 2024. EY Global CEO Carmine Di Sibio oversaw Project Everest.

Newcastle-based UNW has appointed Nicola Coleman as an audit partner, strengthening its senior team. Coleman brings experience from working with privately-owned entrepreneurial businesses and not-for-profit entities, gained at both Big Four firms and regional independent firms. The appointment follows sustained growth and new client acquisitions at UNW, with Coleman joining the existing senior team. UNW is also set to announce the arrival of another audit partner, currently leading the audit division of a regional Big Four office. UNW Managing Partner Andrew Wilson emphasised the firm’s commitment to providing high-quality service amid its growth and development phase.

Cross-border advisory firm Quantuma has named Ahmad Chit as managing director in its Middle East practice, reinforcing the investigations and asset recovery division. Chit, a Canadian qualified chartered accountant with over 15 years of experience in forensic accounting, investigations, and compliance, will contribute to the firm’s regional growth. His extensive background includes leading forensic accounting projects across the MENA region, involvement in high-profile investigations and disputes globally, and collaboration with international courts and regulatory bodies. Chit’s appointment aligns with Quantuma’s expansion strategy, following the addition of restructuring expert Nigel Smith in 2023.

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