Monthly Archives: July 2014

04-06 September 2014 Second GGI Nordic-Baltic Meeting in Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

The second Nordic-Baltic meeting will be kindly hosted by GGI member firm Sirel & Partners Law Firm and held in the Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn.

Early arrivals can join a game of golf at Estonian Golf and Country Club. The conference will officially start on Thursday evening with a dinner in a typical Estonian restaurant in the beautiful old town of Tallinn. On Friday delegates can listen to presentations on the topic of E-society and exchange experiences, plans and ideas. In the afternoon there is an opportunity for a guided Tallinn sightseeing, which gives delegates the chance to discover the city and its sights, but also to network with GGI fellows in a relaxed atmosphere. Friday will conclude with a gourmet dinner at restaurant Bordoo. On Saturday delegates meet for post-conference discussions before they depart individually from the hotel. We look forward to welcoming our GGI members in Estonia. GGI members not yet registered can still do so. The invitation documents can be found on > member login > events > Nordic-Baltic Meeting.

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GGI is moving forward in Latin America

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Several years ago, GGI divided its Latin-American Region into four subregions (Mexico, Central America, the Andes and Mercosur), in an effort to increase efficiency. This year Dr Miguel Mantelli, Regional CEO of the Latin American region, has organised subregional meetings. These meetings enabled members to get to know each other better and cement business partnerships or even friendships amongst GGI fellows, to exchange experiences, ideas and views and to create a sound basis for new business referrals. Subjects discussed during the subregional meetings included cooperation with North American GGI members, involvement in GGI Practice Groups, international conferences and, last but not least, generating new business opportunities for GGI members.

Subregional meetings, hosted by GGI member firms, took place in four different locations. The Mercosur subregion met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on 7 February, which was hosted by the MDV Group and Carle & Andrioli. The meeting between the Central America and Caribbean subregions took place on the same day in Panama City, Panama, and was hosted by Quijano & Asociados. The Mexico subregion meeting was held in Monterrey, Mexico on 8 April and was hosted by Saldívar & Asociados. Finally, Vargas, Alencastre, García S.C. hosted the meeting for the Andes subregion members on 28 April in Lima, Peru.

GGI is moving forward in Latin America

This year’s Latin American regional conference will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 14-17 August 2014, kindly hosted by GGI member firms Banco Fiscal, Monteiro e Monteiro and Grupo Work. The conference will be conducted in Spanish and will be held at the Shera- ton Rio Hotel & Resort.

A combination of presentations and interactive work will form the event’s agenda. Dr Miguel Mantelli will update the audience on the latest developments and planned projects in the region. Practice group meetings will enable delegates to exchange topic-related expertise, experiences and ideas. Presentations will be focusing on various subjects, for example transfer-pricing. Subregional meetings and workshops will take place on the Saturday. In the afternoon, a sightseeing programme will allow delegates to network and to meet in a relaxed en- vironment. All conference documents (delegate programme, registration form and invitation) can be found on the GGI website (member login > events > Latin American Conference Rio de Janeiro).

For further information on this event, please contact Dr Miguel Mantelli by emailing

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German-speaking chapter in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

Host firm Nörenberg Schröder and GGI are pleased to extend an invitation to the German-speaking chapter in Hamburg, Germany, from 19 to 21 September 2014. The event will take place at the Hotel Scandic Hamburg Emporio.

In addition to a varied conference programme, the meeting will involve animated exchanges of experience and knowledge. The conference will conclude at the Überseeclub, which was founded in 1922 to “promote Hamburg’s position in the world”. To this day, the club is one of the top places to go in the Hanseatic city, attracting exceptional minds from the worlds of business, politics, culture and science.

GGI is looking forward to welcoming many German speaking GGI members in Hamburg. It is not too late for GGI members who have not yet registered to do so. Please use the on- line registration tool at http://www.ggi. com (member login > Events). The conference programme is also available on the website.

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Best Practices & Developing Leaders Conferences in Montreal, Canada


The North American “Best Prac- tices” & “Developing Leaders” Conferences will take place in Montreal, QC, Canada on September 18-20. The event will be most warmly hosted by GGI member firms, Lehoux Boivin LLP and Ravinsky, Ryan, Lemoine LLP.

This conference features two event tracks that will run in parallel. The “Best Practices” program is designed to connect managing partners and senior leaders in an open forum; and the “Developing Leaders” program presents content that is relevant to the rising leaders within the firm. All general sessions, meals, and networking events will be jointly held.

The conference and accommodation have been arranged at Hotel Nelligan, a luxury hotel located in Old Montreal, that houses traditional brick walls that are over a hundred years old. The hotel is at the center of the historic part of Montreal, just behind the Notre Dame. The surrounding area is meant as a walking district with numerous bars, cafés and French bakeries.

Montreal was named after “Mount Royal”, the triple peaked hill in the heart of the city. It is the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec, and was surpassed as the largest city (based on population and economic strength) in Canada by Toronto in the 1970s. With a metropolitan population of nearly 4 million, it remains an important center of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, gaming, film, and world affairs.

After Paris, it is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, with approximately 65% of the population claiming French as their first language. Four out of every five French speakers speak at least a little English; and staff at restaurants, hotels, and shops will greet in French but can easily switch to English, as necessary.

Montreal has a humid continental climate, bringing in warm summers, and at the other extreme, very cold winters. The late Summer and Autumn seasons bring in cool winds, pushing the temperatures down quite significantly.

Online registration is currently open on the GGI website. To register for the conference, you will first need to log in to the internal area of the GGI website. When registering for the event, please choose the appropriate track (“Best Practices” or “Developing Leaders”).

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Cape Town, South Africa, is the host Middle-East African (MEA) Regional and World Conferences in Cape Town

Cape Town

This year’s host firms of the GGI Middle-East African Regional (15-16 October) and World Conferences (16- 19 October) are GGI member firms Nolands South Africa, a national auditing and advisory firm and Heyns & Partners Inc, a firm of attorneys.

Clive Noland and Darryl Fordham of Nolands SA, together with Cornelia van Heerden from Heyns and Partners, extend a warm welcome to fellow GGI members, and we look forward to everyone participating in a rewarding conference and also taking time out to enjoy the “Mother City” of South Africa. If you have never been to South Africa before, and particularly Cape Town, prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime!

Nolands began some 38 years as a single office, based in Cape Town. In a period of rapid growth, the firm now has offices across the country as well as in Mauritius. Nolands offers a range of services from public company audits to specialised advice across the financial spectrum. The company has a full Forensics capability, able to apply its skills at a variety of levels and projects. Similarly,

the tax offering includes international tax consulting. The recent addition of the Mauritius offices will offer international clients the ideal gateway to Africa, via Nolands Advisory Services International.

Heyns and Partners Inc was founded by JH Heyns in 1958 in the Western Cape. The firm represents a diverse and extensive client base, both corporate and individual. We know that while GGI’s professional program will occupy much of your time, we hope that you get the chance and make most of the opportunity to explore at least some of what Cape Town has to offer.

Cape Town has a rich history, dating back to 1652 and the first Dutch set- tlers. A trip to the government gardens, just above the city centre, and the Cape Town Castle on Darling Street speak of this time. Nearby is the City Hall where Nelson Mandela gave his first speech as a free man, after 27 years in prison.

The city is vibrant, cosmopolitan and has something for everyone. Exceptional, affordable restaurants offering a variety of cuisine are plentiful. Seafood lovers in particular are spoilt for choice. For wine enthusiasts, there is the opportunity for tasting and buying wine at estates both within the city surrounds and at nearby Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl don’t miss this optional tour on Sunday.

One of the unique things about Cape Town is its peninsula location which has on the one side the Indian Ocean and, on the other, the cold and wild Atlantic. Where they meet is, of course, at Cape Point, the very tip of Africa and a memorable day trip out. Then there is Table Mountain, one of the natural wonders of the world. At Nolands’ offices, situated to the east of the city, we see the Devil’s Peak side of the mountain, spectacular and beautiful in itself. But to get the world famous view, and to really under- stand why it’s called Table Mountain, one can journey for 30 minutes around Table Bay to the aptly named Table View and Bloubergstrand. In fair weather, a trip to the top in the cable car is unforgettable. Remember the camera!

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For those with the time to explore further afield, South Africa is ready to show why it has been called “a world in one country”. Approximately 5 hours driving time from Cape Town is the incomparable Garden Route, a stretch of coast with the second most temperate climate in the world, hundreds of bird species and amazing ecological diversity. Further up is the unspoilt beauty of the Wild Coast and the sub-tropical coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Inland, approximately 2 hours flying time from Cape Town plus transfers, are numerous safari options, such as in the Sabi Sands and the Kruger National Park. Anyone who has ever seen wild animals in their own habitat will know it’s an experience remembered forever.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for any further information and recommendations related to your stay in Cape Town. We look forward to meeting many of you at the Cape and we will do our best to make your stay a perfect memory for you!

GGI is looking forward to welcoming many GGI members in Cape Town. It is not too late for GGI members who have not yet registered to do so. Please use the online registration tool at

(member login > Events). The detailed conference programme is also avail- able on the website.

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GGI Leadership Forum in Eisenberg, Austria What makes a good manager?

GGI Leadership Forum in Eisenberg, Austria 2

These and other management issues were discussed at this year’s Leadership Forum in Eisenberg, which was held in Burgenland in Austria from 19-22 June 2014 with more than 60 managers from GGI member companies present.

The event started on Thursday afternoon with a welcome event including a BBQ and cocktails served in the hotel wine cellar. The casual dinner promptly kick-started the event and was a great occasion for the GGI delegates to meet each other. The conference programme started on Friday morning with a welcome speech delivered by Claudio G. Cocca, President and founder of GGI, who then left the floor to the two keynote speakers: Jane Scaccetti and Prof. Dr Teodoro Cocca.

Ms. Scaccetti’s contribution addressed the topic “Today’s Changing Board Dynamics”, providing inside knowledge on board structure and culture, as well as current issues and concerns. She discussed the composition of boards and how they operate, board culture and balancing perspectives and experience that align with company strategy, current issues and concerns including the problem of “short-termism”, the challenge of information quality addressing the “asymmetric information risk”, and the evolution of board diversity. She underlined the importance of committees and received interesting feedback from the audience. Ms. Scaccetti went on to discuss the gender ratios within boards, producing interesting figures

which suggested that boards with a more even mix of gender representation tend to register better performances.

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Jane Scaccetti began her public accounting career in 1977. Since then, she has gained extensive experience in tax and financial services for the family- owned and entrepreneurially-driven business. As part of her practice, she consults with public and privately owned companies and provides both corporate and individual business and financial counselling. In 1990, Ms. Scaccetti became one of the founding shareholders of Drucker & Scaccetti. She was previously a partner in the national accounting firm Laventhol & Horwath, becoming the first woman tax partner of any national accounting firm in Philadelphia in 1987. Ms. Scaccet- ti is CEO of this boutique firm of over 50 professionals with three active affiliates and related business operations. She is responsible for strategic initiatives, business development and professional career development, in addition to servicing complex family-owned and closely-held businesses. She serves on the advisory board of one client: Com Tex Interactive LLC. Jane is a trustee of Temple University and is Chair of the Health Enterprise Committee. She also sits on the Government Relations & External Affairs Committee. The Board of Trustees is Temple’s governing body, responsible for the educational mission and fiscal policies of the university. Her expertise has been recognised by her peers many times over the years, demonstrated by the fact that she has been awarded with many industry prizes. Ms. Scaccetti is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Prof. Dr Teodoro Cocca was keynote speaker during the GGI World Conference held in Rome in 2012, during which he had addressed the topic “Euro on the brink”. During this year’s Leadership Forum, he talked about the current situation of the capital markets and its outlook. The outcome of the presentation showed that even though the worst of the financial crisis seems to be over and the list of indicators pointing to expansion continues to swell, the banking market still appears fragile and likely to cause further concerns in the future. This situation is not helped by warning signs which are already pointing towards the next big bubble. Combining fundamental data and market psychology, Prof. Cocca addressed these issues and presented possible scenarios for the future. Prof. Cocca, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of GGI, is Professor of Asset Management and member of the Research Institute for Banking and Finance at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Swiss Finance Institute in Zurich. In the past, he worked at Citibank for several years, where he was involved in investment and private banking, conducted research at the Stern School of Business in New York and taught at the Swiss Banking Institute of the University of Zurich. As an adjunct lecturer for banking and finance at the University of Zurich, he is a coveted speaker at academic conventions and international conferences, as well as performing an advisory role for a number of financial institutions. In October 2011, the banking expert was selected as the Dean of Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences at the Johannes Kepler University. Prof. Cocca was born in Switzerland and has Italian roots. He is the Chairman of the annual European Private Banking Summit, which takes place in Zurich. He is a member of the Board of Directors of VP Bank and an advisor to various finance companies in Switzerland and abroad.

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The two keynote speakers helped create a highly animated morning session, which came to a conclusion with a presentation about GGI’s upcoming conferences, delivered by Adam Crowson, CEO of GGI North America. The afternoon session was dedicated to an engaging panel discussion led by GGI’s global CEO, Michael Reiss von Filski, who brought hotly debated topics such as the labour market and the difficulties faced by international (and local) firms in recruiting the right professionals to the table. The attendees were all keen to offer their views on these subjects, providing lively debate. The subject of gender was once again addressed, as Ms. Scaccetti provided the audience with further insights following on from her presentation during the morning session. The day’s programme ended with dinner followed by the evening’s entertainment, a musical, at Kornberg Castle, a breathtaking venue imbued with the artistic and culinary culture of the region.

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The Saturday morning programme featured two workshop sessions held by Jane Scaccetti and Adam Crowson. Ms. Scaccetti addressed the topic of “leadership” exploring the characteristics a true leader should possess and what brings people to follow certain persons and cer- tain ways of thinking. Moreover, the nine Cs of leadership, a famous concept developed by Lee Iacocca, was discussed on the suggestion of Claudio Cocca. Adam Crowson held a workshop regarding getting the most from and giving your best Dinner to GGI; a rapidly expanding company which is constantly looking to improve its service portfolio on offer, with the aim of providing members with the best conference experience. During this session, Mr. Crowson explained the benefits brought by the introduction of Developing Leaders Conferences and Best Practice Conferences, and the importance of debating international issues. The afternoon session featured a series of team-building activities at the Adventure World Welten where the delegates, divided up into small teams, had the chance to practice archery, drive tractors, excavators and pedal karts and saw wooden poles, all the while savouring the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The conference came to an end with a dinner at the Artist’s Village Neumarkt, a beautiful location featuring typical houses with thatched roofs. The attendees all savoured a meal of wild boar, which was roasted to perfection over the course of eight hours, sampled selected wines and enjoyed the live music.

An optional tour had also been scheduled for Sunday morning, when the attendees could enjoy an exclusive exhibition tour of the artist Helmut Swoboda in the “Grenzkunsthalle” located in the village of Jennersdorf.

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GGI is ranked again 6th in the world

GGI ranked 6

The latest survey of international networks and associations carried out by Accountancy Magazine in London, firmly positions GGI Geneva Group International in 6th place in the World.

As the biggest global multidisciplinary alliance, Zurich-based GGI’s cumulated fee income has reached USD 4.593 billion. GGI currently has over 650 offices in more than 115 countries and a total professional staff of 22,188 that takes care of the accounting, legal, taxation and consulting matters of its growing international clientele.

Michael Reiss von Filski, Global CEO of GGI, said, “We are proud to be the largest multidisciplinary organization worldwide. As a true global institution with Swiss roots, we will continue growing and setting standards underlining high quality and professionalism.” Every year, Accountancy Magazine, the official journal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, publishes an annual survey of the top 25 international networks and associations.

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The Lawyer Awards 2014 Memery Crystal Wins “Litigation Team of the Year”

Memery Crystal Wins “Litigation Team of the Yea

GGI member firm Memery Crystal LLP has been named “Litigation Team of the Year” at The Lawyer Awards 2014 for its resounding litigation success on behalf of Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited

(“Gulf”). The awards were presented on 25 June at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The team has already been named “Dispute Resolution Team of the Year” at the Legal Business

Awards 2014, which were presented on 13 February. This marks the first time a firm has won both awards in the same year.

The team successfully defended Gulf against a $1.65 billion claim brought by Excalibur Ventures LLC for an interest in Gulf’s four oil fields in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The strategy set by Memery Crystal and tactics developed and executed achieved an overwhelming victory dismissing all of Excalibur’s claims and recovery of very substantial costs. The 57- day trial was the longest in the Commercial Court’s judicial year (2012-2013).

In addition to achieving complete success at trial, the team won a series of strategic victories which put Excalibur on the back foot from the start. On 13 December 2013, the Court awarded indemnity costs of £17.5 million, a payment on account of the Defendants’ costs, and gave permission for Gulf to pursue Excalibur’s funders.

The Memery Crystal team was led by partner Harvey Rands and included partner Nicholas Scott and solicitors Peter Reynolds and Anne McMahon.

Harvey Rands commented: “I am very proud of the team’s hard work, ingenuity and determination in delivering this resounding victory for the client. I am grateful for the client’s unswerving trust and confidence over more than 3 years of unrelenting litigation.”

Memery Crystal is recognised as a leading firm for dispute resolution by Chambers UK and The Legal 500 UK. It has a wealth of experience in handling complex High Court litigation, and also appears regularly before English and foreign arbitral bodies including LCIA, ICC, ICSID, AAA, LMAA and WIPO. Memery Crystal has specialist groups handling financial services and regulatory issues in the public and private markets (including FCA) for institutions and individuals, as well as disputes in the natural resources sector.

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GGI member firm Acender named the Financial Due Diligence provider for 2014

GGI member firm Acender in Santiago, Chile, has been named the Financial Due Diligence provider at the 2014 M&A Awards by Acquisition International ( Acquisition International is a monthly magazine issued by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. Since 2010, Acquisition International Magazine’s annual awards have been celebrating excellence, innovation and performance across the business, financial, investment and legal communities. Each series is designed to reward those most deserving in this very global and highly challenging environment. They provide a comprehensive analysis of the industry and a complete overview of the cream of the crop in terms of industry experts.



The award is based on an international survey for which AI approached M&A and corporate finance clients that have been involved in transactions in recent years, asking them to vote and suggest nominees. The leading dealmakers are then recognized and honoured in an awards supplement for the different categories, including M&A advisory, due diligence, hedge funds, start-up advisory, finance, international funds and more.

The award winners are determined through a rigorous process, which starts with ballot boxes and distribution of voting forms through AI partners within the industry. Countries from all continents are included and the awards are presented in different categories and countries on each continent. AI combines the votes received – alongside supporting evidence – with its in-house research to establish the final winners list. This comprehensive selection process ensures that the awards are a true representation of the market and that the winners are genuinely at the cutting edge of their fields.

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GGI member firm Offit Kurman Growing Health Care M&A practice with Representation of Krueger Gilbert

Michael N. Mercurio

Business law and transactions attorney Michael N. Mercurio served as specialty Mergers and Acquisitions counsel to the shareholders of Kruegrer-Gilbert Health Physics, Inc. (KGHP). The company was recapitalized by Seneca Creek Partners, an Atlanta-based Private equity firm. KGHP is a respected leader in the diagnostic medical physics industry within the Mid-Atlantic region KGHP is comprised of expert medical physicists who make it their mission to provide high-level support, optimal imaging quality and radiation safety services for their clients to ensure patient safety.

As the medical industry continues to expand, the recapitalization is an opportunity for KGHP to grow in current and new regions and provides an opportunity for them to continue to provide their clients with a high level of service.

“We are pleased to serve as the trust- ed legal advisor to KGHP sharehold- ers,” said Mercurio. “Helping sellers like the KGHP shareholders successfully make liquid their business investment is something that my firm takes very seriously and something I personally take much pride in assisting.”

Mr. Mercurio is a Principal and Chair of the Business Law and Transactions Practice Group at Offit Kurman Attorneys at Law. He serves as outside general counsel to clients on matters related to corporate and business law, commercial transactions, government contracting and real estate. At Offit Kurman the Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group has earned a strong reputation for handling the gamut of business com- binations and sale transactions regularly faced by private enterprises with skill, expertise and efficiency. They regularly represent mid-market companies in deals varying in size and complexity.

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