Atlanta (June 18, 2004) -- The Belgian arm of Big Four firm Ernst & Young said this week that it will shed it’s associations management department by selling it to the Kellen Company, an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in association management.


"The sale of Ernst & Young Association Management fits into our strategy of focusing on our core activities and of giving the maximum guarantee of independence to our statutory auditors, following Belgian law. In a small country like ours, such a law very quickly translates into a restraint on the growth of a dynamic service line such as EYAM," says Gust Herrewijn, managing partner E&Y Belgium. "After the sale of Ernst & Young Actuarial Services earlier this year, we want to offer Association Management the opportunity for further expansion through selling the department."


The acquisition gives the Kellen Co. its first subsidiary outside the U.S. Dubbed Kellen Europe, it will form the basis for the company to service the European Union market. EYAM partner Alfons Westgeest will serve as managing partner of Kellen Europe and will join the senior management of the Kellen Company.


The two groups have been working in a close partnership since 2002, according to a press release issued by the firms.


"We want to build up our European client service network through this new Brussels-based Kellen company, which inherits the knowledge and experience from an excellent established firm in EYAM," said Kellen president Peter Rush.


The Kellen Company has four offices and 140 employees in the U.S. According to the company, the combined entity will be the second largest association management company worldwide, serving 70 client associations and employing 160 people, with estimated first-year revenue of around 15 million euros.


-- WebCPA staff

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