GRANT THORNTON NAMES NEW CEO

Chicago - Grant Thornton LLP has named Stephen Chipman as chief executive of the U.S. member firm, after a stint developing the firm's business in China.

He will succeed long-time GT chief Ed Nusbaum, who was recently named CEO of Grant Thornton International. Both men will assume their new jobs on Jan. 1.

Chipman, 47, was most recently CEO of the firm's Greater China Management Corp., responsible for leading the development and growth of GT services in China. Under his leadership during the last two years, the firm's resources in China expanded to more than 1,600 people in six offices.

Chipman previously served as the U.S. Central Region managing partner from 2003 to 2006, as the managing partner of the Dallas office from 2000 to 2003, and as the U.S. managing partner of global services and worldwide director of international business centers from 1998 to 2000. He started his career with Grant Thornton in 1986 in Plymouth, England.

BDO INT'L NOT LIABLE

Miami - A jury here found BDO International not liable for failing to uncover fraud in audits conducted by its U.S. member firm, BDO Seidman. The U.S. firm had been found liable by a Florida jury in August 2007 for negligence in its audits of E.S. Bankest LLC, and was ordered to pay $170 million in compensation and $350 million in punitive damages (a verdict it is appealing), and plaintiffs suing on behalf of Banco Espirito Santo had wanted to hold the international network liable for the damages.

E&Y TO PAY $109M FOR HEALTHSOUTH AUDITS

Lansing, Mich. - Ernst & Young has agreed to a record-setting $109 million nationwide settlement for failing to uncover the financial problems at health care giant HealthSouth. The settlement was the largest ever obtained against an outside auditor in a class-action securities fraud case, according to the Michigan Attorney General's office, which brought the suit. The settlement is expected to benefit Michigan's pension fund, as well as members of the class-action suit.

HealthSouth has admitted to overstating its income by more than $2.8 billion. An Ernst & Young spokesman declined to comment on the settlement.

TRADE GROUPS AIM TO INFLUENCE STANDARDS

New York - Nine trade groups representing the financial, insurance, banking, real estate and other industries have united to create a coalition with the goal of influencing accounting standard-setters working on revising the rules for financial instruments. The new coalition is known as the Financial Instruments Reporting and Convergence Alliance, or FIRCA.

UPDATES AND CORRECTIONS

Since "Five lessons for fiduciaries from the financial crisis" (June 15-July 19, 2009, page 8) was written, there has been a change to the law for safe harbor non-elective plans; an updated version of the article is available online at AccountingToday.com.

In addition, the article incorrectly identified author Pamela Perdue's firm - it is, in fact, Summers, Compton & Wells PC - and didn't mention that her newsletter, Pension & Benefits Update, is published by the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. Our apologies for the errors.

(c) 2009 Accounting Today and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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