Ernst & Young LLP Announces Newest Tax Hires

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New York, 5 March 2013 – Ernst & Young LLP today announced that Melanie Dowling, David Kovar, Michael Medley, Justin Ransome, Andrew Sliwa and Clark Welton have joined the firm as partners, along with Robbert Kaufman as principal, and Patricia Chaback, Colleen Driscoll, Ronald Fecso, Michael Harper, Hiroyuki Kawamata, Megan Mahony, Vincent Morris, Maureen Nelson, Donna Rutter, Alex Thacher, Akihiko (Aki) Tsuda and James (Brent) Walker as executive directors.

Melanie Dowling returns to Ernst & Young LLP to join the Business Tax Services practice in Boston where she focuses on tax performance advisory for clients. Formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Dowling has extensive experience in tax function performance improvement, with a particular focus on the tax accounting process and integration with tax and finance systems. Previously, she established a US Tax Desk for Ernst & Young LLP, the EY member firm in the UK, in Manchester, England.

David Kovar joins Business Tax Services at Ernst & Young LLP in Chicago focused on tax performance advisory for clients. Kovar comes to the firm from PwC where he was the tax technology strategy leader in its tax function effectiveness practice, as well as the global leader of its tax technology centre of excellence, a global think tank. Prior to that, he was at Deloitte and Andersen, focused on tax and technology.

Michael Medley sits in Ernst & Young LLP’s Iselin, NJ office as a partner in the National Tax practice. Medley is in charge of the firm’s growing International Tax Quantitative Services practice, which is part of the International Tax Services group. He comes to the firm from Deloitte Tax LLP where he was a partner in its international tax quantitative consulting services practice. He focuses on international tax attribute studies using established processes and efficient use of technology.

Joining the firm’s Washington, DC office, Justin Ransome’s background includes serving in the estate planning practice at Grant Thornton and in KPMG’s private client advisory service group. He will focus on the consulting aspects of Personal Financial Services with Ernst & Young LLP. Having experience in transfer, individual income and fiduciary income taxes in addition to charitable giving and family business succession planning, Ransome also served as a past Chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Trust, Estate and Gift Tax Technical Resource Panel, earning the Distinguished Service award for his volunteer contributions.

Andrew Sliwa rejoins Ernst & Young LLP as a member of the Transfer Pricing practice and a member of the leadership team focused on intercompany effectiveness and operational transfer pricing services for the firm. Sliwa has been advising on transfer pricing matters for nearly 18 years and brings to the firm extensive experience in complex global assignments, controversy matters, planning, restructuring, and post-merger integration. Sliwa also adds valuable perspective with more than four years leading the Americas transfer pricing function for EDS Corporation, a Fortune 100 company. He is based in Chicago.

The firm welcomes back Clark Welton to the Tax Real Estate team in Orange County, CA. Welton joins from Moss Adams LLP, where he served as the Southern California Real Estate practice leader and was the lead tax member of the firm’s Real Estate Steering Committee. In addition to his earlier experience at Ernst & Young LLP, he was also a Vice President of Tax and Financial Planning for Bren Investments and a tax consultant for Squar Milner LLP. Welton has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Chapman University School of Law.

Robbert Kaufman returns to Ernst & Young LLP in the firm’s International Tax Services Operational Transfer Pricing practice in New York. He previously worked for the EY member in the Netherlands as a Transfer Pricing senior manager focused on global tax effective supply chain management. Joining from Electrolux, Kaufman is experienced in global transfer pricing and more recently served in a number of country level CFO/CIO positions primarily focused on the management of pricing, supply chain costs, working capital as well as performance measurement and business intelligence.

As a 30-year veteran of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Patricia Chaback joins the National Tax practice, focused on tax controversy and risk management. She was a member of the Senior Executive Service at the IRS and for the past six years held the position of Industry Director, Communications, Technology and Media for the Large Business and International Division. She brings firsthand knowledge of the IRS organization, people, processes and current initiatives to help clients effectively manage their IRS experience. Chaback is based in San Francisco.

Colleen Driscoll joins the Human Capital practice in Ernst & Young LLP’s Chicago office. With more than 20 years of experience in employee benefits, primarily with The Segal Company as an actuary, Driscoll spent the last 15 years as a health actuary responsible for valuations and other projects, particularly retiree health valuations. Recently, she has focused on pricing in connection with Affordable Care Act compliance. Driscoll is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries’ joint committee on retiree health. During 2012, she helped draft the committee's response to the Exposure Draft of Actuarial Standard of Practice No. 6, Measuring Retiree Group Benefits Obligations and Determining Retiree Group Benefits Plan Costs or Contributions.

Ron Fecso joined Ernst & Young LLP's Quantitative Economics and Statistics (QUEST) group after retiring as chief statistician of the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). He brings more than 30 years of government and teaching experience to the tax sampling and survey practice. QUEST's advanced statistical sampling and survey capabilities will be further enhanced by Fecso's leadership, as well as its recent acquisition of a new web survey platform. He will be serving clients and assisting regional engagement teams with cost-effective and IRS-accepted statistical sampling.

The Los Angeles office adds Michael Harper to its International Tax Services practice, where he will focus on the growing areas of international transaction tax and joint ventures. Joining from PwC with a focus on foreign currencies, tax credits, structured investments and treaty planning for both outbound and inbound client activity, Harper was the author of numerous articles, opinions and presentations on these topics as a member of PwC's national tax organization. His 17 years of international tax experience also includes time in PwC's San Francisco and southern California tax practices and Deloitte's San Francisco practice.

Hiroyuki Kawamata began his career in the Big Four in New York, most recently working at Deloitte. He joins Ernst & Young LLP’s New York office in the growing Japanese Business Services network. Kawamata has contributed to and provided insight into both corporate and individual tax returns for Japanese-owned companies including cross-border transactions and the US-Japan tax treaty.

State and local tax professional Megan Mahony returns to Ernst & Young LLP’s National Tax Department in Indirect tax after beginning her career at the firm nearly 18 years ago. Based in Boston, Mahony is experienced in complex tax law, knowledge management, business development and corporate leadership with a solid background in sales and use tax, excise tax and income/franchise tax. In her new role, she will be focused on sales and use tax. Mahony joins from Ryan LLC, with time spent at PwC and Cable & Wireless, Inc., and she has written numerous pieces on state and local tax matters.

Vincent Morris returns to Ernst & Young LLP’s Human Capital practice in Texas after a two-year hiatus during which he led major HR initiatives for GENBAND. During that time, Morris served as director of operations, overseeing global HR information systems, payroll, benefits, HR risk and compliances and recruiting in 32 countries. He brings back a corporate perspective to addressing challenges and opportunities across a myriad of global HR functions. Morris was previously a Captain and Field Artillery Officer with the United States Army.

Morris and Driscoll (see above) join Helen Morrison, who came to the firm as a principal in the National Tax Department in September, following her service as Deputy Benefits Tax Counsel in the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy (click here to read the press release).

As a new member of the Financial Services Office of Ernst & Young LLP in Washington, DC, Maureen Nelson focuses on tax controversy and risk management services for insurance, banking/capital markets and asset management clients. Previously with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP for 14 years, she has represented clients before the IRS during all stages of the administrative process, and before the Treasury Department and state insurance departments. Nelson also served in the IRS's national office as the Chief Counsel's insurance tax controversy specialist.

In Fort Worth, TX, the Indirect Tax Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP welcomes back Donna Rutter to focus on income and franchise tax. Most recently a tax partner from Hartman Leit & Bolt LLP, Rutter led the state and local tax practice focusing on multistate tax planning issues including refund review, corporate reorganizations and transactions, FAS 109 and audit defense and litigation. She co-authors the RIA/Thomson Guide to Texas Franchise Tax. Her 20 years of multistate tax experience includes time at KPMG, Arthur Anderson and initially at Ernst & Young LLP. Rutter currently serves on the board of directors for the Alliance for Children.

Another addition to the firm’s Indirect Tax Services practice, Alex Thacher rejoins Ernst & Young LLP in Los Angeles. Thacher has 14 years of experience, starting with Arthur Anderson in 1999, thereafter moving to Ernst & Young LLP, and continuing to develop his career at both PwC and Deloitte Tax. His primary focus is on state and local taxes, particularly around income, franchise and local tax controversy.

Akihiko (Aki) Tsuda joins the International Tax Services Transfer Pricing practice from Deloitte Tax LLP in Los Angeles. Tsuda brings experience in transfer pricing documentation, risk assessment, planning, and advance pricing agreements in a number of industries, mainly for Japanese multinationals. Prior to Deloitte, he worked at the Merrill Lynch Japan Securities Inc. in Tokyo.

Brent Walker advises clients in the Houston market on sales and use tax. His previous experience includes leading the tax automation practice at Grant Thornton to help improve business process issues for mid-sized to large companies. Walker has integrated technology systems for both sales and purchase transactions with common ERP platforms, mid-range billing and accounts payable systems.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young LLP, member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited serving clients in the US.

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