Full operations with Arthur Andersen to start in a ‘couple of years’: IBA

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 07, 2017


IBA is also bullish on Arthur Andersen brand name

The full operations of global consultancy Arthur Andersen with its Indian partner International Business Advisors (IBA) will not start right away but after a few years.

“It’s still a couple of years away, at least. It will not happen in 2017,”said Nirav Maniar, Head Corporate Legal and Regulatory at IBA.

Stephane Laffont-Reveilhac, Managing Partner of the reconstituted Arthur Andersen, had on March 1 announced that the consultancy had opened 26 offices in five continents and in 16 countries, including India. Following the announcement, Delhi-headquartered IBA had on Tuesday announced its partnership with Andersen.

In its heyday, Arthur Andersen or AA, as it was popularly known, was part of the Big Five global consulting firms.

In an interaction with BusinessLine, IBA is also very upbeat about the brand of AA. It said it is not concerned about the image after the Enron scandal in the US in 2000 that had forced the US-based consultancy to eventually wind up its practice.

“Irrespective of the Enron scandal, AA has a very good name and reputation. We don’t think we have to rebuild the reputation, but we have to take it forward from where it was left,” Kapil Nayyar, Founding Partner and Head (direct tax practice), IBA.

Pointing out that similar incidents have also taken place in India, Maniar noted that AA was eventually acquitted by the US courts.

Commenting on the selection procedure, Puneet Sharma, Partner, IBA, said that it was started in 2016. “We were invited to Paris and, went there in October 2016. The deliberations took place there. It was a stringent process as we had multiple rounds of meetings. AA met other firms from India also and they took six months to shortlist us,” he said, adding that they were finally informed last month that they had been selected for the partnership.

IBA said it is not worried about the positioning of the affiliation amongst the top consulting firms, but would focus on its existing practices and add more teams. “We are very strong in certain fields and we will strengthen those,” said Nayyar.

New structure

While noting that the structure of the reconstituted AA is unlike its earlier form, when it was just one firm, Maniar said that the network of affiliates under the brand would be sharing clients, as is done with other consultancies. “There won’t be just one firm as of now,” he said.

“We would like to maintain our core values but simultaneously look at growth — not very conservative growth. We are designing a strategy. We have a brand name and a burden and responsibility to take it into the next level,” Nayyar said.

A consulting and advisory firm, IBA specialises in assurance, risk consulting, legal, direct and indirect taxes, and corporate advisory for technology midsize, SMEs and start-ups.

Published on March 07, 2017
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