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UHY GLOBAL JANUARY 2018 REMARKABLE PEOPLE


SERVING CLIENTS, SERVING COMMUNITIES


LASTING IMPRESSIONS MARILYN PENDERGAST Marilyn Pendergast, partner at UHY LLP and managing director at UHY Advisors NY, Inc, has received one of the banking industry's highest honours – Keybank's Key4Women Achieve Award, which recognises a local businesswoman's career and community success. On top of that, Marilyn has also achieved an impressive 50 years of service to UHY. Marilyn began her career at accounting firm Urbach Kahn &Werlin, which later became UHY LLP. She was the first woman president of the New York State Society of CPAs, and the first woman and non-attorney to head the NY State Supreme Court, Third Judicial Department Committee on Professional Standards. She received the International Federation of Accountants' (IFAC) Sempier Award for outstanding contributions to the international accountancy profession, and served on IFAC's Transnational Audit Committee and Ethics Committee (now the International Ethics Standard Board). She has also sat on UHY's Quality Working Group since it began in 2003. Not bad for someone who was told "too bad you cannot do it" when she wanted to be an accountant.Marilyn said: "When I started college, women had three career choices: teaching, nursing or office work. It was expected that you would work only a few years before settling down to marriage and family. I set out to be a teacher, but enjoyed my accounting courses so much that I started thinking about a career. Back then many people said 'girls cannot be CPAs'. I could not see why not. I applied to and was hired by Urbach Kahn &Werlin, and I loved it. I found the work stimulating and rewarding, and I will always be grateful to the founding partners for their support. "I enjoy working with clients in various industries and I think that for an auditor, there are benefits to exposure to different types of industry-related concerns that can add insight and value when working in another sector." Marilyn's parents were her inspiration. "They worked hard, were open-minded and fair, generous, faced setbacks with strength and fortitude, and taught us to be true to ourselves. If I can live my life in the same way, I'll consider that a success." After five decades, Marilyn has witnessed growth and change in the accounting profession. She shares her thoughts on accountancy today and in the future in an interview, available here. A video of Marilyn speaking about her Key4Women award is available to view online. GOLDEN YEARS At UHY we are proud of our member firms' reputation for delivering high quality, longstanding service. For some, that service has been prized for many years – long before UHY, as we know it today, was born in 1986. Member firms who celebrated anniversaries in 2017 include: SINGAPORE – 50 YEARS Founded by Mr Lee Seng Chan in 1967, UHY Lee Seng Chan & Co, Singapore, has grown from five people to a team of well over 100. As it looks to the future the firm continues to set its sights on growth. "As well as handing the leadership from the first generation of partners to second generation successors, the firm will focus on building and leveraging its brand reputation, rich heritage and core expertise to spearhead growth through diversification," says Lee Sen Choon, senior partner at UHY Lee Seng Chan & Co. A video celebrating the firm's 50th anniversary is available to view on the UHY Lee Seng Chan & Co website. CANADA – 85 YEARS UHY's member firm in Montreal, Canada, UHY Victor, celebrated 85 years of accountancy practice in 2017. The firm was founded in 1932 by William Victor, late father of current partner Edward Victor. William ran a successful accounting and auditing practice before going into partnership with Louis Gold to form Victor & Gold. The firm joined the UHY network 25 years ago, changing its name to UHY Victor in 2008. "Over the years we have maintained a solid reputation as a boutique-type operation, built on delivering personalised service to small and medium-sized owner-managed businesses," says Ken Shemie, partner, UHY Victor. "We aim to exceed client expectations by being proactive and delivering value." THE NETHERLANDS – 90 YEARS This year marks a double anniversary for Govers Accountants/Consultancy in the Netherlands – 90 years since the firm was created and 30 since it joined the UHY network. Goverswas established in Eindhoven in 1927, in the southern region of the Netherlands known as Brainport. Govers partner PaulMencke says, "Since the business began we have grown to 140 colleagues serving clients across the country and worldwide – but always maintaining our base in Eindhoven, which is the cradle of the high-tech industry in the Netherlands. That makes us the oldest independent accounting firm in Eindhoven – a title we are proud of! We have also gained a lot of knowledge in those years – of the companies that are active in the Brainport region, such as construction companies, the food sector, and especially of family businesses. So we feel very much like a local firm with a global outlook." FUTURE LEARNING UHY's ethos of collaborating and sharing knowledge includes reaching out to business schools and universities to forge relationships with tomorrow's professionals. In Croatia, member firm UHY HB EKONOM and affiliate firm UHY SAVJETOVANJE have teamed up with the University of Split's Faculty of Economics to create an internship programme. UHY HB EKONOM organised internships in audit, accounting and tax consulting for four students: two from the Faculty of Economics, one from the Department of Professional Studies, and one from the Department of Forensic Science. UHY SAVJETOVANJE agreed to organise internships for two students from the Faculty of Economics in the field of EU funds. The firms also created a UHY Training Centre which organises public conferences, seminars and workshops for professionals – with economics students getting free entry. "Students can learn from top professionals of accounting, audit and in the tax advisory fields, and improve their knowledge and practical skills before they have graduated," says Helena Budisa, managing partner at UHY HB EKONOM. "Intern students were selected in autumn 2016, and the first internships started in February 2017," says Helena. "We are delighted to have appointed a student from the internship programme. It shows that the partnership is having a real impact." Links are further strengthened by the work of university economics graduate Andrea Omašić, UHY HB EKONOM's certified auditor, partner and director of audit and assurance services. Andrea joined UHY as an intern in 2012 and became a certified auditor in 2016. Having previously gained a national scholarship for gifted and talented students, Andrea is now a guest lecturer at the Faculty of Economics. A scheme in New Zealand starts the business relationship even younger, as Debbie Robson, marketing coordinator, UHY Haines Norton (Auckland) Limited explains. "In 2016 we launched our first study scholarship, offered to year 13 students at ten secondary schools in our area," she says. "The scholarship gives NZD 6,000 towards tertiary fees of a Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business Studies degree. "It was a very successful first year. The selected student is now in her second semester at the University of Auckland. It is exciting to meet the finalists. The 2017 winner was selected from a group of exemplary students who all have the potential to excel." ROYAL HONOUR FOR UHY FOUNDER UHY co-founder and former chairman, Frank Stansil, has been honoured in the 2017 Queen's New Year's Honours List with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), in the UK. Frank joined the Hacker Young Group as a partner in 1968, and became senior partner in 1986. Along with Steve Fischer and John Wolfgang of Urbach Kahn &Werlin (now US member firm UHY Advisors and UHY LLP), and Arthur Harverd of Hacker Young, Frank created a new global network of accountancy firms – UHY International.Frank's MBE is tribute to the time, energy and commitment he has dedicated to healthcare as a charity professional. As deputy chair of the King's NHS Healthcare Trust and chair of the King's Appeal, Frank's fundraising for the King's College Hospital Charity spans decades. The hospital's Frank Stansil Critical Care Unit provides advanced intensive care. Frank received his MBE from HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales on 16 June 2017. "When a letter arrived asking me if I would accept the award of MBE, I was both surprised and delighted. I had absolutely no idea that I had been nominated," says Frank. "I have been involved in fundraising for King's College Hospital – our local hospital – for many, many years, and to be recognised in this way is a great honour." FIRMS RELISH NEW CHARITY CHALLENGE Colleagues at UHY Hacker Young firms in the UK have always embraced their charitable work and 2017 was no exception. The success of their previous partnership with the Dreams Come True charity – which raises money to make dreams come true for children with serious illnesses – was a hard act to follow. The firms raised over GBP 35,000 in total during the year-long partnership with the charity. UHY Hacker Young have now teamed up with the Mental Health Foundation and the fundraising effort across the UK's 22 offices is well underway. "We have arranged four national fundraiser days throughout the year. Each one is themed round an issue that is important for good mental health: the first was PJ Day, promoting the benefits of sleep," says UHY Hacker Young's national executive director and head of marketing & business development, Zoë Paradine. "Everyone came to work wearing pyjamas, 'onesies', fluffy slippers and eye masks. There were competitions, computer games, book sales, cake and biscuit sales, sweets… you name it, we made it and raised money from it! "Further fundraising days included Tea and Talk Day, and a 'Christmas Number One Hits' day in December. The final day, in March 2018, is a themed Office Olympics, highlighting the benefits of exercise. Other highlights will be places awarded for runners in the London Marathon, and a trek along the Great Wall of China. If you would like to contribute to UHY Hacker Young's fundraising, you can do so by visiting the firm's official Just Giving page. VISION: A world with good mental health MISSION: To help people thrive through understanding, protecting and sustaining their mental health UK charity the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) strives to seek evidence and practice-based solutions to mental health problems, using a prevention-based approach. The charity has worked for almost 70 years on the ethos that good mental health and wellbeing is for everyone, not just those experiencing problems. As such, the MHF works with groups across the general population, covering maternal mental health, problems experienced by children and young people, workplace wellbeing, later life, and people with learning disabilities. The history of the MHF dates back to 1949 when Dr Derek Richter, neurochemist and director of research at the Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff, Wales, founded the Mental Health Research Fund. Its remit was to support research in mental health at a time when funding for work in this field was scarce. After bringing together experts from different but related fields at its first conference, held at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1952, the Mental Health Research Fund became the key funding body for multidisciplinary research in mental health. By 1973, the organisation's influence on government policy was growing, and it changed its name to the Mental Health Foundation. Over 40 years later, it continues to work as an influencer and advocate for change in mental health policy, and has been instrumental in public health campaigns around exercise, smoking, alcohol, friendship, and their relationship to mental health. Mental health continues to be a significant issue in the UK, with an estimated economic burden of over GDP 100 billion per year. It is estimated that by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of disease burden globally – unless steps are taken to address it. UHY Hacker Young in the UK are supporting the Mental Health Foundation as their national charity for 2017-18. In doing so, they are raising funds to help the MHF continue and progress the four key areas of its work: Delivering ground-breaking, evidence and practice-informed programmes, and sharing expertise of what works Offering straightforward information and tools for everyone Producing authoritative reports and evidence used by government and the media Influencing policymakers and advocating for change. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES An interview with Marilyn Pendergast After 50 years of service to UHY, Marilyn Pendergast could be forgiven for thinking her career has been honourably fulfilled. Yet, happily for her colleagues and clients, there is no sign of her putting the brakes on. We fired Marilyn some questions about her views on the accounting profession today and in the future. What do you see as our industry's main challenges, both globally and in the US? What impact will they have on clients? The accounting profession faces a variety of challenges and they are similar throughout the world. Regulatory structures continue to become more complex and need to be carefully monitored and managed. Recruitment and retention of the highest quality staff is essential for the profession to sustain its key role in financial markets. Technology advances and changes in business structure required additional capital investment as well as knowledge capital and continued education as the role of the accountant expands to cover new areas. How does being part of a global accountancy network like UHY enrich your role? The UHY network has been important to us in the US and me personally. Member firms can provide global services at the highest level of quality to clients both large and small. The world today, despite some political rumblings to the contrary, is interconnected and we can work together to make it more so. Global standards for accounting, auditing, ethics and education are in place throughout the world. Through IFAC and the Forum of Firms (FoF) UHY participates in the growth and shaping of our profession for the future. You have been active in a number of professional member bodies. Do you think their role is changing, and in what way? Professional member bodies are becoming more focused on regulatory oversight and quality of professional services. Their role in providing services of education, resources and support to member firms also continues to be important, though. In what ways are regulatory demands affecting cross-border trade and investment? In my opinion, competing regulatory schemes and requirements are detrimental to the world economy and we should work toward systems that are as similar as possible while respecting individual countries' laws and customs. Why are women still so underrepresented in accountancy? Women are well represented in accountancy at entry levels but not at levels of manager and above. I don't know why, but I know that we need to do more to change that since otherwise the profession is losing significant human assets with potential for growth and opportunity. Initiatives like Key4Women and the WISE (Women Invested in Success and Excellence) Program that UHY Advisors has established in our US member firm help to raise the profile of women in business and expand opportunities for generations to come.


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