Grant Thornton Singapore appoints new CEO following investment

10 April 2019

Jeff Vibert has been appointed as the new CEO of Grant Thornton in Singapore, with former CEO Rodger Flynn stepping aside as to concentrate on regional development.

The Singapore branch of global professional services network Grant Thornton – now the sixth biggest network of its kind by revenue behind the Big Four and BDO – has appointed Jeff Vibert as its new CEO, with former head Rodger Flynn turning his focus to his APAC network development duties. The change-up comes as the firm reports a ‘significant’ investment into the Singapore branch.

An Australia and Singapore chartered accountant, Vibert has been with Grant Thornton since 1995, establishing and leading the audit and assurance practice of its Perth branch in Australia for two decades before crossing to Singapore in 1995 – where he has led the assurance practice and served as its International Business Centre Director, managing inbound and outbound business and collaboration opportunities.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Vibert was a partner with Deloitte in the firm’s Port Moresby office in Papa New Guinea for nearly four years, with time leading its audit and recovery & reconstruction practices. Across his career, Vibert has amassed experience across multiple sectors and jurisdictions with expertise in accounting, financial reporting, external assurance and internal controls among other areas.Grant Thornton Singapore appoints new CEO following significant investmentMeanwhile, outgoing Singapore CEO Rodger Flynn – who will now focus exclusively on his role as Grant Thornton APAC head for member firm development, which he has held for the past five and a half years (the last two and a half in tandem with his Singapore CEO duties) – has revealed that the UK and Thai Grant Thornton branches have made a significant fresh investment into the Singapore office.

“This investment will accelerate the growth of existing and new service lines, building on strong foundations, and providing a great people and client experience,” Flynn stated on LinkedIn. “It has been a busy few years and I am so proud of what our people have achieved in this time and of the strong firm we have built in Singapore. I wish Jeff and the Singapore office every success in this next chapter in their story.”

With a background in forensics accounting – a segment currently heating up in the Southeast Asian region with a series of recent high-level appointments – Flynn has been with Grant Thornton for more than 20 years (with more than 30 years’ experience altogether), previously serving as Managing Partner in Brisbane before taking on the regional APAC role – where Grant Thornton has member firms in 20 countries with a headcount of 18,000 professionals.

The new investment into the Singapore office meanwhile follows on from the firm posting record global revenues of $5.45 billion for its 2018 financial year – driven largely by massive 19 percent year-on-year growth in the Asia Pacific. “Our APAC region is home to the world’s most dynamic economies, largest cities and highest growth rates,” said Flynn. “I am genuinely excited about what the future holds for this constantly evolving region.

Commenting on LinkedIn, Vibert added, “Pleased and excited to be able to play a key role in the ongoing evolution of our fantastic and dynamic Singapore business. Big shout out to Rodger Flynn for his strong leadership over the past two years. We look forward to working with Rodger, his APAC team, my fellow Grant Thornton Singapore partners and team members as well as our 53,000-plus global colleagues in the Grant Thornton International network.”


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Deloitte adds Richard Hayler as Disputes and Arbitration leader

16 April 2019

Deloitte has brought in Richard Hayler as its new Southeast Asia Disputes and Arbitration Leader. Hayler crosses from FTI Consulting – continuing the recent personnel shuffle in the regional forensics space.

Following the onboarding of veteran forensics expert Jarrod Baker as its new Forensic Investigations Leader for Southeast Asia earlier this year, global professional services leader Deloitte has added another ex-FTI Consulting executive to its regional forensics practice with the appointment of Richard Hayler as its new Southeast Asia Disputes and Arbitration leader. It’s Hayler’s second stint at the Big Four firm.

Originally starting out as an auditor in the chemicals, pharmaceuticals & energy practice of fellow Big Four firm KPMG in the UK (via a five-year Technical Director role with specialist life sciences consultancy Primarius), Hayler after three years crossed to Deloitte in 2008, serving as an Associate Director for its Forensic & Dispute Services division in London, and then from 2012 in Singapore. 

From there, Hayler joined the Singapore office of FTI Consulting’s Economic & Financial practice, promoted to senior managing director at the beginning of last year. Now, like his colleague Baker, Hayler has returned for his second stint with Deloitte, after respectively four and nearly six years with FTI. Meanwhile, FTI recently added e-discovery expert Christopher Marks as a senior managing director – continuing its global raid on Ernst & Young.

“I am delighted to be returning to Deloitte rejoining old friends and being on board with a great team,” Hayler said. This is an exciting time to be back at Deloitte as the firm has made great strides integrating to serve its clients across Asia Pacific better and I look forward to being part of that success.” As of September last year, Deloitte began integrating its Asia Pacific arms into single operational unit – with a co-attendant $321 million investment committed to human capital.Deloitte adds Richard Hayler as Disputes and Arbitration Leader in Southeast AsiaHayler across his career has developed expertise in a broad range of  competencies around forensics, disputes and litigation, including complex valuations, M&A and contractual disputes, accounting irregularities; alleged misappropriation, asset tracing and fraud investigations among others – having led or advised teams multiple jurisdictions in “some of the largest and most complex cases in the last decade.”

“Having Richard in our leadership team is a strong market differentiator,” said Tim Phillipps, Deloitte’s Financial Crime Strategy and Response Network leader for APAC. “His track record and extensive experience will be critical as we continue to expand and strengthen our presence in the Southeast Asia region.  It will enhance our capacity to serve our clients, and ensure that we continue to provide clear, timely and insightful counsel.”

In addition to Deloitte, Hayler serves on the Standards Review Board of the International Valuation Standards Council, as well as being a member of the adjunct faculty at Singapore Management University’s School of Law and the Honorary Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Singapore. He was also last year a group representative for financial & fintech business group with the local British Chamber of Commerce.

According to the firm, Hayler’s recruitment forms part of its plans to expand its forensics services in the region – a practice which has already grown substantially in recent years to include more than 125 dedicated forensic practitioners based in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, with growth driven by investment in disputes and arbitration, electronic discovery, investigations, forensic digital platforms and financial crime advisory and analytics among other areas.