Alvarez & Marsal adds 40-strong transactions team from EY in China

23 February 2023 3 min. read
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Alvarez & Marsal has poached a 40-strong team from Big Four rival EY in China, its biggest ever recruitment round in the country – as the global consulting firm prepares for returning demand for merger & acquisition services in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The team hire sees eight Managing Directors and 32 practitioners join Alvarez & Marsal in China, lifting the size of its Transaction Advisory Service practice in Greater China to 90 staff.

The move comes at a time when EY’s China organisation is losing significant numbers of advisors to rival firms amid the company’s global plans to split its auditing and consulting businesses to avoid conflicts of interest. Notably, EY’s China practice was the first major practice to oppose the split.

Alvarez & Marsal adds 40-strong transactions team from EY in China

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the split plans, Alvarez & Marsal’s European boss Tony Alvarez III was quick to state that the firm will seek to snare teams and individuals from EY during its period of uncertainty. While EY’s global leadership team ratified the plan late 2022, partners are to vote on a country by country basis, a process that is expected to last until at least the coming summer.

“EY’s move is causing disruption. And we think that that’s going to be very beneficial to us,” said Alvarez III in a post on LinkedIn which went viral. “We will continue to welcome partners and teams who seek a more entrepreneurial environment where we are more client centric and they can personally share in the value creation.”

Following a similar hire in Spain last year, China now becomes Alvarez & Marsal’s second major carve-out from EY in the past fifteen months. “The new team brings deep financial and vendor due diligence expertise to our firm,” said Paul Aversano, Managing Director and Global Practice Leader of Alvarez & Marsal’s Transaction Advisory Group.

“They share the firm’s results-oriented approach borne of Alvarez & Marsal’s operational heritage. This ready-to-run team advances our ability to leverage the firm’s integrated platform to benefit local, regional and international clients.”

Spearheading the new team is Stella Yuan, appointed Practice Co-Leader of the Transaction Advisory Service practice in Asia, alongside Hong Kong-based Managing Director Xuong Liu (an ex-KPMG partner who has been with Alvarez & Marsal for 8+ years). Prior to joining Alvarez & Marsal, Yuan served as Greater China Private Equity Leader and Greater China Transaction Diligence Leader with EY.

Other members joining Alvarez & Marsal as Managing Directors are: Kevin Gu, Runald Li, Stella Ni, Tim Wang, Lingfen Wu, Bonnie Xin, and Jimmy Zhou.

Liu said: “Against the backdrop of China’s evolving market, this team of outstanding practitioners augments our growing portfolio of services.”

“Clients seek advisors with a full range of services across the transaction life cycle including due diligence expertise, post deal interim financial management and accounting and data support capabilities. Alvarez & Marsal provides the breadth of services, fully supported by in-depth industry experience, required for generating value across the lifecycle of the deal,” said Yuan.

Across Asia, Alvarez & Marsal has around 550 staff, working from offices in seven countries. The firm also operates in other business areas, including restructuring, disputes and investigations, performance improvement, digital, and risk.