Audit firm Desai Haribhakti partners NYSE-listed advisory services firm FTI Consulting

Desai Haribhakti, one of the leading home-grown accounting and audit firms in the country, has joined hands with global business advisory firm FTI Consulting Inc which allows the latter to expand presence in India and give the Indian firm a wider network for providing services to its clients, as per a release.

The alliance enables FTI Consulting to leverage Desai Haribhakti’s on-the-ground forensic accounting resources for its own clients and enables Desai Haribhakti to provide its clients with a range of investigations services in India and globally through FTI Consulting’s worldwide network of offices.

It would also enable the Indian partner to better compete with the likes of EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and KPMG among others.

Desai Haribhakti has presence in 11 cities and employs over 1,300 people, and it has a relationship with numerous domestic and multinational companies with operations in India. Correspondingly, FTI Consulting has operations in 81 cities worldwide and boasts of expertise and experience in the areas of compliance, investigations, e-discovery, forensics, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, risk and restructuring.

“We are excited about this alliance and are confident that this will change the landscape of the forensic services offering in India. In the coming together of our two very worthy firms, we further demonstrate our commitment to continuously innovate and deliver high-value services of unparalleled size, skill and speed to our clients by offering a streamlined, 360-degree suite of risk and forensic capabilities,” said Desai Haribhakti partners Shailesh V Haribhakti and Dilip B Desai.

Through this tie-up, Desai Haribhakti and FTI Consulting aim to help organisations minimise regulatory inquiries and proactively control fraud risk within the business through the prevention, detection, and investigation of fraud and misconduct, and by avoiding and resolving disputes efficiently.

Desai Haribhakti is led by Shailesh Haribhakti and Dilip B Desai and is a full service organisation with a focus on niche services covering assurance services, risk advisory, forensic & investigations services, tax and regulatory services, corporate finance advisory services and global knowledge services.

Last year in April, Mumbai-based auditing and consulting firm Haribhakti Group had joined hands with D B Desai Group, a multi-disciplinary tax and corporate advisory services firm, to create a major homegrown accounting firm Desai Haribhakti.

This followed a split in the existing joint venture with international firm BDO Consulting, in which Haribhakti held majority stake. Haribhakti bought out the foreign partner’s stake in the local venture, which was set up in 2008.

BDO went ahead and formed an alliance with Mumbai-based consulting firm MZS & Associates.

“Companies not only face fraud risks from within, but also when entering into business relationships with new parties, when acquiring another existing business entity or, investing in capital projects, especially those operating in different jurisdictions where local regulations may not be as explicit or tangible,” said Anuj Bugga, managing director of FTI Consulting’s global risk and investigations practice in Mumbai.

FTI Consulting, which generated $1.65 billion revenues during fiscal year 2013, employs 4,200 people in 26 countries.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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