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PwC as three partners step down
April, 07th 2010

Even as the churn at professional advisory firms continues, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, the countrys largest in this space, has again seen at least three partners leave the firm to pursue growth opportunities elsewhere. Consulting and accounting major PwC, which recently saw the exit of 17 partners, has, however, been on an aggressive recruitment spree as a recovering economy prompts companies to increase mandates to consulting firms for advice on future transactions, say people familiar with the development.

PwC partners Ravi Bhamidipati, Sanjay Kapadia and Partha Banerjee are the latest to have put in their papers, two months after a large group of employees from the firms tax practice resigned to follow their division head, to join rival firm KPMG. A PwC spokesperson said she would not be able to comment for this story within the stipulated deadline.

Mr Bhamidipati came on board after PwC acquired ECS, formerly Eicher Consulting, in December 2008, in a transaction aimed at developing PwCs consulting business. The consulting division currently contributes about half of PwCs total revenue.

Mr Kapadia, who has left PwC to join Ernst & Young, is a chartered accountant and a law graduate with wide experience in tax, transfer pricing, restructuring and regulatory issues. Mr Kapadia has also been actively involved in advising clients on direct tax, transfer pricing strategies and exchange control matters.

The third partner, Mr Banerjee was part of PwCs performance improvement unit. The advisory practice of the firm has four strategic business units consulting/performance improvement, corporate finance, internal audit and government and infrastructure practice.

Recruitments are also happening at an equally fast pace, said a PwC executive who asked not to be named. "In the past two months, while the firm has lost around 250 people, weve also hired more than 600, he added.

In February, about 200 employees of PwC India quit the firm along with Dinesh Kanabar, after he stepped down as tax head of PwC to join rival firm KPMG as deputy CEO. Earlier two PwC executives, including Amrish Shah, a specialist on transaction tax, and Prasad Paranjpe (indirect tax) had quit to join E&Y.

Mr Shah was also advising on divestments, mergers and demergers and on corporate restructuring.

Prasad Paranjpe is a law graduate with 20 years of experience in advising clients on indirect taxes and litigation. His forte was in handling complex tax issues and tax planning structures.

Employee exits and recruitments typically depend on the industry and on the general economic environment. The professional services sector, however, is different as companies appoint these firms in good times and bad also.

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