Leading international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens has strengthened its shipping industry risk management services capability following a merger with AHL Business Assurance Limited, a specialist provider of governance, risk and internal audit services.
     The merger will not only boost Moore Stephens' significant shipping practice, it will also facilitate continued growth in other specialist industry sectors such as insurance and financial services and the public sector, where Moore Stephens also has a strong brand.
    Moore Stephens shipping partner, Richard Greiner, said the firm was delighted that AHL had chosen to join Moore Stephens. "Demand for governance, risk and assurance services is increasing as meeting the requirements of both best practice and the regulators is now critical for many businesses and with the AHL team's skills and credentials, we will be even better placed to help them.
    "Even in good times, it is impossible for shipping companies to eliminate risk entirely from their business. In difficult times, it is even harder. Robust risk management can help protect businesses from both the expected and the unexpected, and Moore Stephens' shipping sector-specific approach to providing governance, risk and assurance services has already helped a number of shipping companies to achieve their risk management, internal audit, corporate governance and IT assurance objectives, making the business stronger and more profitable.
    "Those companies have included an Oslo-based listed shipping group, for whom we carried out an independent assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of key controls in its chartering, operations, finance and forward freight agreements departments. Other recent assignments have included an assessment of the operating effectiveness of the internal financial reporting controls of a new global shipping venture, and the auditing for a ship operator of the vessel records maintained by its shipmanager. The merger with AHL can only broaden and strengthen our GRA offering to the shipping industry"
    AHL's two directors, Sarah Hillary and Robert Noye-Allen, have become partners in Moore Stephens LLP. Sarah Hillary says, "The time has come for AHL to take the next major step in its development.  We have built a successful business since we started in 2000 and have taken a very thorough look at what success will look like in the future. We examined a number of strategic options and concluded that joining a larger firm will help us fulfil our ambitions. We have been very impressed with Moore Stephens since we first met them and very much look forward to the significant development opportunities the merger will bring. Combining AHL's skills and Moore Stephens' brand and depth of resources will enable us to target larger, more complex assignments."
    Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser.  Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 647 offices of independent member firms in 98 countries employing 21,224 people.  Fee income increased in 2008 by US$353 million to US$2,237 million, a growth rate of 18.7%.