Brian specialises in the following core areas:
- Litigation Support
- Forensic Services
- Brian has lived and worked in Poland since 1995. He has more than 20 year of experience in advisory services. As a former PwC partner, based in Poland, he led the Polish & Baltics Forensic Services and Restructuring team and the Central & Eastern European Real Estate Advisory team.
- His broad experience covers many aspects of advisory services, including corporate investigations, supporting clients and their legal counsel as a financial expert in commercial disputes, pre and post-acquisition reviews and due diligence (both financial and commercial), risk assessments, development of governance structures, business optimization and restructuring, valuations and finance raising.
- Brian works closely with Management Board, Supervisory Board, Legal Counsel, financial institutions, and other relevant stakeholders to help them to understand issues, identify risk and develop actions which can be taken to mitigate such risk.
- His Forensic Services experience extends to more than 300 assignments and covers many aspects of accounting and financial matters, including corporate fraud investigations, fraudulent financial reporting and earnings management, pre and post-acquisition investigations and litigation, fraud risk assessments, accounting irregularities, and preparation of expert witness reports for the courts. He has lead assignment relating to regulatory compliance (Anti-Bribery Legislation, FCPA etc.) at Polish subsidiaries of foreign registered companies, in the pharmaceutical, healthcare, telecommunications and automotive sector.
- His experience in dealing with distressed or crises situations has been built up over many years. He has supported clients with financial and operational restructuring projects and obtaining additional sources of finance. He has supported a number of clients with streamlining their existing business operations in response to the Global Financial Crisis. These projects typically involved managing the agenda of many counterparties and stakeholders, including; the company, financial institutions, shareholders and creditors.
- As Real Estate Advisory leader of Central & Eastern Europe at PwC, Brian specialized in supporting real estate clients with transactions, asset optimization and restructuring. His broad experience covers also advising on the set-up and administration of investment funds. During his career, Brian has supported both local and international clients on more than 100 real estate transactions with a cumulative deal size in excess of Euro 3.8 billion. In 2008 he was the strategic advisor to the Management Board of TP SA (Polish Telecom Group, part of Orange) on optimisation of their Warsaw real estate portfolio and successful sale and lease back of three office buildings in Warsaw including their Head Office. He has also provided strategic advice to a number of large indigenous Polish businesses, holding significant asset bases, on optimising their real estate portfolios.
- Brian has supported clients in many industries including, energy, oil & gas, telecommunications, financial services, real estate & construction, private equity, retail, pharmaceutical, healthcare and FMCG.
- Brian’s real estate clients have included: Europa Capital, GE Real Estate, Heitman International, ING Real Estate Development, ING Real Estate Investment Management, Arka Fund, AIB Polonia, Mosaic Property CEE Limited, CommerzReal Spezialfondsgesellschaft mbH, AXA Real Estate Investment Managers France, Internationales Immobilien Institut GmbH, Quinlan Private, Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP, Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners, Perella Weinberg Real Estate UK , Akron Group, Unibail-Rodamco SE, Redevco, PZU Asset Management, Keen Properties Partners, PKO BP, Polski Holding Nieruchomości, Grupa PHN.
- The foreign shareholders of a Polish development company had serious concerns regarding the spiralling level of development cost and projected rental income from a large retail investment in Poland. Work was primarily focused on identification of the main risks relating to the significant over-runs on the investment and additional hidden costs/ commitments. Significant irregularities were identified which meant that the overall projected development cost would exceed the original budget by more than Euro 100 million. Simultaneously the developer was in dispute with the General Contractor and had received a claim for construction variances regarding escalating costs. The claim of the General Contractor was examined in detail and actions necessary to recover the project programme and negotiation tactics with the General Contractor were developed to support the developer with reaching agreement to ensure the project would continue.
- As a result of a global investigation by the American SEC, the Polish subsidiary of a retail group was selected for a books and records and manipulation of financial statements investigation. Much of the work at the Polish subsidiary focused on identifying whether financial misrepresentation and manipulation was initiated by senior members of the management team. Detailed forensic analysis of the books and records together with electronic data collection and examination identified that revenue recognition in the financial statements had been manipulated by the local management to show improved trading results which ultimately improved the overall performance of the group.
- The newly appointed Management Board at a large Polish conglomerate commissioned an investigation into the business activities of the former Management Board with the intention of identifying whether claims of both a civil and criminal nature could be considered against the former Management Board members for, inter alia, fraud, negligence or misconduct. The investigation covered major transactions entered into by the company during the period of the former Management Board and the work performed by external advisors engaged to assist the former Management Board with the development and implementation of the Corporate Strategy during said period. Significant irregularities were identified with regard to disposal of group companies and various investment decisions in line with the newly developed group strategy. Arising out of the work performed the Prosecutor also initiated an investigation into the activities of the former Management Board.
- A Management Board member of the Polish subsidiary of a foreign beverages company was arrested and charged by the Prosecutor on allegation of acting to the detriment of the Polish company. The Prosecutor had engaged an external third party to prepare an expert report quantifying the alleged damages which had been suffered by the Company. On the basis of instruction from external legal counsel we prepared a critique of the expert witness report, which constituted the basis for the charges by the Prosecutor. The work revealed that the expert had omitted certain key facts regarding the case and his conclusions were not supported by the factual evidence. Upon presenting the critique to the Prosecutors Office, charges by the Prosecutor were dropped against the Management Board member.
- The foreign shareholder of a Russian company commissioned a forensic investigation, following the murder of a key member of management team. The work was focused on the core business activities to identify key forensic risks within the business, which may have been the cause of this murder. The work was performed under the guidance of global general counsel and the investigating team was protected by an external security agency for fear of physical threat against the investigating team. A number of key risks and issues were identified, one of which was believed to be the main reason for the murder.
- Following a report prepared by Internal Audit, the Supervisory Board of one of the largest telecommunication company in Poland decided to commission a review of policies and procedures and their application with respect of representation costs (gifts) and selected sponsoring activities. Arising from the review irregularities were identified in a number of key areas. The Supervisory Board further commissioned a complete forensic investigation including collecting and review of content stored on electronic devices, relationships analysis and interviews of selected employees. The review confirmed the issues raised by internal Audit and provided a deeper analysis and evidence confirming the irregularities as well as misconduct by the company’s employees. Arising from the review certain employees were dismissed. During the forensic investigation the Prosecutor also commenced investigations into the irregularities following a whistleblower tip-off by a former employee.
- The Supervisory Board of a Ukrainian bank initiated an investigation into actions of the Management Board which were potentially to the detriment of the bank. In order to verify the allegations certain transactions with a number of potentially related parties were reviewed. The review of these transactions included review of investment decisions, analysis of cash flows, background checks, and analysis of a portfolio of money market transactions as well as discussions with top management. The work performed during the investigation confirmed that there were several transactions where a Management Board member had clear conflicts of interest, were not on an arm’s length basis and it is likely that the Board member had benefited personally for these transactions. Other persons related to the bank, involved in these transactions were identified during the course of the review and other areas with potential risk of frauds were reported to the Supervisory Board.
- Following an investigation initiated by the American SEC against a global corporate operating in medical sector, a forensic investigation was performed in order to assess whether the provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) could have been breached by the subsidiaries worldwide. An investigation commissioned at the Polish subsidiary revealed significant FCPA non-compliance and instances of breaching the Act, which were reported directly to the American SEC. Simultaneously a compliance review of the control environment was initiated. The work was performed in accordance with a specific FCPA reviews workplan and guidance. All the workplan tasks were tailored to local regulatory and business environment. Computer Forensics experts were engaged to help the FCPA investigations team identifying information that might not have been accessible during the standard course of an FCPA review, as well as to help corroborate the hypotheses already identified by the FCPA review team. The investigations team managed to gather enough evidence to support the dismissal of the local management and to support the client in the labour court against claims from dismissed management.
CFE – Certified Fraud Examiner
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), USA
Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, Ireland
Economics, University College Dublin, Ireland
English – native, Polish – working proficiency