Smith Appoints BDO as Primary Firm to Monitor Settlement
By: Esther Cho
Settlement monitor Joseph Smith announced a partnership Monday to work with BDO Consulting as the primary professional firm.
BDO, a division of BDOUSA, LLP, will join Smith and his team for three and a half years to oversee the implementation of the settlement involving 49 states, state and federal officials, and the five largest banks – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Ally.
“As I entered the process of engaging the primary professional firm, I knew it would be critical to find the right balance of independence and capacity,” said Smith. “I conducted a thorough review of more than 20 firms, and I am confident that I have found the best balance in BDO. I’ll also continue to work with other forensic accountants, consultants and attorneys.”
Smith added that he is in the process of engaging secondary professional firms for additional support.
BDO will work under the direction of Smith alongside his staff of consultants, forensic accountants, attorneys, and secondary professional firms to oversee the settlement. More than 30 BDO professionals will work with the monitor.
Other appointed support in the monitoring committee includes the law firms Poyner Spruill, LLP and Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP; forensic accounting firm Parkway Associates; and CPA consultants Cherry, Bekaert, and Holland.
During the next month, Smith, who once served as a banking commissioner for North Carolina, will work with the experts to create the work plan for overseeing the five banks.
Carl W. Pergola, partner-in-charge of BDO’s consulting services, called the selection an honor, and said the firm will work closely with the monitor and the secondary professional firms to facilitate compliance with the agreement.
BDO has served for more than 100 years as an accounting, tax, financial advisory, and consulting organization. Nationwide, BDO has 41 offices and more than 400 independent alliance firm locations.
The monitor’s role is to ensure servicing standards established through the settlement are met. If violations are found, the servicer can be penalized up to $1 million per violation or up to $5 million for certain repeat violations.
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