Atlanta Accounting Firm’s Audit Network Admitted into World Alliance

Atlanta-based accounting firm Williams Benator & Libby LLP’s global audit network has been admitted into the Forum of Firms, an international association comprised of smaller audit networks.
Russell Bedford International, Williams Benator’s network, is one of 17 original member networks in the forum.

Officials at Williams Benator, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2007, said that Russell Bedford’s entrance into the larger network will help ensure that its clients will receive top-notch service when referred to other network firms internationally.

“Having our RBI network recognized in this manner confirms, more than ever, that we can rely on our colleagues across the globe to provide our international clients the type of first-class audit, tax and business services they have come to expect from our firm,” said Steve Horn, the firm’s director of international tax services, in a statement.

Williams Benator has served companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Contact Mr. Horn at (770) 512-0500, or go to the Web site at for more formation.

Kia Plant Fields 43,000 Job Applications

The Kia Motors Corp. plant under construction in West Point opened its hiring process last month and received a flood of more than 43,000 job applications in the 30-day period that followed, the Associated Press reported Feb. 11.
The company used an online application processing system, collaborating with the state to make sure that potential employees with no home Internet access could use Web at workforce training sites to submit their applications.

The plant will employ 2,500 workers directly, but auto parts manufacturers that have flocked to Georgia in anticipation of the new plant could provide thousands more positions.

The plant, which is expected to be operational in November 2009, will produce 300,000 vehicles annually.

Kia Motors is affiliated with Hyundai Motors Co., the sixth-largest auto conglomerate in the world, which has designs on becoming the fifth-largest by 2010, according to the AP report.

Equifax Forms Partnerships to Enter India

Atlanta-based credit information provider Equifax Inc. will partner with two Mumbai, India-based credit ratings firms to place an office in that city by the end of 2008.
Credit Rating Services of India Ltd., or CRISIL, and Tata Capital Ltd., a subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd., helped Equifax submit an application to the Reserve Bank of India to form a joint venture in Mumbai.

Richard Smith, Equifax chairman and CEO, said that now is the right time to make Mumbai the home of the company’s 15th international office.

“Developing a world-class credit information system is timely as India is experiencing a credit boom, with bank lending to firms and households increasing by 30 percent over the past year and sustained economic growth of 6 to 9 percent,” he said.

Equifax, which announced revenues of $1.4 billion for 2007, plans to employ 20-40 people in the Mumbai office.


Invesco Executives Predict Growth Despite Volatile Markets

Executives at Atlanta-based financial management firm Invesco Ltd. are predicting continued company growth in 2008 despite anticipated market insecurity.
On Feb. 5, the company announced record revenues of $636 million for 2007 and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Dec. 4.

Martin Flanagan, Invesco’s president and CEO, said that these steps laid the foundation for further growth.

“Although turbulent global markets may continue into 2008, Invesco’s broad investment capabilities will allow us to meet the needs of clients seeking to build financial security,” Mr. Flanagan said.

He cited the closure of a $4 billion fund with New York-based subsidiary WL Ross & Co. Ltd. as one of Invesco’s solutions for clients involved in “distressed investment opportunities.”


Duluth-based Agco Reports Positive 4th Quarter Earnings in 2007

Duluth-based agricultural equipment manufacturer Agco Corp. reported a 33 percent increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2007 over the same period in 2006, the company announced Feb. 7.
The company’s fourth quarter net income was $81.1 million worldwide, representing a drastic turnaround from the 2006 period ending Dec. 31, when the company reported loss in net income of more than $128 million.

Martin Richenhagen, Agco’s chairman and CEO, said that the year’s rise in revenues enabled the company to purchase two international subsidiaries: Breganze, Italy-based Laverda S.p.a. in June and Ibiruba, Brazil-based Industria Agricola Fortaleza Limitada, or SFIL, in September.

“We continue to benefit from our global footprint and our well positioned brands in healthy markets,” Mr. Richenhagen said in the press release that accompanied the earnings report.

The company reported record sales in Brazil and Argentina, as well as increases in revenues from France, Germany and the U.K., as well as Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

The company predicts that higher farm incomes in North America will lead to further growth this year.


As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...