Adecco hires Brunswick in wake of delay to audit

International recruitment firm Adecco Management & Consulting has hired Brunswick to handle the fallout from accounts irregularities.

Brunswick partner Alan Parker was brought in last weekend after the company’s share price fell 40 per cent following its announcement of ‘material weaknesses in internal controls’ in the firm’s North American operations.

Adecco director of media relations Vanessa Muir said the company had appointed Brunswick ‘to advise on specific issues arising from the delay of the company’s audited financial results for 2003’.

She said Cubitt Consulting would remain Adecco’s retained corporate communications consultancy in the UK. Adecco retains Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek in the US.

But sources close to the company said Brunswick was brought in by Goldman Sachs, the US bank that has started working alongside Adecco’s retained financial adviser Credit Suisse.

The company has been subjected to a barrage of criticism for not detailing the weaknesses in its accounting. This comes at a time when concern over the trustworthiness of European company accounts is high in the wake of the Parmalat affair.

At a press conference last Friday, Adecco declined to answer 24 of the 27 questions put to it. The company is believed to be restricted in what it can say because of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

On the same day, Adecco announced the resignation of finance director Felix Weber.

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