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TEI expands to Asia, creates new region for non-North American chapters: San Antonio and Austin chapters to merge.

TEI extended its global reach to three continents in April by chartering its first chapter in Asia. Based in Singapore, the new chapter will be headed by William E. Ramirez of the Altria Group, Inc., Hong Kong, and Steven Shee of the Hewlett-Packard Company, Singapore, as chapter representative to the Institute's Board of Directors. At its inception, the chapter had more than 30 members from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe.

"Six years ago, the Institute reached across the Atlantic Ocean to form a chapter in Europe," TEI President Judith P. Zelisko noted. "One of the leaders of that effort was Bill Ramirez. The tremendous success of the European Chapter coupled with Bill's transfer to Hong Kong led us to consider possible expansion to Asia. We are pleased that Bill and his colleagues along the Pacific Rim have also recognized the value of networking and learning from their peers that epitomize TEI. We are extremely excited about the potential for expansion."

The genesis of the new chapter can be traced to a presentation on TEI made to a group of tax executives meeting in conjunction with Baker & McKenzie's Asia Pacific Tax Conference in November 2003. Since that time, corporate individuals have met throughout the region to discuss issues relating to permanent establishment, tax effective supply chain management, transfer pricing, and China taxation. Transfer pricing audits in Northeast Asia will be the subject of the chapter's May meeting.

Ms. Zelisko said that TEI Senior Vice President Michael P. Boyle attended the November meeting in Singapore, which attracted 109 registrants. In-house tax professionals from China, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and the United States attended the most recent meeting February 25 in Hong Kong.

For additional information about the chapter, contact Mr. Ramirez at william.ramirez@ap.altria.com.

New Region IX

The establishment of a new chapter in Asia has prompted the Institute to create a new region for its non-North American chapters. New Region IX will include the European and Asia Chapter, and Anthony J. Maggiore of Richemonte International SA, Geneva, was appointed the new Regional Vice President. Mr. Maggiore was a charter member of the European Chapter, and has served as that chapter's president. (Before the Board's action in creating Region IX, the European Chapter was part of Region III.

Merger of Two Chapters

Changing demographics have led the Board of Directors to merge two of its Texas Chapters. Explaining the merger of the San Antonio Chapter and the Austin Chapter, TEI President Judy Zelisko said that "regrettably, not all TEI chapters have experienced growth in their membership."

Ms. Zelisko noted that the Austin Chapter had been spun off the San Antonio Chapter in 2000, and that the shift of corporate headquarters and other economic changes in the last five years had made it difficult for the San Antonio Chapter (which was itself founded in 1989) to sustain itself. She continued that Louis Mestier, TEI's Vice President for Region VI (which includes the San Antonio and Austin Chapters), had held extensive discussions with the leadership of the two chapters during the last year and they collectively recommended a merger of the chapters. She also indicated that the combination was in the best interests of both chapters.

The merger of the San Antonio and Austin Chapters is effective on July 1 of this year. Current members of the San Antonio Chapter will be initially transferred to the Austin Chapter as of that date, but are at liberty to transfer to a different chapter.
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Title Annotation:Recent Activities
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:592
Previous Article:Schedule M-3: turning a lemon into lemonade.
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