Board Announces Leaders of New York Office

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board today announced the appointment of two staff members to lead its New York City office.

Esslie W. Hughes will serve as Director of the New York office. She previously worked for more than 20 years in commercial banking with The Bank of New York, European American Bank and Bankers Trust Company. At the Bank of New York, she served as Division Head for Domestic Private Banking. Ms. Hughes received her MBA from the University of Chicago and her undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Paul E. Bijou will lead the Inspections team and serve as Deputy Director of Inspection in the New York office. A former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr. Bijou began his career in audit services and worked at the firm for 26 years, specializing in banking, manufacturing, automotive and consumer products. Mr. Bijou was a leader in the internal controls services group and led the New York practice for the firm. He holds a degree in accounting from Iona College in New York.

The PCAOB opened the New York office Sept. 8, 2003, to serve as a base for the inspections of registered accounting firms.

"The heart of our duties under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is the inspection of accounting firms," said PCAOB Chairman William J. McDonough. "Because of the concentration of accounting firms in New York City, it is vital to our inspections to have a presence in the city. Esslie's knowledge of the New York business community will make her an excellent director of our New York office, and Paul's talent and expertise makes him the ideal leader for our Inspections team."

Members of the PCAOB's Office of Registration and Inspection are currently conducting limited inspections of the four largest accounting firms. Beginning in 2004, firms with more than 100 public company audit clients will be inspected annually, and all other firms will be inspected once every three years.