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Grant Thornton announces Keith Nickels hire

He joins from extensive spells at two of the Big Four accounting firms

Grant Thornton has announced the appointment of Keith Nickels as a tax partner and national leader of the firm’s research and development (R&D) tax credit services practice.

In the position, Nickels will be tasked with transforming the group’s R&D tax credit service delivery model through the use of a data-forward strategy.

With almost 25 years of public accounting experience, Nickels has worked across a number of industries, including technology, life sciences, media and entertainment, and aerospace and defense. 

A specialist in IRS exam controversy, he was previously a partner in the specialized tax services group and leader of the life sciences R&D tax credit practice at PwC.

Before joining PwC, Nickels spent two decades at another Big Four firm, Ernst and Young (EY), where he led the firm’s New York R&D tax credit practice.

He will be replacing the retiring Mark Andrus, who served in the role for 21 years and will be stepping down on July 31 2021.

Ellen Martin, national leader of strategic federal tax services at Grant Thornton, said: “As we look to grow the firm’s tax services around R&D, it’s important that we bring in leaders that possess a forward-thinking and innovative mindset.

“Keith’s wealth of knowledge and extensive IRS exam controversy experience make him the ideal leader to build on Mark’s track record of creating a successful R&D tax credit offering at Grant Thornton.”

A certified public accountant in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, Nickels also served as the chair of the tax policy taskforce at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) from January 2016 to December 2017.

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