Another Perspective On "Global Networks"

I love to get mail from other firms that focus on professional services firms as an industry.

This note came from Michael Roch at Kerma Partners in response to my post about the audit firms’  “global networks.”

Dear Francine,

…I am a London-based partner of Kerma Partners; we are a strategy consulting firm to international professional services firms .

My partner Phil Kaszar and I have written about accounting “networks,” and I agree with several of your thoughts.

First, globally, the larger accounting firms have created a perception of market integration that simply does not exist.

Second, the (dis-)integration is a matter of degree: the smaller the network/affiliation – and the smaller the client – the more this non-existence of integration becomes apparent.

Third, accountants have been guilty of excessive risk aversion and thus have too often let risk management tail wag the dog of driving global objectives – this in turn plaintiffs counsel have managed to exploit as you well know and now the options for a “global” firm have become somewhat more limited.

Thanks, Michael, for your comments. I look forward to hearing more from you and your colleagues.