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