KPMG Makes M&A Staff in UK "Redundant"

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How I like the quaint terms they use in other parts of the world to express the ugly fact… People are losing their jobs and the firms won’t admit it.  
You’d think they were chatting at a tea party.  The Big 4 are as vulnerable to an economic downturn as any of their clients, especially when they over-hire and under-manage.

What do I mean by “under-manage?”  What about all those programs they have implemented that involve “Coaches”, “Mentors” “Relationship Partner”, etc.   Do they really improve quality and help to make the average staff person feel “connected” to Partners? 
Well, I found it all to be a bunch of hooey.   Staff with only a few years experience were assigned as coaches and mentors to entry level staff and, in the end, only partners knew or had control over salaries, bonus and future at the firm.  Staff are out at client sites most of the time on their own, with only a Manager or, if they’re lucky, a Senior Manager/Director checking in once and a blue moon.
Planning and forecasting are left to professionals who have never done it before and no one mentors in the real ways to do critical tasks related to the business of auditing and consulting in the Big 4, let alone for handling technical issues and conflicts.  Information trickles up, is lost and filtered, diluted and diverted, until what the partner has left, if anything, to decide is irrelevant.
Unfortunately, the staff that will lose their jobs in KPMG M&A in the UK will probably have to go to turnaround and bankruptcy firms on the outside or maybe the companies they put together in the deals they did at the firm.  At least they may know a lot about the numbers that justified these combinations and how to achieve them. That way they won’t end up “redundant” once again.

Credit crunch sees KPMG axe 90 staff

KPMG to axe 90 staff as the first concrete signs of the credit crunch start to show

KPMG is to shed around 90 staff from its corporate finance and transaction service teams in the first concrete sign of the damaging effects of the credit crunch.

The move will send chills through the transactions departments of other firms. The lack of deals means corporate financiers are not in strong demand.

KPMG has not formally announced the number of redundancies. A spokesman confirmed there had been ‘a number’ of job losses in the two divisions. ‘This is related to market conditions that we and other organisations are encountering.’ There were currently no plans for firm-wide redundancies, he said.

The firm had announced strong performance in both corporate finance and transaction services in 2006/2007, growing 16% and 25% respectively. Last year’s numbers would not have reflected the credit crunch greatly, however, with the firm’s year end in September.

The last major wave of job cuts in the firms followed the collapse of Andersen and a market downturn in 2002, during which KPMG shed around 1,000 staff.

4 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    thanks for the info francine, do you forsee similar trends in the future for other areas less directly affected by the credit crunch (audit & tax)?

  2. James
    James says:

    I understand the need to let people go when the economy is contracting, but for firms that pride themselves on their training and that have several departments I think retraining would have been the better option. Unless, of course, a contracting economy is an excuse to get ride of some overhead they’ve been looking to get rid of for a while.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    while I also enjoy the term “redundancy” to specify severance, my favorite (or favourite)British accounting term is “sustenance” in regards to employee meals

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