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October 3, 2023

Ex-KPMG U.K. Partners Start Consulting Firm Devoid of Any Big 4 Bullsh*t

Remember Maggie Brereton and Ina Kjaer, the two KPMG U.K. partners who quit earlier this year because the firm protected a male partner who was accused of being a bully? Well, the two women have launched their own consulting firm that they say will be everything the Big 4 is not.

The name of their new firm is Eos Deal Advisory, named after the Greek goddess of the dawn.

From the Financial Times:

Ms. Brereton said they were hoping to reshape the deal advisory market by running a diverse business that does not “waste talent” by relying on an intense after-hours working culture that tends to exclude women and minorities.

Eos Deal Advisory will not pull “all nighters” to meet client deadlines or adopt “macho” working practices, and will move away from “a very old school way of selling deals”, she said. “We don’t want to be a new KPMG, a mini-me.”

Ms Kjaer added: “The business will allow minorities and women who walked out of the [deal advisory] market to feel like they want to work in it. Many feel like they cannot participate in this market. We will bring proper diversity into this market.”

Maggie Brereton

Brereton and Kjaer also said their goal is to have a zero percent gender pay gap, which is about as non-Big 4 as you can get. The two women know all about the pay gap at KPMG, which actually got larger during the past 12 months.

They supposedly are in talks with several large potential clients, including an investment bank. The two women reportedly had excellent reputations at KPMG, so it’s likely they’ll seal the deal.

Brereton, former head of U.K. transaction services at KPMG and a nonexecutive U.K. board member, and Kjaer, former head of U.K. integration in the deal advisory team at KPMG, resigned in February because they felt KPMG mishandled its investigation into the behavior of Sanjay Thakkar, head of the deal advisory unit.

Ina Kjaer

Even though several formal and informal complaints were made regarding Thakkar being a bully, KPMG gave him a free pass because he led one of KPMG’s most profitable divisions. He stepped down from his position in June and took a leave of absence.

Eos Deal Advisory is expected to hire 15 people in the U.K. by early October, when the firm will be fully functional, according to the Financial Times.

And based on their experience working at KPMG, Brereton and Kjaer know why you shouldn’t treat your employees like pieces of shit.

I’m sure they were made to work all-nighters a time or two at KPMG. They know that working all-nighters is dumb. Nothing good comes out of working without sleep, even if a client is breathing down your neck.

If your firm is making you work all-nighters, it’s probably time to find a new job or to get the hell out of public accounting completely.

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