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KPMG ‘Members Only’ Club’s Sole Drawback Is That You Might End Up Talking to an Accountant

Whether you're a captain of industry, a titan of finance or a scion of a mysterious fortune, an appropriate venue in which to conduct business is crucial. Having coffee at a Starbucks with a bathroom queue snaking around you isn't just distracting, it's undignified!

The always-eager-to-please capital market servants at KPMG are sensitive to this and the London office has decided to do something about it:

Accountancy firm KPMG is launching a new private members club in the select Mayfair district of London next month — but the only way of getting on the guest list is by being a client or a partner of the firm.

Branded in KPMG marketing material as No. 20, the five-storey converted townhouse at 20 Grosvenor Street will provide a club-like atmosphere for well-heeled clients who feel more at home in London W1 than the glass-and-steel environs of its corporate headquarters in Canary Wharf in faraway docklands.

Yes, the House of Klynveld created an oasis suitable for those seeking refuge from the confines of your average accounting firm shanty crawling with pleb beancounters: 

The townhouse — “five floors in which to enhance your conversations and deepen your business relationships,” according to KPMG — boasts a restaurant, presentation suite, business lounge, meeting rooms and a bar with a terrace on the fourth floor.

“We thought we’d create a West End space for people to meet, mingle and touch down,” said Simon Collins, UK chairman of KPMG. “Non-execs who have lots of meetings can often find it pretty lonely if they don’t have a base. So this is somewhere they can go, drop a bag, get something typed, call a cab, have a shower, a coffee and a sandwich, and meet other people.”

Unfortunately for anyone looking for a free luxurious oasis is that it won't 100% accountant-free: 

Thirsty clients need to be chaperoned by someone from KPMG, or run the risk of getting on the wrong side of the taxman.

“Without a KPMG host, clients can only have coffee, water, soft drinks, biscuits,” Mr Collins cautions. “With a KPMG host they can have what they like — if they could just walk in and get subsidised or free drinks it would be seen by HMRC as a tax benefit.”

If you'd rather plunk down a few hundred quid to be left alone entirely, no one would blame you.

KPMG to open own Mayfair members club [FT]