For the past year or so, we've noted the efforts of PwC to stack up its talent via "competitive poaching," mostly at the expense of its smaller rival, KPMG. During this time, people familiar with the situation have informed us that this trend has been noticed by people at KPMG with slight agitation. In one instance, according to someone familiar with both firms, a young KPMG partner who was a rising star left the firm because he wanted to "sit on the bench with the Yankees" for more money rather than commit his life to that of a up-and-coming partner at the House of Klynveld.
While the PwC/Yankees comparison is interesting – and may require further debate in the future – a recent statement by KPMG Chief Operating Officer Henry Keizer is a little more telling. Keizer Söze doesn't name names, but it seems that in the talent department, KPMG could use a few people in the bench. Those who can step up and hit one out when the firm really needs it has proven a difficult for the HoK:
“It is a constant challenge to be able to have enough and to really have a culture where you don’t miss a beat with what drives high-performance individuals,” he said. […] “When it comes down to it, do we really have enough key leadership professionals who have the ability to lead what we want to accomplish? It’s not like they’re stacked up on the bench.”
The challenge has been extended, oh riders of pine.