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Do you think that the Big 4 are comparable to the 4 houses in Harry Potter?
Deloitte: Griffindor [sic]
E & Y: Ravenclaw
KPMG: Huffelpuff [sic]
First, it's clear that your spellcheck is not acclimated to fantasy literature; I don't know if you want to rectify that or not, but you should be aware of it. Secondly, it should be noted that I've read exactly NONE of the Harry Potter books. I have seen approximately 20 minutes of one film. On the other hand, I do enjoy anything that includes Ralph Fiennes or Alan Rickman. That puts my level of Harry Potter knowledge a number of steep steps below novice and, thus, completely unqualified to answer this question.
Luckily, because I know that there are number of passionate Potter fans out there who would no doubt insert their own biases into this type of analysis, my deep ignorance and don't-give-a-shitism actually makes me the perfect person to answer this question. Let's dive in.
Using the best research tools at my disposal (e.g. Harry Potter Wiki) I find your initial suggestions to be grossly off the mark. For starters, if one were to simply look at the House
Colours of the Four Houses of Hogwarts, you would see Gryffindor
is crimson and gold, Slytherin
is green and silver, Ravenclaw
is blue and silver, Hufflepuff
is yellow and black. So from a purely superficial analysis the Houses/Firms would fall in this way:
Think about it logically (or like a 1st Grader) — Gryffindor and Hufflepuff are no-brainers. The only debate here is between Slytherin and Ravenclaw since both Deloitte and KPMG have blue as part of their team colors. The lynchpin is the green of Slytherin matching up with Deloitte's green dot. It's a simple as that. If you don't like it, you can eat Malfoy's toenails.
Now, if you wanted to make a more substantive argument for matching up the Big 4 with the Four House of Hogwarts, then the best thing I think we can do is look at the traits of each House and compare them to what we know about the Big 4. Let's look at each of these individually.
The House animal is the lion. Traits include: bravery, chivalry, courage, daring. It's also been said that they engage in "pointless heroics" and "self-righteous and arrogant, with no regard for rules." It'd be quite a stretch for me to say that any
Big 4 firm would be considered brave, chivalrous, courageous or daring, but pointless heroics, self-righteousness, arrogance, and no regard for rules could be applied to all
four. So if we ignore the virtues of Gryffindor and simply focus on what others think of them, I'm leaning towards PwC or Deloitte with a slight edge to PwC (this fits perfectly with the storyline of a rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin, btw). When you win prestige awards
year after year, it's inevitable that you'll be considered self-righteous and arrogant and that the rules don't apply to you.
House animal is serpent. Traits include Traditionalism, resourcefulness, cunning, ambition, leadership, self-preservation, determination, intelligence. Also, "Slytherins tend to hesitate before acting, so as to weigh all possible outcomes before deciding exactly what should be done." Again, tough to point to one firm as they all encompass these traits to a degree, but the firm that sticks out to me is Deloitte, particularly because of traditionalism, leadership, and self-preservation. Deloitte is widely considered the most conservative (i.e. traditional) firm amongst the Big 4 and that's saying something. Their leadership is the most visible (think of all the awful interviews they've given
) and regarding self-preservation – they are the only firm that did not spin of their consulting business after the Enron debacle.
Animal is the Eagle. Traits include intelligence, wit, wisdom, creativity, individuality. Also noteworthy is that Ravenclaws are "competitive when it comes to academic success that they are known to backstab each other," and "proud of the success of famous members," and has "little rivalry" with other houses. This is probably the hardest one to pinpoint and considering the fact that we're down to two firms, we'll defer to the color reasoning above and let KPMG have this one despite all the points to the contrary.
Animal is the (Honey?) Badger. Traits include loyalty, dedication, hard work, fair play, patience. Frankly, the badger is what does it for me – Ernst & Young don't care. Ernst & Young don't give a shit. Did the firm stand idly by while a certain investment bank
went down in flames nearly ending the world as we know it? Maybe! And they're perfectly okay to absolve themselves from the situation without much thought. Putting that aside for now, fair play comes to mind because Jim Turley has been a big champion of inclusion inside and outside the firm, more so than any other Big 4 CEO.
So as you can see, these two analyses – considered individually or together – make a rock solid case that isn't really up for debate. I'd close the comments for this one and let you all stew in it, but I still believe in letting you have your say. If you've got a difference of opinion, go ahead and try to make an argument.