The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently did a sit-down with McGladrey President C.E. Andrews and from the sounds of it, C.E. is pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay pleased with how things have gone at Mickey G’s since he’e been on board saying, “We’re doing pretty well.”
Now the particular context of this statement could be taken a number of ways – He could be referring to the recent acquisition of Caturno & Co. or he could be talking about the firm’s recent rebranding that involved plenty of refreshments, or he’s just pumped to get regular photo-ops with Natalie Gulbis OR it could be that he’s subtly referring to how good McGladrey is at layoffs.
Based on what we read, it’s most likely the handing out of sugar stimulants:
“Big companies tend to be inwardly focused. You drink your own Kool-Aid,” said Andrews, who knows something about large companies. He’s a former partner at Arthur Andersen and had a front-row seat for the demise of the consulting firm in the wake of the Enron debacle, then went on to run Sallie Mae before joining McGladrey.
The restructured McGladrey has just five people overseeing the revenue side of the business, and a system that rewards managers who improve client service and produce growth “rather than for internal things,” Andrews said. “We’ve gone from a local measurement system to a national measurement system.”
No real room for misinterpretation there. As you all know, drinking Kool-Aid isn’t something that McGladrey takes lightly.
But then again, maybe he is referring to the recent acquisition of Caturno. C.E. is thinking that it’s been a pretty solid move and there is more where that came from:
“This thing has the appearance of being as good a fit as anything I’ve ever been a part of,” Andrews said. He said each firm had strengths that the other lacked in the New England region. It’s a model for the kinds of acquisitions McGladrey is looking to make, he said.
That includes San Francisco — though Andrews said nothing’s teed up yet.
This rhetoric is strange if you consider the aforementioned layoffs, some employees considering dumping Mickey G’s for Mickey D’s and a disappointing year where the firm saw a 39% drop in its pre-tax income.
But despite all that, C to the E has big plans for McG and they don’t include keeping things local:
McGladrey offers prospective targets connections to RSM International, the sixth-largest network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms, Andrews said. That’s becoming more important in today’s economy when even midmarket firms — which he called McGladrey’s “sweet spot” — now have operations in far-flung places like China or India.
“The attractiveness of truly local providers is diminishing,” Andrews said.
BUT! Don’t you go thinking that McGladrey will be like one of those firms, “We have the same kind of capabilities as the Big Four [accounting firms] … but delivered with an outstanding local touch.”
So, he backhands the local firms but then casually embraces their ‘delivery’ to take a jab at the Big 4. So, if we understand this correctly, McGladrey is a big firm, but isn’t like a big firm, and that’s their advantage. Got it.
McGladrey seeking more acquisitions [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]