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January 27, 2023

RSM Does Not Aspire to Be KPMG

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RSM International CEO Jean Stephens spoke to Financial Times recently and let everyone know that her firm is totally open to a little wheeling and dealing that would bump them up from their current spot as the sixth largest firm (#5 on the IPA 500). Coincidentally, RSM just released their revenue numbers and they are anything but shabby. A few bullets from today’s press release:

  • Global revenues increase by over 41% in three years
  • Double-digit growth across all RSM regions for a second consecutive year
  • 10% rise in headcount to 57,000 RSM professionals
  • Network targets 100% growth in revenue by 2030

This $8 billion puts them just $26.6 billion behind smallest Big 4 firm KPMG, and a mere $4.8 billion off from nearest rival BDO.

Anyway, Stephens told FT that RSM is open to merger talks, if it’s a good fit.

“If there’s some deal or some big conversation to be had, absolutely we’ll look at that to see what does that mean, what does that look like for us,” she said in an interview with FT. “I think where there are willing parties then that’s what you start with [and then it’s a matter of] what [are] the goals and objectives and what’s the business deliverable that’s going to come from [it]?”

A big mid-tier merger would obviously put RSM and the future Mrs. RSM much closer to competing with Big 4, though she says that’s not the goal. “It’s such a big jump to . . . even the smallest of the Big Four that that’s not our ambition,” she said.

FT called her comments “the clearest public indication from a mid-tier accounting group that it would consider a large tie-up or other significant transaction” so keep an eye out, RSM may be working on something big. There are likely many conversations being had among the mid-tiers with the EY split in the works, whether any of these talks materialize into something tangible remains to be seen. Should something come of it, hopefully the marketers can come up with something better than FORVIS.

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    1. Why do you assume there is a Mr? I figured it was two “Mrs.” You shouldn’t be so heteronormative, I’m embarrassed for you.

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