We received a tip about a situation over at Grant Thornton that may or may not have any basis in reality but since the only time Grant Thornton ever gets mentioned here is to get made fun of over being so bad at auditing (it’s getting better OK!) we thought hey, let’s have a discussion about GT that doesn’t involve fines and failing companies.
Last year we learned that GT CEO Brad Preber would be abandoning his post and that Seth Siegel, a longtime Knight of the Purple Rose, would take his place. Siegel joined Grant Thornton in 1996 and became a partner in 2006; he served as Grant Thornton’s Florida Audit practice leader from 2012 to 2019. Siegel will assume the role of CEO on August 1, 2022, one day after Brad Preber retires, and is CEO-elect in the meantime.
At the time Preber’s retirement was announced, I distinctly remember several comments from tipsters suggesting that Preber was liked by grunts despite that whole layoff situation that happened just after Preber took over for the gloriously-mustachioed Mike McGuire who left in early 2020. Of course no Grant Thornton CEO will ever be able to top the DYNAMIC service of Stephen Chipman IN THEIR CHOSEN MARKETS but I digress.
Back to the tip. According to our tipster, some folks are unhappy with the direction GT is headed under Siegel’s leadership:
Grant Thornton is losing some very key partners to resignation right now and is actually trying to keep it from the firm and market as long as they can. Multiple partners with significant impact to the firm have already resigned with more coming. The reason; new CEO Seth Siegel.
Seth has found a way to alienate the majority of the organization through total lack of communication, building a “strategy” that he paid an outside firm mid seven figures for that is not resonating (so much for the GT strategy offering) and showing extreme favoritism in access to his closest board members from his time on the board (and who got him elected) and local Florida partners. Just watch the promotions to verify this.
We’re told up to 30% of partners are actively looking for exits and that many of them are so annoyed by the “toxic” culture right now they are basically phoning it in until they can find a new gig. “Seth was simply not ready to run an organization this big,” our tipster says.
We’ve heard that Grant Thornton is bleeding seniors but that’s A) nothing new and B) a phenomenon hitting every firm in the CHOSEN current market so duh, of course they are. But partners? Is this an actual thing Grant Thornton should be worried about or is it just the mass exodus happening at every firm as people whose priorities shifted during the pandemic start deciding there are better things to do in life than grind your life away in public accounting? Maybe some partners are still butthurt about getting their draws cut by 25% in 2020.
Anyone with more details on this alleged exodus or the sentiment at GT in general these days is welcome to get in touch. We’ll continue digging in the meantime. For now this appears to be just a rumor.