On Tuesday morning we got a tip from a source across the pond confirming the big news of the day at the Queen’s KPMG:
Big pay day at KPMG UK for the partners.
Unbelievable. Treat the staff rough but still come out on top.
We’ve written a lot in the past few years about how dick-ish partners at KPMG UK can be—including bullying staff and sending inappropriate messages to people via WhatsApp. You can even include former chairman and senior partner Bill Michael in this group for telling his underlings to “stop moaning” and to stop “playing the victim card” during a virtual town hall meeting nearly a year ago after staff complained about potential cuts to their pension contributions, pay, and bonuses. Michael resigned shortly after his online meltdown. (He’s now Elixirr’s problem.)
But no matter how much shit KPMG partners stir (i.e., Carillion, Silentnight, and Regenersis messes, just to name a few), they still get pretty hefty payouts at the beginning of each year. And the most recent payout for financial year 2021 was KPMG partners’ biggest since 2014, according to the Financial Times:
KPMG’s UK partners were handed an average of £688,000 last year as a booming deals market helped trigger their biggest payday since 2014.
Partners were paid 20 per cent more than in 2020 at the scandal-hit accounting firm, which has faced a leadership overhaul as well as fines and criticism for its audit and insolvency work in the past year.
The firm said all of its main business lines had grown in the year to September 2021, led by a 31 per cent rise in sales at its deal advisory unit.
Believe it or not, they even left some scraps for the staffers who don’t get paid nearly enough to work ungodly hours on all the business the partners bring in.
Its 14,700 staff shared a £100mn bonus pool as the professional services sector benefited from soaring demand for advice on mergers and acquisitions, and on digital transformations as companies sought to reshape their operations to adapt to serving customers online.
While it was raining money for partners at KPMG UK, it was pouring at the other Big 4 firms in Britain—and even at BDO—as partners benefited from a bounce-back FY 2021 in which business boomed compared to the coronavirus panic of FY 2020. Of the top five largest accounting firms in the UK, KPMG gave its partners the smallest average payout. Here’s a recap of how much partners at those five firms received on average in FY 2021:
- Deloitte: £854,000 (plus an extra £197,000 from the sale of its restructuring division)
- PwC: £868,000
- BDO: £760,000
- EY: £749,000
- KPMG: £688,000
Bad audit quality and accounting scandals, be damned. Partners don’t care as long as they’re still making bank.
KPMG hands UK partners biggest payday since 2014 [Financial Times]