John Veihmeyer Not at All Ashamed to Talk Scott London to Business Students
Too bad I didn't hear about this sooner or I totally would have tried to crash this party. Freshly christened KPMG Global Chairman and still KPMG US CEO and Chairman John Veihmeyer schooled the kids at University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business this week, and he wasn't at all afraid to say the L […]
KPMG’s U.S. Chairman and CEO Upgrading to KPMG Global Chairman
Congratulations are due to John V. for reaching 97% completion on his world domination plans: KPMG International today announced that John B. Veihmeyer has been selected by its board of directors as KPMG’s next Global Chairman, to succeed Michael Andrew who is retiring after serving as Global Chairman since May 2011. Andrew has recently been […]
One of These Things Is Not Like the Other, And It’s This Big 4 CEO’s Head
Quick shot of Lefty and @KPMG_US CEO John Veihmeyer on the set of @GCMorningDrive. Tune in now! pic.twitter.com/XRVDuReR8x — KPMG Mickelson (@MickelsonHat) November 15, 2013 Here is a far better shot of the close up: They won't let us embed the video here (admit it, you spent 2 full minutes clicking on the "play" button […]
Where in the World Is John Veihmeyer?
By way of the always interesting tip box, we've been alerted to the KPMG CEO's alleged whereabouts. Since we have a classic case of "pics or it didn't happen" we'll refrain from reporting his precise location: I am pleased to report that John Veihmeyer, our Chairman and CEO, will be coming to [our city!] on Wednesday, […]
Bonus Watch ’13: KPMG’s “Early Career Investment Bonus” Payouts Start This Week
Remember back in 2011 when KPMG announced a loyalty compensation program called the Early Career Investment Bonus? It was a pretty creative plan on the firm's leadership to entice senior associates to stick with the firm for the better part of a decade. For that commitment, a person could hypothetically accumulate a $36,000 payout through […]
John Veihmeyer Has a Friendly Message To New Associates In the Wake of KPMG’s Insider Trading Scandal
A tipster has sent us this lovely email from the Veihz that basically shows when in a crisis, it's best to face it head on and make sure your new associates do not regret their decision to join your firm. Since they're working for KPMG already, it's probably a good idea to reassure them as […]
KPMG Is at the Top of Someone Else’s Game
Literally. Sorta. Oh god, I don't know. We all have headaches. What I mean is, KPMG happens to be on the hat that is on top of Stacy Lewis’ head and Stacy Lewis is now the #1 female golfer in the world. That has to count for something, doesn’t it? "We are so happy to […]
KPMG CEO Will Take Some of Penn State’s Questions
KPMG CEO John Veihmeyer — Notre Dame alum, dedicated steward of an employer of choice — is on the guest list at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week. We don't have his itinerary in hand but it stands to reason that he'll have a hectic schedule of interviews, networking, and general CEO-y stuff on […]
KPMG Doesn’t Need You, FORTUNE; It Has Plenty of Other Employer Rankings That Say It’s Still a Great Place To Work
Oh Christ, the FORTUNE1 100 Best Companies to Work For came out today, which means marketing and PR teams all across Corporate America are on high alert. Who went up? Who went down? Who’s new on the list? Who’s off the list? Who gives a shit? That’s my take. If you’re not Google, then you suck. I want an employer who has a cafeteria that serves the most obscure cuisine on the planet (e.g. BBQ Tasmanian devil short ribs with poached platypus eggs) and I want it for FREE. If you can’t make that happen, then I might as well be working for the Taliban as the Womens Initiative coordinator.
KPMG’s #2 in the U.S., Henry Keizer, Is Stepping Down
We've confirmed that Henry Keizer, KPMG's Deputy Chairman and Chief Operating Officer, is retiring later this year due to "personal reasons." A number of anonymous sources alerted us to the news and we were able to confirm it with a trusted source as well as obtain a screenshot of CEO John Veihmeyer's message to the […]
A Bunch of Jerks in San Diego Booed Phil Mickelson and His KPMG Hat for Donating Money That Will Buy Books for Kids
In today's there's no way we could completely mock this and feel good about ourselves news, Phil Mickelson and his hat did something awfully nice at last night's Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Broncos, even if things didn't quite go as smashingly as the post-game press releases made it seem. You see, […]
Audit Leaders Use AICPA Council to Vent About ‘Crisis’ at Partner Level
Knowing you guys as well as I do, I realize it's pointless to bore you with details from Council; like how Tom Hood got snapped at by a very frustrated Maryland senator in her office or what people wore to last night's black tie gala. However, I will share with you an interesting panel yesterday […]
Get Your Dancing Shoes, It’s AICPA Council Week
It's that time of year again when lobbyists dust off their agendas and head to Washington to represent the voice of America's CPAs and their clients for the spring meeting of AICPA Governing Council. Once again I'll be covering the festivities however since hardly any of you actually care about legislative news or anything serious […]
LPGA Star and Accounting Degree Holder Stacy Lewis Will Not Take KPMG’s Money To Be an Auditor
On Monday, we learned that Phil Mickelson's KPMG hat got a Twitter account. I know. Thankfully, it wasn't so much a shameless opportunity for Phil to strut around in a new lid with proper KPMG colors, as it was a shameless opportunity for Phil to strut around in a new lid with proper KPMG colors […]
Right Now KPMG CEO John Veihmeyer Is Locked in His Office Watching This Clip From “Rudy” Over and Over and Fighting Tears
This far from being Notre Dame's Jerry Sandusky moment but it still has to hurt. The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Daniel Ruettiger and 12 other participants in a scheme to deceive investors into buying stock in his sports drink company. Ruettiger is widely known for having inspired the 1993 motion picture "Rudy." According to […]
Here’s Your KPMG Town Hall Open Thread
We’ve got it on good authority that the KPMG town hall is happening circa now although I am definitely not present for the event.
That being said, since we’re aware of the proceedings, it seems fair to allow the same opportunity for Klynveldians as we gave to the mini-BoMos. So if you’re hearing things from John Veihmeyer that you like, don’t like, or you’ve ideas of the names Johnny V. would mistakenly call me other than “Colin” feel free to sound off below.
Promotion Watch ’11: KPMG Admits 166 New Partners in the Americas
That’s right boys and girls, 166 new lucky Klynveldians will be taking a seat at the big kids table, only to be poached by PwC in the next 2-3 years. Despite the risk that many of these new partners will trade blue squares for autumnal Atari, John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer were excited to welcome the newest members of the club:
“These new partners are role models for high performance – with a passion for quality, an unyielding commitment to integrity and outstanding service, and a dedication to helping clients cut through the complexity in this dynamic environment,” said John B. Veihmeyer, Chairman of KPMG’s Americas region and Chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP (U.S.).
“We are very proud of each of these new partners, and we look forward to their continued leadership. We’re especially grateful to the spouses, family, friends, coworkers, and mentors who have played a key role in their development and their career success,” Veihmeyer said.
Henry R. Keizer, Deputy Chairman of the Americas region and Deputy Chairman and COO, KPMG LLP (U.S.) said, “With their steadfast focus on technical excellence, professionalism, teaming and relationship building, these new partners have helped us make great strides in achieving our strategic priorities.
“Their ability to engage and motivate our people has also been critical to our efforts in fostering a high-performance culture – thereby driving the firm and our people to the next level,” Keizer said.
The KPMG press release doesn’t have a breakdown of the numbers but luckily we got our virtual hands on an email that has the breakdown. We won’t name names but it’s probably moot since someone at PwC Experienced Hire recruiting probably has them all on a hit list already. ANYWAY, here’s the breakdown by service line for the U.S. (74 new partners):
Advisory – 26
Audit – 27
Tax – 21
And by line of business:
Information, Communications and Entertainment – 12
Financial Services – 17
Healthcare and Pharm – 5
Industrial Markets – 19
Private Equity – 4
Mid Market – 3
Government/Public Sector – 1
Consumer Markets – 9
Other – 4
Congrats to all the new partners!
Who Are the Most Influential People in Accounting? (2011)
Accounting Today released its Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting (free registration required) late yesterday and it seems to be a tad more interesting than in years past. Sure, there are plenty of predictable names and faces in the list but any list that has Dave Albrecht, Paul Caron, and Grover Norquist is okay by me.
That said, it’s still in alphabetical order which may not appropriately present who the influenciest influencers are. I mean does sticking a man with a last name that starts with “N” and ends in “quist” somewhere in the middle of the pack (only a few spots in front of the POTUS) truly show how influential he is? It’s just a question.
ANYWAY, here are some notables that you’ll probably recognize:
Dave Albrecht – Associate Professor at Concordia College, The Summa
C.E. Andrews – President, RSM McGladrey
Paul Caron – TaxProf Blog
Stephen Chipman – CEO, Grant Thornton
James Doty – Chairman, PCAOB
Joe Echevarria – CEO, Deloitte
Michelle Golden – President, Golden Practices
Tom Hood – CEO, Executive Director Maryland Association of CPAs
Hans Hoogervorst – Chairman, IASB
Robert Moritz – Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC
Caleb Newquist – Founding Editor, Going Concern
Grover Norquist – President and Founder, Americans for Tax Reform
Barack Obama – President of the United States
Barry Salzberg – CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Mary Schapiro – Chair, SEC
Doug Shulman – IRS Commissioner
Jim Turley – Global Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young
John Veihmeyer – Chairman and CEO, KPMG
Jack Weisbaum – CEO, BDO
I cherry-picked this list obviously because it’s a bit of a pain to re-type all of them, so don’t hold that against me. Still how two Swedes and two Barrys got mashed together is kind of odd. And on a more personal note, I’d really feel awful if I was the one who took Dennis Nally’s spot. Go check out the full list and discuss at your leisure.
Bonus Watch ’11: KPMG Officially Rolls Out “Early Career Investment Bonus” Program for Senior Associates
Last month we told you that KPMG was kicking around the idea of loyalty bonuses for senior associates. Today we bring you the good news that the firm has officially announced the “Early Career Investment Bonus” which more or less amounts to a loyalty bonus.
This news was brought to Klynveldians this morning by John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer (full memo on page 2). Let’s take a look at what the boys had to say:
Here’s how it works: If you are a current CSD senior associate with a 1, 2, or 3 rating you will be awarded $4,000 to be paid on May 15, 2013, provided you are employed by the firm on that date��������������������ut it gets better. By December 31, 2011 (just prior to the earnings period), you can elect to defer that $4,000 award for one year or two years and watch it grow:
• Defer the bonus for one additional year and receive $8,000 in May 2014
• Defer the bonus for two additional years and receive $12,000 in May 2015
And it gets better still because next year the cycle starts all over again. And, the following year, it starts again! So a typical first-year senior can look forward to three ECIB cycles with the opportunity to “layer” up to $36,000 in total bonus payments by the end of the last cycle. Alternatively, participants who are eligible for multiple ECIB enrollment cycles can choose different deferment options for each cycle, giving them theopportunity to customize the timing and amount of their ECIB award to meet their own needs or particular life events, like a down payment on a new home.
Obviously the catch here is that you’ll have to endure the next few years of your life within the House of Klynveld. But to that end, it seems like a halfway decent opportunity. Some might see this as a suicide mission but if you do in fact make it to May 15, 2015, that’s $12,000 in your pocket. John and Hank even gave us a nice example:
As this example shows, it will take a pretty huge commitment from anyone looking to score all three of the cycles for the big payout of $36,000. SIX. YEARS. AWAY. I won’t even begin to try and tell you what can happen in that time frame. Obama will have finished his second term by then (assuming re-election, obv). Countless people you know who are gigantic losers will get married, have kids and then probably get divorced. Facebook (and many people on it) will be dead. I’LL BE ON THE CUSP OF MY 40s. Get it? This isn’t exactly around the corner, people.
All told, this is a pretty progressive idea put out by KPMG and it seems better than the Above and Beyond awards which were a total flop.
So HoK, what say you? Got any career moves planned in the next two years or you sitting tight for the $12k? Anyone feel like the firm will take the opportunity to guilt those that don’t defer the bonus? Does anyone know if this in addition to any annual incentive comp? Discuss.
Deloitte Bankrolls Center for Ethical Leadership at Notre Dame
John Veihmeyer can’t be pleased by this.
The Notre Dame/Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership will focus on advancing ethical leadership in business, including research, thought leadership and the dissemination of ethics-related content to the business community in the United State and around the world, the university announced Monday.
The center is being established with a major gift from Deloitte LLP, a private professional services company, according to the university. The amount of the gift was not disclosed.
Presumably portions of the curriculum will educate students on how to piece together your spouse’s new hobby with insider trading activity.
Leaders From the Big 4 Rang the Closing Bell Today
That is, they clapped while someone rang a bell, along with some other people. Try to contain your excitement.
It doesn’t appear to be too awkward. Not sure how Steve Howe got squeezed way over there but the Lehman thing probably doesn’t help. Thoughts on pretty much anything – trash talk amongst Barry and Bob, did John Veihmeyer need lifts?; did they all read Going Concern today? – are welcome at this time.
Compensation Watch ’10: Is Anyone at KPMG Getting Impatient?
It’s bad enough that KPMG is the last of the Big 4 to announce their compensation numbers.
But here’s the real problem Klynveldians – now that the Fighting Irish have blown two big games, two weeks in a row, to two Michigan rivals, John Veihmeyer is desperate for a Lou Holtz pep talk which means watching the old man on TV. This also means suffering through the shallow diatribes of the horrendous Mark May which we don’t wish upon anyone. But that’s a whole other matter.
What concerns us is whether J. Veih manifests his frustration by going back on his word on merit increases and bonuses from earlier in the summer. While this would be unprecedented show of loyalty to Touchdown Jesus, it probably wouldn’t do much for the morale of the firm.
Gridiron failure aside, it’s our understanding that more than a few people are getting antsy over the compensation news and now that KPMG has announced the new partners, the only thing left is to share the shockingly good or heart-wrenchingly disappointing news to all the mini-Flynns.
We invite those with first-hand knowledge, well-researched theories or wild-ass guesses to share their thoughts on KPMG’s eagerly awaited compensation news. And of course, keep us updated with any weepy communication from John. That is, if he managed to get out of bed this morning.
Did We Mention That Phil Mickelson Has His Own KPMG Website?
No? Well, now you’ve been so advised.
With kid photos!
And if you feel so inclined, you can email him. We’re sure he’ll be reading them.
Compensation Watch ’10: KPMG Puts Some Ballpark Figures Out There
Since it’s Monday in late July (and many people probably had one old fashioned too many last night) we figured this day would have gotten off to a slow start. Well, we’re in luck! KPMG comes roaring out of the gate today with a little compensation update from none other call me Rudy” Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer.
The news? Well, the promotions bonuses have caused some belly aching so the boys thought they would give you a sneak peak at what you can expect come merit increase time:
Update on Our Plans for 2010 Compensation
A Message from John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer
8:19 AM ET, July 26, 2010
In April, we told you that there would be compensation increases for the great majority of our people and, assuming KPMG meets its FY10 plan, higher bonuses than last year for EP performers, and bonuses for higher performing SP employees as well. Now, as we head into the fourth quarter, we would like to provide you with an update on this matter. As you view this information, please keep in mind that compensation increases are determined on an individual basis, and reflect each employee’s role, skills, performance, geography, and experience, among other factors.
· Merit and Promotion Increases – For employees who are not being promoted, we expect SP performers will receive merit increases that will range from the low to the mid-single digits; EP performers will receive increases up to the high-single digits and in rare cases double digits.
In addition to any merit increases, employees who have been promoted should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 5 percent, with one exception: newly promoted CSD Managers should expect to receive a promotion increase of approximately 10 percent.
· Variable Compensation – The FY10 pool for variable compensation will be more than double what it was last year. This means that EP-rated employees will generally receive bonuses that are significantly higher than those of last year. In addition, approximately the top half of our SP performers will also receive variable compensation awards.
Please keep in mind this information is preliminary. Final compensation decisions will be made based upon our full-year results, so the ranges above could be adjusted based upon our firm’s performance between now and September 30. But, consistent with our commitment to keeping the lines of communication open, we wanted to share with you our best current forecast about these important matters.
In line with our compensation philosophy and our focus on a high-performance culture, we remain committed to sharing the rewards of the firm’s financial performance with our employees and providing a competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. As we have said before, the strong foundation we have built within the firm, as well as our near- and longer-term business prospects, make us very optimistic. But to finish this year strong and begin FY11 on a positive track, it is critical that we continue to drive a high-performance culture by doing our best work, providing the highest-quality service to our clients, growing our business, and operating efficiently.
Thanks again for your continued hard work and for all you do to help our firm succeed!
So now that you have that to chew on for your last Monday in July, feel free to discuss the “low to the mid-single digits” for the strong and “high-single digits and in rare cases double digits” for the exceptional. And if you’ve got thoughts on the variable comp pool, you can go there too, if you like. Keep us updated.
Let’s Welcome the KPMG Interns with…
…kind words from John Veihmeyer? Obviously! Bagels with schmear? This isn’t 2007. Happy hours where the booze flows like wine? TBD.
The Klynveld interns started this week (an official Tweet from the KPMG Go says there’s over 1,000 coffee go-fers this summer) and we hear they’re starting out with some stimulating training for a couple of days before they head to national training which we hear will be at a HoJo in Fargo, ND. Cutbacks, you know.
We know some of you KPMG vets will be asked to mentor these blades of grass and we’re a little curious about what the guidance has been re: coffee, lunches, booze etc. since TPTB are still squeeze all the hairs out Lincoln’s beard but still want you to convince the hot and/or smart interns that KPMG is the place they want to be.
Anyhoo, we’ll try and bestow some wisdom on this year’s crop with some key thing to remember:
1. Get things started off right and start kissing the new managers’ asses.
2. Business casual does not consist of sweat pants.
3. If we send you on a scavenger hunt, try not to make it obvious.
4. Showing up with booze on your breath isn’t allowed until you’re well into your first year as full time employee.
5. We’re out of ideas… help them out.
KPMG’s Investment in Phil Mickelson Is Working Out Pretty Well, Sayeth KPMG’s Leadership
We just assumed that we had heard the last of the cubicle-side chats with KPMG’s leadership but lo and behold, this morning we find yet another convo with KPMG’s three amigos – T Fly, JVeih, Keizer Soze – sitting in the mailbag.
And yes, Phil comes up.
Okay, some thoughts –
In response to Inquisitor #1, Johnnie V. says “our goal is to make sure to not sell services into a company” but then qualifies by saying, “[Making] sure we’re bring the full suite of..services to help them deal with those issues and those problems.” In other words, there is a very fine line between hustling clients for more business and actually serving them to suit their needs.
Re: “Mid-market” – This can be summed up by saying: KPMG is having the most success winning smaller clients from the next tier firms.
And finally to the most important question – Inquisitor #3 thinks Phil is great and all but for the love of everything that is good and holy, are there any other plans to get the name out there? This Five Guys obsession has him worried.
Since Tim and Phil are BFFs, he’ll take this one…except he doesn’t say anything that really means anything. JVeih jumps in (no doubt give him the “WTF are you talking about?” look) to say that KPMG’s Mean Girls strategy is working and the firm is getting far more attention from CFOs than it was just one year ago. The rest of the Big 4 have plateaued and Phil has been instrumental in the glad-handing and back-slapping efforts.
John Veihmeyer Wins One for the Gipper
[caption id="attachment_10529" align="alignright" width="150" caption="But how does he feel about Charlie Weis getting fired?"][/caption]
A few weeks back we presented the BusinessWeek ranking of accounting programs that found Notre Dame at the top. At first we just figured Touchdown Jesus had something to do with it but now we have reason to speculate that a divine carpenter had nothing to do with it.
Since KPMG Chairman-elect John Veihmeyer was recently named alumnus of the year by Notre Dame’s accounting department, some people might assume that JVeih did a little lobbying of the BusinessWeek folks in order to earn the top spot and perhaps this is South Bend’s thank you for the kind words.
Whether this back-scratching theory has any weight to it is up for a debate but what we know for sure is that some lucky Irish students/future Klynveldians got to hear JV speak recently at Notre Dame Stadium and some inspiring words were shared:
During his remarks, Veihmeyer used his own educational roots and career experiences to remind students what a unique opportunity they have had at Notre Dame and how it will benefit them on the road ahead. His audience listened in rapt attention. While the average college student would have paid just to have dinner in Notre Dame Stadium, these students knew that getting career advice from the Alumnus of the Year and CEO and future Chairman of a Big Four Accounting Firm was priceless.
From the sounds of it, the speech was the KPMG equivalent of this:
KPMG’s New Paperless Audit Is Going to Be the Best Thing Since Paper
[caption id="attachment_10529" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Paperless!"][/caption]
How about one more convo with the KPMG leadership this week? As one commenter mused earlier, the lack of past CEO spreadsheet-side chats were too few and far between so we figure we’re doing a you a favor by this passing ��������������������round, John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer kick around lowballing fees, outsourcing and the firm’s new paperless audit technology:
Inquisitor 1: Can you talk a little bit more specifically about what we’re doing right now to compete with firms that are reducing their fees so drastically that you have to wonder how they are even covering costs?
Keizer: To me, the first and foremost guiding principle is – make sure you’re giving the most absolute best client service. I think to the extent that you do have great service, we’ve got to be able to have very transparent and open discussions with our clients as to what are our economics? Where are we? What is the competitive information? What is market pricing, as opposed to the offer that came in unsolicited? And find a way to meet the objectives of what we need, and what our client needs.
Maybe we will, in fact, have to drop a price in, let’s say, our audit offering. But then are able to say, but why can’t we maintain the same or higher KPMG spend? Let’s look at who’s doing your tax compliance work. Let’s look at who’s doing your SAS70? Those types of discussions do allow us to compete successfully without having a case where it’s just about price.
Not sure who transcribed this thing but it’ll work for a Friday. First off, Inquisitor numero uno is obviously under the impression that KPMG would never lowball its fees. Even though other people have suggested exactly that.
Keizer Soze then reminds his little friend that it’s really not about the money, it’s about providing the best client service imaginable (sacrificing life, limb and/or dignity) which will result in more work for the firm. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, really.
Inquisitor 2: Is there more plans to outsource positions in the U.S. to India?
Veihmeyer: I think as you look across the entire scope of our activities, and I think the most important one is – how do we serve our global clients – making sure that we are competitive in the marketplace and can think about how we execute a lot of our engagements differently to be successful. I think we will continue to look for opportunities to source talent, source resources, source skills, anywhere in the world it makes sense. I don’t see it as exchanging a position here for something offshore.
I think we see this as a very key strategy to make sure we are as competitive as we can possibly be in the marketplace—which I think will have one primary impact to the U.S. firm and that is create more opportunities for our people here. And why is that the case? Because we will win more work, we will be competitive in situations that we otherwise wouldn’t be competitive in, if we didn’t have that capability. And that’s what creates opportunities for our people.
In a word: Yes. As for why – Dammit, we’re a $20 billion firm (but not really, we’re actually a network of independent firms operating under a global cooperative. Ask Tim Flynn; he’ll tell you) and our competitors play hard ball. We’ve got to create other jobs overseas to keep up with those guys. Will that affect you? No chance, Blanche! If it does, it just means your life will be infinitely better because KPMG has business it didn’t have before.
Inquisitor 3: eAudIT – how is it going? What challenges have we faced? And how are clients, employees, and recruits receiving the deployment?
Keizer: e-AudIT is on track for deployment. We released the software in April, the 2010 version. Training schedules will be rolling out over the next several months.
It is the tool that accomplishes three major things. One, it allows us to do things more efficiently. It moves us from a work paper format to a work flow.
And lastly, there’s always been a great appetite of our professionals, how do I tap into the knowledge that KPMG has? e-AudIT is the platform now, to actually make that knowledge available to our professionals.
I think e-AudIT puts us in front of our competitors in terms of a platform that’s truly the best that’s out there. I believe when we look back, it will be the single most important ingredient to us providing the type of service, meeting our regulatory and professional requirements, and having our people feel good at how we have enabled them to really be high performance professionals.
[Jesus, easy with the rapid fire, Inquisitor tres; Hank isn’t a speed listener]. Paperless auditing has moved into KPMG lock, stock and barrel. We’re only 10 years into the 21st Century and we’re ready to start fixing bugs in this thing for the next ten years.
It’s far superior to anything the other firms have because you’ve been training on it over in Monty and we haven’t heard a single complaint. Someday you’ll be able to tell your grandstaff that this was the absolutely most exciting time to be at KPMG because that was when things got serious.
KPMG’s Leadership Is Not Determined By Rock-Paper-Scissors
KPMG Leadership has been on a communication rampage this month, answering questions from inquiring Klynveldians about the firm’s performance and compensation.
This time around, th d by COO Henry Keizer) discuss their roles in the firm and the election process because, presumably, it might make for a good ice breaker at your upcoming Memorial Day BBQ.
Inquisitor 1: Congratulations on your new roles – Chairman and Deputy Chairman. What can you tell us about the process that you go through in having that occur? And what’s the differentiation between your two roles?
Flynn: The board has a responsibility to have a succession planning process in place to elect the Chairman and Deputy Chairman. That is then put to an up or down vote of the partners for ratification. Chairman and Deputy Chairman are – today – a five-year term jointly and then a three-year second term, should they so choose. The board elects them to a second term.
John and I were elected in June of 2005, for a five-year term. I was elected as Global Chairman on October 1, 2007. I came to the conclusion through the fall that I really couldn’t do both roles full time.
In recognizing that in a complex, changing world today, we really need a full-time U.S. Chairman and Deputy Chairman to take care of what has to get done here in the world that we’re in—and as well, we’ll talk more about it, but we have to evolve the global firm, a $20 billion organization – shouldn’t there be a full-time executive team that wakes up every day on how to carry out the responsibilities of a $20 billion organization?
Veihmeyer: In terms of specific responsibilities – as Chairman, I’m the CEO. Henry chairs the Management Committee and a lot of what we talked about in terms of executing effectively and making sure that we are – from an operational standpoint – a very high-performance organization, Henry will lead through his role as Chief Operating Officer.
In other words – the process at KPMG isn’t exactly the electoral college. It’s basically a fight until the (near) death and the winner gets the thumbs up/thumbs down, Gladiator style, from the Board. Then they shake hands, slap each other on the ass, etc. and get back to work.
For this past cycle it does sound like T Fly was a little burned out from the globe trotting and keeping the peace Stateside so it was natural for JVeih to step up to the big chair for the U.S. after the terms expired. A $20 billion company is nothing to sneeze at so we thought that maybe we should start taking this “global firm” thing seriously (even though we’re all independent of each other and are legally not one firm) and let somebody tackle it full time.
Inquisitor 2: How will the succession process work within the next three months?
Veihmeyer: In terms of the specific things that have to take place, obviously we have some things around the leadership team that we have to get in place. Henry comes out of his role leading our Audit practice. So we will get all that in place as we lead up to early June, what team will be in place as we go forward post-June 10th, leading the firm. Henry…
Keizer: The transition that Tim and John described sets us up in a very good position to make sure as we move through fiscal 2010, we won’t be focused internally. It will allow us not only to continue to build on the foundation that we’ve built over the past several years, but more importantly, to really stay focused on making sure when we look back on 2010, it will be a year where everyone could say we’re on our way to recovery. The things that we all want, in terms of a more vibrant business, more rewards for our people, are all beginning to come back into the picture, and that that’s what we’re all committed to, I’m sure.
We’re taking applications for Hank’s position. You have to be able to stick to talking points, send out a mass amount of emails (via admin assistant natch) and smile a lot. Oh, and you can’t gush when Phil shows up for photo ops; you’ve got to keep it cool.
John Veihmeyer Doesn’t Mind Repeating Himself if It’s About Raises at KPMG
While some people are still sweating out to hear if they’re part of the new manager class, John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer did more casual chatting with the troops and this time it was about everyone’s favorite topic to bitch about – compensation.
Specifically, some e asking about raises for FY ’10 and 401k match. Strange thing is, JV has already addressed the issue of KPMG raises in a previous communiqué by saying:
“[B]y year-end, we fully expect that the pickup in market and business conditions will drive compensation increases for the vast majority of our people. Also, assuming we meet our plan, as we are on track to do, our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year for EP performers as well as bonuses for deserving SP performers.”
Good thing he doesn’t mind repeating himself:
Inquisitor #1: I was just wondering, if it’s likely that employees will get raises this year?
Veihmeyer: We are very optimistic at this point that that is exactly what’s going to happen. We all need to stay really engaged in what’s going on in the marketplace at this point to make sure that the second six months of our fiscal year also tracks the plan that we put in place. If we do that, we are very committed to sharing the rewards appropriately across KPMG.
As we assess the market right now – means that the vast majority of our people will be getting compensation increases this year. We are just as committed to increasing that variable compensation pool to the maximum extent we can reflective of how our results play out over the next six months.
Keizer: And in terms of variable compensation at the EP level that will translate into larger rewards and our deserving SP performers will also receive compensation rewards.
I am confident – based on what we see out in the marketplace, the foundation we have within the firm, the indicators of economic vibrance that are coming back – that we will be able to reward our people better and to be able to restore some of the things that we had to eliminate in a very measured and prudent way.
And John Veihmeyer was just wondering why you didn’t read his previous statement (or websites where it might appear) on the matter. Since V seems like a nice guy he managed to say what he said before only this time without saying “Yes” outright. Whether the absence of this explicit confirmation is a cause for concern can only be determined by you. Hank chimes in about the bonuses, presumably so he doesn’t feel awkward (at least that’s how we picture it).
So what about the 401k match? Is that returning to pre-financial apocalyptic levels?
Inquisitor #2: You mentioned earlier that we recently brought back the Standing Ovation award into the Encore program. Can we expect to see a change in our 401K match?
Veihmeyer: With an eye toward maximizing the immediate financial rewards to our people – to a level that we all can feel good about – we have some goals and objectives around base and variable compensation that in our view will take precedence over 401K as we reinstate and are able to shift those rewards. But it’s something that if the circumstances change and our ability to reinstate some of those things evolve, we will continue to look at it.
In a word – No. First things first you rubes – We’ve going to get every single Klynveldian feeling great about their immediate financial rewards. Until that is accomplished, your retirement will have to wait. The time frame of “we all feel good” was not given.
John Veihmeyer Gets a Little Mysterio About His Path to the Top of KPMG
New KPMG Chairman (and US CEO since 2008) John Veihmeyer told the Washington Post about growing up to ascend the public accounting ladder and if that’s something you’re looking to do with your life, be sure to check it out.
Since some of us would rather sip on Molotov cocktails and scratch our eyeballs out with sharpened #2 pencils, we can merely press our faces to the glass to see how public accounting really works. According to J Veihm, it’s something like this: once you’re jumped in, there’s no getting out.
One of the very best pieces of mentoring advice I ever received was to “view a challenge as an opportunity” and then “take it on and do it better than anybody else.” I recall one specific moment, when KPMG’s leadership asked me to consider accepting a particular position that, at the time, I thought would be something of a roadblock to achieving one of the goals I had set for my career in public accounting. I shared my concerns with a trusted colleague, who I have long considered to be my professional mentor, and his response has stayed with me over the course of my 33 years with KPMG. He said, “look at this challenge as an opportunity, accept it, and then do it better than anybody before you ever has.” I took his advice, and he was right. In hindsight, the experience I gained in that role did more to prepare me for the rest of my career than anything else I could have done.
Translating that, if you express concerns about the gang shoving you up the corporate ladder by sending you on your own drive-bys or whathaveyou, one of the higher officers will reassuringly pat you on the shoulder and remind you that there’s one way to go and that’s up. Accept it, there is only one way out (for gang members, that usually means getting shot to death; in public accounting, it might mean a heart attack at 45). Creepy.
KPMG knows all about challenges so it’s probably a good thing that Johnny V was groomed in advance for his duties as KPMG Chair.
KPMG – Masters of Thursday’s PR Powerhouses
Forget the fact that what’s-her-name can’t hit the links, let alone join the Old Man’s Club that is Augusta; this weekend is all about Tiger Woods and, if you’re from the KPMG Kamp, Phil Mickelson. Not a resident of the KPMG Kamp is Chris Rock:
Don’t get me wrong – I love Phil, and so should you. What’s not to love? Big goofy smile, overweight just enough to make the average golfer feels connected to the lovable pork chop of an athlete. And he’s left handed, so you just know the world is out to get Golf’s Favorite Underdog. Golf and chainsaws, a lefty’s biggest fears.
But I digress. Back to Uncle Peat.
Phil currently sits tied atop the leader board at five under par, tied with three others. But who cares about those knicker-wearing chumps?! UNCLE PEAT IS IN FIRST PLACE!!!
Us regular peons can only imagine the jubilation amongst KPMG leadership in attendance this weekend. T-Fly and The New Guy back slapping each other and clients-to-be. But are they nervous? After all, Phil is much like KPMG – always the hopeful underdog, their supporters praying that their fearless leaders don’t slice it and end up in the rough (or court). There are rough patches in every round, but coming out ahead of the game is key, is it not?
Hopefully the Philster can keep himself and his catchy hat on top of the leader board going into the weekend. For the tax crew out there, you can follow your favorite Tiger Slayer’s weekend rounds live on Masters.com. Hopefully streaming video isn’t blocked by the Kamp Kounselors.
Compensation Watch ’10: KPMG Back to Raises and Bonuses
KPMG’s newly announced Chairman John Veihmeyer knows that you’ve been anxious, so in a message to Klynveldians, Johnny gets right to the point, “I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year? The short answer to this question is ‘Yes.'”
For the “vast majority of our people” and bonuses will be available, “our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year.”
How’s that for a Friday morning message?
As we reach the midpoint of FY 2010, I want to take a moment to address a question that I know is on the mind of every KPMG employee: Will there be raises and bonuses this year?
The short answer to this question is “Yes.”
As we communicated during this year’s town hall meetings, the business environment is showing measurable signs of improvement. In fact, I am pleased to report that thanks to your efforts the firm is slightly ahead of plan. So by year-end, we fully expect that the pickup in market and business conditions will drive compensation increases for the vast majority of our people. Also, assuming we meet our plan, as we are on track to do, our goal is to enhance our variable compensation pool from last year—meaning higher bonuses than last year for EP performers as well as bonuses for deserving SP performers. Assuring that we recognize and reward our best performers is an integral element of our compensation philosophy and a critical ingredient of the high-performance culture we intend to maintain.
We are optimistic. But along with this optimism, we must maintain realistic expectations. Keep in mind that our FY10 plan is more challenging in the second half, and reliant on significantly improved performance in the spring and summer.
What does this mean? It means that now more than ever, we must come together as a team to do our best work and make 2010 a successful year—one that brings the improved business results that enable us to restore the financial rewards that we all desire. If you’re in Audit, Tax, or Advisory, it means driving business and providing the highest-quality service to clients. If you’re in a Client Service Support role, it means providing our professionals and teams with effective tools, resources, and information they need to win business and deliver excellent service to clients. And all of us need to continue our Spend Smart efforts and do our parts to drive efficiencies in the way we operate.
Whatever the remainder of 2010 brings, you can be sure that KPMG remains committed to its philosophy of providing our people with an attractive and competitive total compensation package that differentiates exceptional performers with superior rewards. And, we remain fully committed to being an Employer of Choice and a great place to build your career.
Thanks for all your contributions to our firm’s success.
(UPDATE) John Veihmeyer to Succeed Tim Flynn as Chairman of KPMG’s U.S. Firm
UPDATE/Correction, Wednesday 3.24.10 – Previously, headline stated that John Veihmeyer was succeeding Tim Flynn as Chairman and CEO. John V. has actually been the U.S. CEO since 2008. Sorry JV, for not giving you credit there.
The suspense is over. Johnnie V. has been serving as th the U.S. Firm since 2005 and he has the full confidence of TF, “There is no finer individual to lead the U.S. firm and build upon the progress that has been made over the last five years…John is equally passionate that KPMG continues to be a great place for our people to build their careers, in a culture that embraces diversity.”
JV will be succeeded by Henry Keizer in the Deputy Chairman role. Hank will also be the U.S. firm’s Chief Operating Officer. Timmay is also excited for Keizer Soze’s promotion, “His leadership and professionalism will be vital to ensuring the firm meets the challenges and capitalizes on the tremendous opportunities ahead…he has championed the use of technology and off shoring to enhance our operational effectiveness and efficiency in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
Tim will be focusing on his roles as the Chairman and Senior Partner of Klynveld International, dashing our wishes for him to be the next Secretary of the Treasury. He was “strongly endorsed” by the Global Board to get down to business in this “unprecedented global economic and regulatory environment.” You can probably plan on more Davos interviews next year, chatting up royalty, caddying, etc.
I am extremely pleased to announce that the partners have ratified the election of John Veihmeyer as Chairman and CEO, and Henry Keizer as Deputy Chairman and COO, of the U.S. firm. John and Henry will assume their new responsibilities on June 10, 2010, when my term ends as U.S. Chairman. John and Henry bring strategic insight, deep leadership skills and extensive experience in serving clients to their new roles.
While it was a difficult decision for me not to continue in my role as Chairman of the U.S. firm, it has become increasingly clear to me that my additional role of Chairman and Senior Partner of KPMG International requires a full-time commitment. Last week, the Global Board strongly endorsed that I serve full time as Global Chairman in this unprecedented global economic and regulatory environment and period of tremendous opportunity for our member firms and people.
Having the privilege to work side by side with John during our five-year term as Chairman and Deputy Chairman, I have seen first-hand his professionalism, leadership and commitment to KPMG, its people and clients. There is no finer individual to lead the U.S. firm and build upon the progress that has been made over the last five years.
In addition, Henry will bring a tremendous amount of operating experience and energy to the Deputy Chairman and COO role. His leadership and professionalism will be vital to ensuring the firm meets the challenges and capitalizes on the tremendous opportunities ahead.
John has served as Deputy Chairman of KPMG since 2005, and he brings a unique combination of skills and experience, across all aspects of our strategic priorities, to the role of chairman. John is equally passionate that KPMG continues to be a great place for our people to build their careers, in a culture that embraces diversity.
Henry comes to his new role after serving as U.S. Vice Chair, Audit since 2005 and Global Head of Audit since 2006. In these roles, he has championed the use of technology and off shoring to enhance our operational effectiveness and efficiency in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
John and Henry’s professional depth, integrity and commitment to our clients, partners and the people of KPMG will serve the U.S. firm well as we move forward. Please join me in congratulating John and Henry and welcoming them to their new roles.
In closing, there was never a day that I was not grateful and humbled by the opportunity to lead and work with the truly exceptional people of KPMG. I have been awed by your talent, proud of your accomplishments and appreciative of your dedication. It truly has been an honor to serve as Chairman of the U.S. firm for the last five years.
Thank you for all that you do every day to support our firm and deliver on our promise of professionalism to each other, our clients and the capital markets we serve.
All the best,