Roland Berger Tells Deloitte to Drop Dead
Last week we mentioned that Deloitte and Munich-based Roland Berger were talking about getting cozy with both firms sounding pret-tay excited about the future. Turns out, no one had asked the Roland Berger partners how they felt about the whole situation.
Plans to merge Roland Berger Strategy Consultants with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu have fallen through after the Munich-based firm rejected the advances.
The two had been in advanced talks but directors at Berger overwhelmingly voted to remain independent.
Talks between the two firms had progressed so far it is believed they had already decided upon a new chief executive and were examining possible regulatory hurdles.
Over at the Financial Times, Adam Jones reminds us that this is a big wrench in Deloitte’s McKinsey-slaying plans, “[Roland Berger’s] decision to continue to go it alone is a blow to Deloitte’s ambition of eclipsing McKinsey in the market for strategic managerial advice.”
It’s a strange turn of events to be sure after last week’s PR lovefest but the FT reports that the Roland Berger was willing to put up his own cash to keep the green ink out of his firm:
Roland Berger said the vote to remain independent had been carried with a majority of “close to 100 per cent” on Saturday.
It added that partners in the firm – including Roland Berger, its founder – had agreed to put in more money to support the renewed go-it-alone plan.
People close to the deal talks suggested Mr Berger had agreed to invest about €50m ($68.5m) to help fund its expansion as a standalone business.
That’s not so much of a “No.” as it is a “Hell no.”
Deloitte Is Eyeing Some Germans
Namely, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants based out of Munich.
Supposedly the two will have their minds made up sometime next month but by the sounds of it, the two companies are flippin’ stoked about the possibilities:
“A merger opens up a unique opportunity for growth for both firms,” [Deloitte Germany Chief Executive] Plendl said.
Roland Berger confirmed the talks.
“Discussions with Deloitte are taking place to open new and fascinating growth prospects for our company,” Roland Berger Strategy Consultants said in an e-mailed statement today.
While that’s what is going in the foreground, Adam Jones over at the Financial Times was so bold to suggest that this just another step in Deloitte’s quest to “overtake McKinsey as the market leader in strategic advice for managers.”
Now we hadn’t heard about this McKinsey-slaying goal prior to today and it seems a little credulous to think that Deloitte is jockeying with McK, especially when you consider the domination of McKinsey in the eyes of those who work in the industry.
However, on paper Deloitte derives $7.5 billion from its consulting business which is nothing to sneeze at. Considering that and the fact that they haven’t exactly made their desire for mergers a secret, Deloitte this very well could be a step in earning another #1 notch in their belt (with matching suspenders).