Safe bets

KPMG Advisory Doubles Down

KPMG’s head of advisory practice in the Americas, Mark Goodburn, recently gave an interview to Consulting Magazine where he predicted that the House of Klynveld would double its advisory revenue by 2015. While this an admirable goal, it certainly causes one to pause and ask the obvious question: “Does this mean we get double the meat?”

But forgetting animal flesh for just a sec, it may cause the more serious-minded of you to ask, “Just how in hell are you going to do that?” Well, MG goes into details about “transformational business,” “the evolving world of risk,” “the myriad of changes in public policy and regulation” and that’s all fine and good but we’re most interested/curious/shaking with anticipation about the acquisitions the firm will make.

Doubling a multi-billion-dollar business in no easy task, for sure, especially when you consider that KPMG advisory will probably have to significantly outpace the market, which most forecasters— including Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory—expect will experience very modest growth the next several years. Most likely, the firm will have to make a few significant acquisitions along the way.

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise since we’ve seen Deloitte and PwC shopping around to boost their own advisory practices but Goodburn says you won’t see the HofK making a move on every boutique out there:

Goodburn’s quick to point out that any potential acquisitions, would have to meet KPMG’s criteria—the ability to upgrade to a global platform, quality controls that match the firm’s standards and a financially attractive opportunity for clients and employees. “We’re only looking for companies that meet our standards” he says.

Right, then. So for all you consulting boutiques out there sexing yourselves up to get a big pay day, you better be a match or you won’t be getting a blue rose. KPMG is looking for soulmates.

Naturally, all this revenue-doubling and business development talk means headcount will increase. The firm has already put it out there that they plan on hiring people in spades and MG makes no secret about who will be leading the charge:

Goodburn says KPMG has been hiring pretty aggressively since the firm saw its first sustained uptick back in early 2010, but will that be enough to keep pace? “We certainly expect advisory to grow faster than other parts of the KPMG business in the near and possibly longer term,” Goodburn says. “Our brand is very strong right now, clients are demanding our services, our people are outstanding, and our ability to recruit is extremely high.”

So, from the sounds of it, opportunity abounds for KPMG’s advisory business and anyone interested in joining the blue team. Whether this manifests into an extra-beefy future remains to be seen.

Double Time for KPMG [Consulting Magazine]

PricewaterhouseCoopers Suggests You Put Your Money on Brazil to Win the World Cup

Leave it to an accounting firm to make a conservative pick on the biggest sporting event in the world. The firm tries to make the point that wealthy countries do not outperform poorer ones in the football tournament. The most poignant (and blatantly obvious) example being that the United States sucks and Brazil is a heavyweight:

“The US football team performs well below expectations based on the size of its economy or population relative, for example, to Brazil. This reflects the ascendency of football in Brazil as contrasted to the greater popularity of sports such as American football and baseball in the US.”


However, P. Dubs manages to give England a fighting chance, “England seems a reasonable bet to reach the quarter finals based on its current FIFA world ranking and past World Cup performance, but it will do well to get beyond that point – which it has never done before when playing outside Europe.” That’s especially shocking since the firm has a vested interest in at least one English lad.

But as we mentioned at the outset, P. Dubs suggests the safe money is on Brazil, “Brazil remains the favourite to lift the World Cup this summer as the number one ranked footballing nation and the only country that has won the tournament outside its home region.” If you want some sweet action, take the home team.

Power v passion: Wealth comes second to location and tradition when projecting World Cup winners [PwC]