According to Institutional Shareholder Services, TFly is only member of JPMorgan's risk policy committee who is meeting […]
Philip Alfred Mickelson was born 40 years ago on this blessed day (shares with 2Pac!) and we’re guessing it will be a busy one for the reigning owner of the World’s Ugliest sports jacket.
We imagine he kicked things off with 40 Krispy Kremes donuts for breakfast, followed by a little prep round for this week’s U.S. Open, Five Guys for lunch, maybe another practice round and wrap it up a nice dinner with the fam.
All the while, screening calls from Tim Flynn who desperately wants to wish Phil a happy 40th, good luck on his quest for the KPMG Grand Slam and to congratulate him for the umpteenth time on his third Masters Tournament victory.
It really is a big week for Phil/KPMG, as the U.S. Open has dogged PM for his entire career and a good performance this week (i.e. anything less than a win is unacceptable) could vault him over Tiger Woods who has other problems.
So send some Happy Birthday/good luck/Father’s Day/thanks-for-wearing-our-hat-for-$3-mil-a-year wishes to Phil below or just let him know what you think his chances are.
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.
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.
This time of year, the leadership at your firms are on a communication offensive because you all just went through hell. They want to whisper sweet words in your ears so that you keep the faith in them and your firm.
Today we bring you a little taste of some of those sweet words courtesy of the C-suite at KPMG.
Newly nveld, John Veihmeyer was joined by Tim Flynn, COO Henry Keizer, along with some inquisitors for a grueling Q&A that should re-energize you for summer.
Conversations with Leadership
How Are We Doing?
Flynn: First one up gets the mike.
[Prepackaged Inquisitor #1]: Are we on track? How is it going? What challenges have we faced?
Flynn: I think the foundation for recovery is being laid. And I think it started, obviously, in Asia. It’s moving its way through the U.S. Things are better than people had predicted three or four months ago. And we saw retail sales today came out with improvement – consumer confidence being up. So all of those things are signs that we’re on a path for recovery. And now the question is, how does that translate into our business?
Veihmeyer: We’ve built a plan that was consistent with our expectation of what that marketplace was going to be. First half of the year continuing to be a very challenging marketplace, with a gradual increase in marketplace activity as we got into the second six months of our fiscal year. So what have we seen to date? Our results have tracked what we expected. We are actually slightly ahead of plan, six months through our fiscal year, which is the great news.
And I think everyone should feel really good about that, particularly as you look at what we’re seeing in some of the businesses – Advisory, which was clearly hard hit by the lack of spending and the curtailing of a lot of initiatives on the part of our clients, have had very strong months the last several months. And that corner seems to have absolutely turned.
And we are just beginning to see, I think, the things that really impact Audit and Tax around some of the transactional activity that really drives those incremental services that make a big difference in Audit and Tax – that’s starting to come. We expect that to translate into greater revenue over the second six months.
Quite the trifecta of vague brainteasers PI #1 had. But without being very specific, and using a couple of banal metaphors, JV and T Fly are confident that everything is cool, thanks to China and India. Europe isn’t worth mentioning, that’ll blow over. Advisory was on its deathbed but things are bouncing back. Audit and Tax are far less sexy but they’re cash cows. They might see a little more action if Advisory started showing more skin.
[Prepackaged Inquisitor #2]: My name’s [Prepackaged Inquisitor #2]. I just wanted to ask about the new role of the office managing partners, focusing on just going to market.
Keizer: By focusing the office managing partners really on two areas: one, growth of our business, and also our people. So the office managing partners teamed with the functional leaders, and the professionals within geographies, and looked outside into the marketplace, and which companies fit that criteria—impactful to our brand, our people, great growth, and profitability opportunity.
From that exercise, across the country, over 1,600 companies were identified. A process was then undertaken to actually assign specific resources. As we sit today, and we take that population of companies and say, how are we doing? The revenue growth that has been realized in our first six months, in that population, has exceeded our normal portfolio of clients. So it’s showing, again, at an early stage, focus, and a prioritization of where we want to strategically go, does translate into opportunity and revenue.
Flynn: If there’s one message that comes out of this, just one message to everybody here listening – is that the one thing we know for certain—we are not short of opportunities.
We have tremendous opportunities what’s happening around the world. The key is, how do we align our resources, look at our investments, develop our people’s skills to capitalize on those opportunities? So from a standpoint of the future – there’s tremendous opportunity for all of you, and for our businesses, as we go forward.
Your local bigwigs are out there digging up biz because things have gotten a little more competitive than we would like. We can’t simply rely on a sexy Masters Champion in every RFP so they’re getting their hands dirty for a change. Plus, from where we stand, there’s plenty of business out there so if they don’t get the job done, we’ll probably go to the bullpen.
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.
This month students around the world have been celebrating spring break. That usually means one thing – young people get cop-slugging drunk and maybe, if you’re really unlucky ruin your chances of employment.
The Daily Mail reports that 5,000 British students descended upon the seaside Spanish town of Salou, getting over-served, running around in their birthday suits and pissing off the townies. The gem above is one of several photos that accompanies the article.
The tipster that sent us the link wondered if Phil Mickelson would approve of this. Other than the obvious, “OH HELL NO!” We think Mick’s response would be something to the effect of, “Those little bastards are lucky they aren’t wearing my hat otherwise I’d rearrange their face with my LW.” But forget Lefty for two; now that Tim Flynn is focusing his efforts on being the international chair of KPMG this is the type of crap that causes T Fly to grit his teeth into dust.
“Saloufest” is described as a “sporting event” so maybe these shirts/jerseys are KPMG giveaways and no one is in danger of poorly representing the House of Klynveld. That being said, this probably isn’t what TF and Co. had in mind when they slapped the four squares on a shirt. Btw, if you’ve happen to have some extras, get in touch.
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,
Back in November 2008, KPMG suspended the highest level of its Encore bonus award, the Standing Ovation to “manage costs.” Since there is no shortage of exceptionalness at Radio City, the $500 awards were adding up so word came down that it was ixnay the tandingsay vationsoay.
The firm did keep its “Bravo” award that was good for $200 and replaced the five-hundo bonus with a $25 award and “thanks e-cards” that were way better than anything from Hallmark simply because Tim Flynn probably included a personalized message.
And you, simply, cannot put a dollar figure on that.
The most devastating part of the Standing O kibosh was that the trophies — which could easily qualify as a “blunt object” at a crime scene — were no longer handed out. These, understandably, are most coveted of all KPMG tchotchkes.
Well now, according to accountants familiar with the matter, the firm has reinstated the Standing Ovation for reasons that we can only speculate. It will be reserved for those Klynveldians that “go above and beyond” the call of their duties. Again, we can only speculate as to what this actually entails. Considering the fact that the hours you’ve been putting in for the last month or so have been expected, it may just mean that you have to try a little bit harder.
The reintroduction is being received tepidly, as one source told us:
Kinda meaningless to me. They don’t hand them out. Except for managers that want to get laid by younger staff.
Seconded by another source:
Just because they bring them back, doesn’t mean any partners plan on approving them. – “Oh, I nominated you for a standing ovation, but it didn’t get approved! It’s the thought that counts though, amirite?”
Another source saw it as too little, too late:
“Do they really think $500 is going to stop a mass exodus of [people] from leaving? Perhaps they should have thought about that when they didn’t give raises.”
Despite the vague qualifications for the award, it’s good to see TPTB reinstating the bonus for the sake of morale/bribery/empty hope. Now go get yourself one!
It’s hard enough to be a Big 4 firm these days that you don’t need this. New York-based United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a little upset with any and all companies that are doing business in Iran and just because you claim that you are a protector of the capital markets, that doesn’t earn you a free pass.
The Financial Times reports that UANI’s latest target is none other than the House of Klynveld and the lobby group sent a letter to Tim Flynn stating their displeasure with KPMG’s ties to their independent member firm in Iran, Bayat Rayan.
Flynn, who is stepping down as the Chairman of KPMG this summer, probably isn’t too psyched to have the firm lumped into the cross-hairs of UANI, who has relentlessly pressured companies to stop doing business in Iran.
The FT reported that the UANI set its sights on KPMG “after [a] week-long campaign against Ingersoll Rand ended with the Dublin-based diversified industrial company announcing on March 8 it was instructing its subsidiaries not to sell products ultimately destined for Iran.”
We contacted KPMG for comment but have not yet heard back regarding a response from the firm.
According to the letter, UANI will take “any and all action we deem necessary to hold KPMG accountable for its inappropriate business relationships with Iran,” which sounds pretty serious. Although we’re not sure what ‘any and all action’ will entail but for T Fly’s sake, we suggest he gets this resolved sooner rather than later. If he doesn’t, he can expect calls from Bill O’Reilly and his mug next to Ahmadinejad’s on the Factor.
Brian Moynihan is shopping around for a CFO and he needs a good one ASAP. The Post reports that Moynihan will go with someone from outside BofA so that means you’ve got a shot! Now before you get ahead of yourself and think you’re the BSD to turn this ship around, consider some of your responsibilities.
You’ve got to be the numbers jockey for the biggest bank in the known universe that is constantly being given the stink-eye by Tim Geithner, Barack Obama, Ken Feinberg, et al., plus an angry American populous that will not hesitate to call you names and picket your house. Oh, and you may or may not have to move to Charlotte. Maybe that’s not a sticking point for some of you but if you don’t like NASCAR then we’d suggest passing on this one.
See? Trying to come up with a good and willing candidate will not be an easy task. After all, getting someone to takeKen Lewis’ chair wasn’t exactly a piece of cake and CFO is actually a real job.
Naturally, soon-to-be former KPMG Chairman Tim Flynn comes to mind but Moynihan may want to go with some with a little less sweater vesty and he doesn’t really have the mane to match. Former Lehman CFO Erin Callan is busy hanging out with firefighters and Andy Fastow is still unavailable. Better put a call in to Robert Half.