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Why Is Everyone Chattering About KPMG Acquiring Rothstein Kass?

Over the weekend, we began hearing rumors of a KPMG/Rothstein Kass merger. Rather, a somewhat upset individual sent us this:

As discussed and expected in the 2013 layoffs thread here about Rothstein Kass,  It is confirmed that KPMG and RK are under NDA for merger as of 2 days ago and deal is expected to be announced imminently. All key clients have already been informed.  Only the Schleps in the ranks are kept uninformed. Partners are receiving their deal documents Monday.  Apparently, the executive board is cashing out and leaving the firm.  Rest at mercy of KPMG.

Below is the email CEO Steve Kass sent few months ago to put the rumors to rest—i wonder what will he spin this time.  If I could kick someone in the ball it will be him as my draft pick followed by the executive committee for being lying pieces of garbage.

Tipster, I think you should tell us how you really feel.

The email in question:

From: Kass, Steve
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:09 AM
To: +Global All Users
Subject: The Rumor Mill
Importance: High

As many of you know, there are always rumors that float around the accounting profession about firms merging, selling, or buying other firms.

I’ve always felt strongly that it is neither professional nor productive to comment on unsubstantiated gossip. But today I am making an exception to that rule because I believe it’s in the best interest of our firm to put to rest a completely baseless rumor that has seemed to gain traction both inside and outside the walls of Rothstein Kass in recent months.

So there are no misunderstandings, Rothstein Kass is NOT FOR SALE. We are not engaging in merger or selling talks with anyone. We continue to explore inviting other  firms to become members of  Rothstein Kass International Limited to support our international capabilities.

Perhaps we should be flattered by the rumors. I can only imagine they were started or perpetuated by competitors who don’t want to compete with us on a level playing field and recruiters who use the rumors to create opportunity.  Regardless, let’s end the rumors now, because we don’t want anything to distract us from being the best firm we can be or to deter us from achieving the strong and consistent growth that has become the norm at Rothstein Kass.

I hope you feel as strongly about the firm and the culture we’ve built as I do. I hope this puts to rest these baseless rumors. And I hope you will share these thoughts with anyone who asks because Rothstein Kass is not going anywhere. Now let’s get back to what we do best – building a great brand with a high achieving team in a high performance firm by delivering great work to our clients and growing this great business.  I welcome any questions.  


Steve Kass confirmed what he allegedly wrote in that email about commenting on "unsubstantiated gossip," as he did not return GC's request for comment on the email and a potential merger. Nor does KPMG feel much like talking, as calls to their communications department were not returned.

At this point, since no one wants to talk about it, all we can do is wonder out loud what a Rothstein Kass/KPMG merger might look like.

Here's what KPMG would get (data from the 2013 Accounting Today Top 100 ):

  • $185 million revenues
  • 15 offices — their website lists 10.
  • 77 partners
  • 802 professionals
  • 1,014 total employees
  • A&A: 56% of business
  • Tax: 41%
  • Other 3%

Should anyone have concrete confirmation of all this chatter, do feel free to swing by our tip box for a quick chat. As always, all tipsters remain anonymous. Besides, the firms aren't even returning our calls so it's not like we're going to run back to them and snitch on you.

Or, you know, just talk it out in the comments.