September 20, 2018

Bloomberg

God, Deloitte Is Still Humblebragging About Its Hiring Numbers

We've grown accustomed to Big 4 people dropping huge hiring numbers in order to get oooohs and ahhhhhs out of media people and Joe Echevarria was on Bloomberg TV today doing more of the same: Sara Eisen: Are you picking up jobs from Wall Street as Wall Street sheds and shrinks? Joe E.: Absolutely. We're […]

Did KPMG Really Warn HSBC About Madoff Fraud Risks?

A report in Bloomberg apparently thinks so.

From the ‘Berg:

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s biggest lender, was warned twice by auditors that entrusting as much as $8 billion in client funds to Bernard Madoff opened it up to “fraud and operational risks.”

KPMG LLP told the London-based bank about the risks in 2006 and 2008 reports. The firm was hired to review how Madoff invested and accounted for the funds, for which HSBC served as custodian. KPMG reported 25 such risks in 2006, and in 2008 found 28, according to copies of the reports obtained by Bloomberg News.

Okay l there for two before everyone gets too excited. Let’s just get one thing straight right off the bat – KPMG probably leaked these reports to Bloomberg (I only say probably because I don’t know for an absolute fact but – COME ON – who else?). Secondly, even though the report says “warned twice by auditors” this was not an audit performed by KPMG; it was “[a] review how Madoff invested and accounted for the funds.” What exactly that entails isn’t clear; possibly agreed-upon procedures? Anyway, here’s what the story says were in the two reports:

In the list of risks in KPMG’s report, number 2 was that “BLM embezzles client funds,” using the initials as shorthand for Bernard L. Madoff. To prevent it, KPMG recommended in both 2006 and 2008 that HSBC “establish a process to monitor monthly statements” and reconcile them with contributions from clients.

[…]

The 2006 report listed fraud risk number 5 as “client cash is diverted for personal gain” and risk number 18 as “trade is a sham in order to divert client cash.” It went on to say there were concerns “Madoff LLC falsely reports buy/sell trades without actually executing in order to earn commissions” and “BLM falsifies accounting records which are provided to HSBC.”

KPMG reviewed samples of trades and account statements for both its 2006 and 2008 reports to test the risks and detected no discrepancies, the reports said. Even so, the firm suggested HSBC “consider undertaking a periodic review which includes tracing a sample of client trades back to the bulk order.”

After reading that you might think that KPMG hit a home run but what if the “risk factors” listed are just standard boilerplate risks that are included in every single one of these reports? If that’s the case, then KPMG was slapping in the applicable information as it related to BLM, handed it over and collected a nice fee. Maybe KPMG was all over this but there’s no way to know because A) Bloomberg didn’t republish the reports in full; B) Other KPMG teams close to Madoff are getting their asses sued which means they either ignored the risks or couldn’t get a hold of these two reports and C) HSBC throws KPMG under the bus, essentially saying that they were duped by Berns:

HSBC confirmed hiring KPMG in 2005 and 2008 to review Madoff’s firm, adding it now believed Madoff had tricked the auditors. “It appears from U.S. government filings that Madoff and his employees foiled these reviews by, among other things, providing forged documentation to KPMG,” the bank said in an e- mailed statement.

“KPMG did not conclude in either of its reports that a fraud was being committed by Madoff,” HSBC said. “HSBC did not know that a fraud was being committed and lost $1 billion of its own assets as a victim.”

So did KPMG warn HSBC or not? This Bloomberg story seems to think so but there are is a lot of evidence that KPMG was just as clueless as as everyone else who didn’t walk – or run away screaming, arms flailing – away from Madoff.

HSBC Was Told About Madoff ‘Fraud Risks’ in Two KPMG Reports [Bloomberg]

Job of the Day: Bloomberg Needs a Management Planning & Analysis Professional

Bloomberg needs someone to join their Management Planning & Analysis team to help develop and evaulate business reporting for all aspects of the Company’s business.

Qualifications include 5 to 7 years experience in analytic, metrics role, highly skilled with data analysis applications (e.g. Excel, Access, SAP BW) and an advanced degree is preferred.


Company: Bloomberg

Title: Management & Planning Analysis

Location: New York

Description: The primary responsibilities of the MP&A team is to develop performance reporting for all areas of the Bloomberg business in order to (1) evaluate performance against goals, (2) support business decisions and prioritization of resources, and (3) increase transparency of results to better align goals within the organization.

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Qualifications: 5-7 years in an analytical, metrics focused role; An undergraduate degree is required. An advanced degree is preferred; Ability to provide solutions based on analysis of large data sets, business plans and goals; Previous experience within a multimedia firm a plus; Proficient with all Microsoft applications; highly skilled with data applications including but not limited to Excel, Access, SAP BW; Ability to learn and adapt new technology and software quickly to meet immediate demands; Ability to execute projects in high pressure environment while clearly articulate roles, project goals, and timelines; Comfortable with taking input/direction from team members and internal customers and appropriately and accurately applies comments/feedback; Embodiment of our core competencies – effective communicator, highly ethical, creative, continually develop business expertise; Hard-working, intelligent, and professionally assertive with a strong work ethic; Results oriented attitude; makes commitments and follows through; Willingness to work with small teams in all aspects of assessment and implementation.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

(UPDATE) Jim Turley Breaks Out the Fancy Footwear for His Interview on Bloomberg

~ Update includes quote from Britt Aboutaleb of Fashionista

We meant to get to this on Friday but there was a social engagement occurring that couldn’t be avoided; you know how it is. Anyhoo, the Ernst & Young CEO sat down with Bloomberg last Friday to talk tax policy and we found a few things rather interesting. Watch and we’ll chat about some things after the jump:


First things first: How about the two hotties that Bloomberg threw at JT?

Second: why does the MSM always refer to the “Big 4” as the “so-called Big 4”? Does Big 4 carry some negative connotation in some corners of society or is it meant to be a not-so-subtle dig, like when you call the token short guy on your team “big guy”?

Third and of utmost importance: what’s with JT’s footwear? Are those Timberlands? Does he just put on whatever the wife lays out for him or did she happen to take all of his wingtips to the cobbler this week? OR did he just get back from hiking the Appalachian Trail à la Mark Sanford?

Whatever the situation is, they look like they’ve gotten some good use. We’re not sure what Jimbo likes to do for recreation but it must involve some rugged backdrops that may involve him wearing a flannel shirt and chopping wood.

Britt Aboutaleb, one of the editors of our sister site, Fashionsita, had these thoughts, “I can’t even see the shoes — they look like they’ve emerged from a swamp! Maybe he forgot the shoes he was supposed to change into after trekking through the snow? Or maybe he didn’t realize his feet would be caught on camera…”

God, we hope JT could have arranged for some car service rather than schlepping through the snow. On the other hand, maybe walking to interviews is part of a green initiative? Either way, he could have brought the shoes along and changed into them. Just a thought.

On the other, to say that this is a fashion faux-pas would be an understatement akin to saying “E&Y had a few layoffs last year.”