Chicago

This Slo-Mo KPMG Ignition Center Ribbon-Cutting Video Is Oddly Amusing

KPMG and the city of Chicago broke out the giant scissors on April 9, officially opening KPMG’s seventh and largest Ignition Center, located on the 68th floor of the Aon Center. I honestly could care less about the new Ignition Center. If for some reason you do, you can read more about it here. But […]

RSM Moving Its U.S. Headquarters Just Down the Road

Kinda big news this morning from RSM US: RSM’s new digs won’t be that far away from its current digs. The firm will be moving its headquarters from 1 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago to the 30 S. Wacker tower of the CME Center in late 2020 or early 2021. CME Center currently houses such […]

KPMG-Orlando-museum

KPMG Chicago’s Hiring Picking Up (Just Not for Auditors)

Claire Bushey reports in Crain’s that KPMG Chicago plans to hire 500 people over the next 3 years after hiring 500 people over the past 5. In my vivid imagination, Rahm Emanuel told them, “Quit fucking sandbagging.” In any case, the House of Klynveld’s growth doesn’t match a couple of its local Big 4 peers: […]

And Now, Your Chicago Area Accounting Jobs vs. Law Jobs Update

For those of you scoring at home, Crain's Claire Bushey reports that Cook County added 1,393 accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services jobs in 2015 while it lost 92 jobs in law. The total headcount is now stands at Legal: 37,657, Accounting: 31,488. I think we can reasonably assume that the accounting numbers will […]

Deloitte Rules Chicago

And it's not even close! Over at Crain's, Claire Bushey reports on the pecking order of the largest accounting firms in the Windy City: In 2014, New York-based accounting giant Deloitte stood head-and-shoulders above other Big Four firms in Chicago, raking in fees totaling more than $76.5 million from companies here. In the local market, […]

Baker Tilly CEO Admits He Wasn’t “Civically Involved” Enough for Chicago

Man, and I thought Washington was a tough town to break into: Tim Christen, chairman and CEO of accounting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, moved the company's U.S. headquarters to Chicago from Madison, Wis., five years ago, but when he set out to join one of the city's elite civic clubs, he was rejected. […]

Hiring Watch ’13: Grant Thornton Chicago on the Hunt for Forensic and Investigative Dynamos

Last Friday while I was poorly navigating North Carolina, a tipster passed along an enthusiastic message that he received from a Grant Thornton National Talent Acquisition bounty hunter. And from the sounds of it, GT wants some fresh faces in their forensics group:

KPMG Chicago Still Suffering with Kramped Konditions

The new space at the AON Center had cause some previously rumored krankiness and unfortunately that has yet to subside: The new office space layout at Chicago KPMG (AON Center) is leaving many without a work space and people have to work in the kitchen areas.  We moved in August and the are still "working" on it. Obviously, anyone […]

Grant Thornton Gets Its Name Out There

Starting in 2015, Grant Thornton will be moving into the Chicago Title & Trust Co. building but more importantly will get naming rights meaning that 161. N. Clark St. will be known as the Grant Thornton something. But what? GTower? The Chipman Center? Big GT? Presumably all of these plus whatever else you can come up […]

Are KPMG Chicago’s New Digs a Little Kramped?

Last week, we learned that KPMG was the latest accounting firm to be apple of Rahm Emanuel's eye. The House of Klynveld is hiring 500 new employees over the next 5 years in Chicago and they also unveiled their new digs and plans to invest $165 million at the Aon Center. It was a pretty […]

Hiring Watch ’12 and Beyond: KPMG Chicago Wants You

It's obvious that Rahm Emanuel loves accounting firms (certainly more than teachers). Either that, or he knows he can curse them into submitting to his policies for job creation in the city. KPMG is the latest firm to make announcement in coordination with the Mayor's office; The HoK will be hiring 500 new employees over […]

McGladrey Moving Headquarters to Chicago From Minneapolis

We received a tip last night and confirmed this morning that Mickey G's is putting a big stake in the ground in Chi-town. We may not beat the press release, as the news should be announced any minute in conjunction with the Chicago Mayor's Office. All McGladrey employees got word this morning but Managing Partner […]

Unfounded Rumor of the Day: Patrick Kane Parties Like an Auditor?

From the mailbag: Heard that Patrick Kane, notorious party-animal winger for the Chicago Blackhawks, showed up at an end-of-busy-season party for one of the Big 4 this past Thursday. Can anyone confirm or deny? We do know that Kane was in fine form in Madison on Saturday, so he's definitely not on the wagon. Whether or not he […]

Hiring Watch ’12: Grant Thornton Chicago Looking for Some New Dynamos

Much like E&Y, GT’s Chicago office is looking to get more asses in the seats because business is swell:

Grant Thornton LLP said it intends to add 140 jobs in its Chicago office next year, 80 of them entry level and 60 internships, most of them paid. Similar hiring this year was less than 100. According to a press release and a spokeswoman, the new hires are needed because the firm’s business is growing. The hires will work in “nearly every area” of the firm, including audit, tax and consulting.

Unlike E&Y, Hizzoner was not attendance:

[T]his announcement was not made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has unveiled several somewhat similar moves by other companies in recent months.

Always a bridesmaid, GT. Always a bridesmaid.

Grant Thornton to step up Chicago hiring 40% next year [Crain’s, Earlier]

Hiring Watch ’11/’12: Ernst & Young Chicago Taking Applications

They’re looking to fill 500 JITs with new Black and Yellows by June of next year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the jobs on Tuesday, saying the firm will start hiring immediately and hopes to have all the positions filled by June. Ernst and Young currently employs about 2,000 people in Chicago. The hires will be diverse across experience levels and include support workers.

Just remember that E&Y seems to be upgrading the gene pool, so uglies need not apply.

Ernst & Young to add 500 jobs in Chicago [CT]

(UPDATE) Chicago Area Accountant Charged in Drag-Racing Crash

It really sucks when tragedy is caused by utter stupidity and that’s exactly what we have in the Chicago ‘burbs. Timothy Salvesen, an accountant from Wheaton, was charged with aggravated street racing and leaving the scene of a fatal crash in relation to an incident that occurred back in January.

Killed in the crash were 32-year-old Joseph Paliokaitis of North Aurora, who prosecutors said appeared to be racing with Salvesen as both drove west on Golf Road at speeds that two witnesses estimated at 80 to 90 mph.

The speed limit on that stretch of four-lane road was 55 mph, Assistant State’s Attorney during Salvesen’s bond hearing Tuesday.

As the two westbound lanes merged into one, Paliokaitis apparently lost control of his 2003 Jaguar and rolled into eastbound traffic, striking a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon head-on.

The crash killed its driver, 62-year-old Migdalia Bloch. of Hoffman Estates, who was on her way home from work, McCarthy said.

Salvesen’s attorney said his client, an accountant who has no prior criminal record, will fight the charges that could send him to prison for up to 15 years.

“It’s an unfortunate situation and Tim maintains his innocence,” defense attorney Henry Samuels said.

After poking around a bit, we found a Tim Salvesen on LinkedIn who is a Senior Audit Manager at KPMG and another Tim Salvesen on Facebook who lives in Barlett, IL (a town next to Wheaton) and lists “KPMG” on his networks but we have not confirmed that the “accountant” charged is the “auditor” we found online.

Messages left with a KPMG spokesman, Mr. Samuels, and Tim Salvesen in KPMG’s Chicago office have not been returned.

UPDATE: A couple more reports give us more details that indicate that Salvesen “accountant” is Salvesen “KPMG auditor.” First, the Tribune reports more details of the crash, saying it was “apparently impromptu […]as the men did not know each other.” It also states that Mr. Salvesen is “an ex-Marine” which matches the profile on LinkedIn.

But the mugshot from ABC7 may be the clincher:

This looks a lot like the guy on LinkedIn but now the photo from the profile no longer appears (it’s not just me, DWB confirmed). Regardless, it’s increasingly appears that Salvesen is Salvesen and since no one likes to return our phone calls, we’ll leave it up to you to decide.

37-year-old Wheaton accountant charged in drag-racing crash that killed two [CST]
Man charged with street-racing months after fatal crash [CT]
Accountant charged in drag racing crash that killed 2 [ABC7]

Blind Item: Which Chicago Accounting Firm Is Giving Infuriatingly Meager Raises and Bonuses?

This just in:

Here’s a spicy meatball for you guys. My buddy works over at [Chicago Firm] and he was so upset when he got his $700 raise and $250 bonus as a Senior 1. Not sure if it’s performance based, but a lot of [Chicago Firm] peeps aren’t thrilled right now.

Will that even cover the rent?

WeiserMazars Moves into Chicago as Part of Acquisition of LECG Units

Earlier this week, we told you about the fire sale that was going down at LECG Corp. LECG was selling off various units to FTI Consulting, Grant Thornton and WeiserMazars to try and pay down a portion of the $27 or so million that they owed on their credit facility. After speaking with Doug Phillips, the managing partner at WeiserMazars, we have learned that the deal has officially closed and few more details about the units they acquired in the deal, including their move into the Chicago market.


As we reported on Monday, WM is picking up five partners and approximately 40 staff from LECG. Mr Phillips told us that “we are very excited” about the transaction and these professionals will join the commercial and insurance audit practices as well as business advisory services. The majority of the new professionals will be located in the firm’s Horsham, PA location while one partner and approximately ten staff will be located in Chicago.

Mr Phillips told GC that this acquisition strengthens WeiserMazars’s “insurance, commercial and business advisory services, as well as solidifies our presence in the Philadelphia market.” Perhaps more importantly, however, is that “[WeiserMazars] now has a presence in the Chicago marketplace,” Mr Phillips aid. This will mark the 9th location for the firm in a key market for a firm that appears to have some wind in its sails after last year’s combination of Weiser and Mazars. We’ll be keeping an eye on them as things progress after this latest move.

UPDATE:
Check out the WeiserMazars press release for more details.

Grant Thornton Employees in Chicago Feeling the Heat to Join Big 4

After reporting rumors that PwC was chasing Deloitte seniors in Chicago, now comes another report out of the House of Chipman:

Is it just me or is pwc trying really hard to bring in seniors in Chicago? The other day at GT, the same pwc recruiter called every S1 in audit asking if we’d be interested in moving over.

A few of us actually answered just to see what he had to say and he was pushing real hard in getting people to accept that if we made a move, we’d have to take a step down (S1 to move over to A3), and that they’d be making a large investment in keeping us long-term (at least through a promotion to manager). This is after we lost a S2 and an A2 who both moved to pwc. Plus, we’ve received several emails from other outside recruiters gauging our interest in the Big 4, not to mention my friends at the Big 4 trying to get me to send them my resume so they can refer me (for a much larger referral bonus, I’m assume). Not sure if this is juicy enough information, but that’s pretty much what’s happening right now over at G to the T.

Here’s the deal people – all the firms need people at the Senior Associate level. All the firms have made it known that they are hiring aggressively, both experienced and entry-level employees and the recruiters within the firms have jobs too. Besides, where are they supposed to look for the appropriate talent to fill their empty positions? Dunkin’ Donuts?

Grant Thornton, believe or not, has plenty of talented people and the Big 4 will take those people if they can get them. Management probably gets tired of all the bellyaching by employees about how short-staffed they are so the pressure is on the recruiters to get asses in the seats.

If you don’t want to be hassled by Big 4 recruiters, simply say, “I’m not interested, thanks,” and go on your merry way. But judging by all the complaining at GT, lots of employees are probably happy to entertain some options.

Unfounded Rumor of the Afternoon: PwC Courting Deloitte Employees in Chicago, New York

From the mailbag by way of a Deloittian in Rahmville:

[O]ur PPD (Principal, Partner, Direct) group has received word that PWC is going to send recruiting letters to every [Financial Services Industry] senior in the Chicago and New York offices. Apparently the letter states PWC is willing to offer $15,000 more than what Deloitte is paying.

The PPD group had a meeting with all of the FSI managers in Chicago yesterday regarding this situation. On top of that, all Seniors in FSI received a meeting request today from the PPD group. The meeting is schedule for Monday morning and according to the managers, the topic of dicussion is going to be these letters. Now I can’t speak for anyone in New York but in Chicago the PPD group is not taking this lightly. Word as it that one of our senior ranking partners actually called over to PWC. Again this is all a rumor, I have not seen one of these letter but apparently one of our partners said he/she has.

If you happen across this letter, do share it with us.

Earlier:
Experienced Recruiting Amongst The Big 4 Gets Aggressive

Grant Thornton CEO Admits That He Wasn’t Prepared for the Chicago Winters

Stephen Chipman also says that he misunderestimated the demand for his time. Who could have known?

Highlights/questions:

• The over/under is $2 billion by 2015. Who has action on this?

• Is everyone clear on the “the dynamic organization space”?

• What do we think of Stephen sans spectacles?

Merger and acquisition strategy? Who is GT going after? SC keeps it vague, per standard operating procedure. Accordingly, we welcome your rampant speculation.

Layoff and Exodus Watch ’10: Grant Thornton Chicago and New York Seeing Movement

Two weeks ago, we heard that Grant Thornton’s Cleveland office started their layoffs a little earlier than what on might expect that was followed by an emergency meeting that the content of which is still a mystery.

Now we’ve received word on Chicago and New York who are rumored to be having layoffs and some quitters respectively.


From a Chipman Blog Reader:

I work in audit at Grant Thornton and have heard through the grapevine that offices are trying to keep staff. With the job market improving, it seems like other offices are looking to see if staff/seniors voluntary leave before making any final decisions pre-promotion day. Chicago has let go a partner and 2 senior managers in the audit practice and rumors are swirling of a few staff reductions, which seems crazy given that the current A1 class and the incoming class are so small. For other offices, national is working to roll out a benefit plan practice similar to what Chicago has to help keep staff busy during the summer months but it looks like this is not moving quickly enough….[T]he GT wire is that NY saw 10+ individuals put in their notice recently.

We left messages with both the Chicago and New York offices, neither of which have been returned.

An accountant close to the situation indicated that the partner and senior manager layoffs are part of those mentioned by Stephen Chipman back in January.

At that time, SC said that many of those partners and senior managers were already being notified, so since these most recent cuts knew that this day was coming, it was awfully generous of them to stay on for this busy season (we’re guessing there was money involved).

As far as the the staff situation in Chicago is concerned, cuts at the staff level do seem crazy if the classes are small. Meanwhile, although some attrition in New York was probably expected, at this point, it’s not clear whether 10+ leaving in mid-April is a lot or a little. Keep us updated.

Stephen Chipman Begrudgingly Wore Green on St. Patrick’s Day

Stephen Chipman’s blog post from last week got lost in the shuffle but you’ll be happy to know that you didn’t miss anything. Our lack of enthusiasm is not shared however, as the daily grind for a globe-trotting CEO seems to be enough to entertain some of the GT faithful. How do we know?

He shared one reader/fan’s thoughts this week, that’s how, “So, you really don’t just drink coffee and check e-mail!” While SC neither confirmed nor denied this particular allegation, one could assume that this is a big part of his day.

Moving on…Of the near 1,000 words in this week’s masterpiece, the only thing really worth mentioning is that the GT CEO spent his first St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago last week. And guess what Chi-town? You didn’t let him down; Steve-o was impressed.

This is my first time living in Chicago to experience St. Patrick’s Day; it was very interesting to see the Chicago community’s commitment to this holiday. Dutifully I wore my green tie, in respect of St. Patrick, which was very challenging to do for an Englishman. Nevertheless, I thought it appropriate…even though the Irish did beat the English at rugby a couple of weeks ago in the Six Nations Championships…which was a crushing disappointment…but I digress.

Digression! He’s really getting the hang of this. Maybe Chip’s blog readership is increasing?

The real question is what did SC see on St. Pat’s that piqued his interest? The green river? The turnout at the parade? The vast number of people vomiting in the streets? More details Stevey!

On the biz-nass front, SC did have a conference call with all the GT global leaders and he had to get up bright and early to get on the call at 8 am Chicago time. He did admit that this is NBD because when Steve-o was in China, he had to do the call in the god-awful morning hours to accommodate the BSDs in the U.S. and London.

Speaking of China (and digression), does anyone think Steve knows where mini-Madoff of Hong Kong Gabriel Azedo is? Dude has been missing for awhile.

More Deloitte Holiday Cheer This Week (Unofficially)

Big day everyone. Oh, sure there’s that but there are far more important things on the agenda. Namely, Christmaskuh festivities/cafeteria chats at the Stamford, Long Island and two NYC offices. Perfect opportunity to discuss the nominees for most likely to catch an STD on the path to partner.
Elsewhere in the Deloitte stable, the Chicago office is amping up for its rager that is going on this Saturday in Wrigleyville:
Picture 6.png
So by “unofficial” and “informal” we’re sure that’s the “All Clear” for someone to lose their pants and/or shirt by the end of the evening. Plus, we interpret the last line as an open invitation to P. Dubs and KPMG professionals for temporary adoption into the Deloitte family.
That might be the best chance they’ll have at taking in a butchering of “O Come All Ye Faithful” and shameless ass grabbing under the mistletoe, so we suggest they consider it.

Crain’s: The Party Is Over for Accountants in Chicago

chicago.jpgCrain’s is calling it for accounting firms in Chicago. After a seven-year SOX funded rager, everyone is sobering up. You’re all familiar with some of the usual suspects. But even smaller firms, who have often benefited from lower fee structures are feeling the pain:

Jeffrey DeYoung, regional managing partner at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP (formerly Virchow Krause & Co. LLP) in Chicago, says that up to 20% of the firm’s clients have asked for fee reductions…The firm cut staff by 5% to 7% and hired 30% to 40% fewer employees this year, a trend it will continue next year.

The story at BTVK sounds all too familiar but at least one firm, Crowe Horwath, has claimed that it’s doing everything possible to avoid layoffs:

The firm has kept its workforce of 2,400 intact by shifting employees from hard-hit units such as construction and manufacturing into four main areas: financial institutions, health care, private equity and government. In addition, 30% to 40% of employees have used alternative work arrangements in the past year, including sabbaticals, reduced work schedules and paid time off during slow seasons, to help defray costs. “Our strategy is to keep as many people as possible,” [CEO, Chuck] Allen says.

However, firms like BDO are done whining about the past and looking for growth in the coming year even if it won’t be as good as in year’s past:

Stephen Ferrara, partner and regional business line leader at BDO Seidman LLP in Chicago, predicts an increase for 2010 as companies begin investing in business and infrastructure. “Companies who are riding out the storm and running lean and mean will be poised to make investments again sometime in 2010,” he says. “We don’t expect it to get back to the level of six years ago, but we do expect growth.”

We like the optimism but is legit? Crain’s seems to think that this accounting racket is in for some tough times from partners comp to more competition among hiring of new recruits.
If you work at a smaller firm in the Chicago area let us know what you think Crain’s assessment about the situation. Feel free to opine on your firm’s prospects and the outlook in the Windy City.
Accounting’s day of reckoning [Chicago Business]