September 20, 2019

Competitive poaching

Mazars USA Poaches Someone From KPMG and Issues a Press Release, Part I

When Mazars USA isn’t getting subpoenaed for Donald Trump’s tax returns, it’s snagging people away from the Big 4, in particular, KPMG. Olga Blyweiss is one of the newest members of Club M, recently joining the firm as a tax partner in its Fort Washington, PA, office. In a previous life, Blyweiss was the managing […]

Arthur Andersen & Co.

Andersen Poaches Someone From Deloitte and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Did you guys see that Andersen has rebranded? Yep, the firm dropped “Tax” from its name and is just going by Andersen from now on, or until Mark Vorsatz tries to sneak in an “A.” so the firm becomes A. Andersen. And did the press release just say, “Hearkening the legacy and values of the […]

DHG Poaches Someone From a Top 6 Firm and Issues a Press Release, Part II

It’s been quite the summer for Dixon Hughes Goodman. The firm promoted seven individuals who oozed out the most DHGness to the partnership in early June, joined some lame alliance with Mazars in July, and was recently named the 17th top accounting firm in the U.S. by both Accounting Today and INSIDE Public Accounting. The […]

RSM Did a Little Talent Shopping At the Big 4

And Adams & Co. came away with a new tax principal and a new risk consulting leader. First up is Brad Collins: In his role as a principal with the firm’s national tax team, Collins leads the firm’s efforts to identify opportunities where RSM can eliminate tax data management challenges for private equity and hedge […]

Blumshapiro Poaches Someone From PwC and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Blumshapiro’s newest tax partner in Beantown has a great deal of experience in the Big 4 trenches. blumshapiro, the largest regional business advisory firm based in New England with offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, recently announced that Joe Feehan has joined the firm as a Tax Partner in the Boston office. Feehan has […]

Armanino Poaches Someone From RSM and Issues a Press Release, Part I

While Armanino didn’t help its newest partner escape the clutches of a Big 4 firm, it did nab him away from a top five firm, which is still a pretty good get. Armanino LLP, one of the 25 largest accounting and business consulting firms in the U.S., today announced Patrick Chylinski has joined the firm as […]

DHG Poaches Someone From a Top 6 Firm and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Whoa, look at Dixon Hughes Goodman, picking off a transfer pricing executive from EY. And he’s a former KPMGer. And he used to be an auditor at the IRS. Dixon Hughes Goodman, a U.S. top 20 public accounting and advisory firm, is pleased to announce that Samit Shah has joined the firm as a Principal in the […]

Grant Thornton Poaches Someone From KPMG and Issues a Press Release, Part II

In the comment section of an article we posted on May 10 about a managing director and a partner recently fleeing KPMG to join Grant Thornton’s Corporate Value Consulting practice, we got a tip that the Purple Rose of Chicago recently poached KPMG again—Candice Turner left the HoK to join GT as a principal in […]

Grant Thornton Poaches Two People From KPMG and Issues a Press Release, Part I

A couple of months ago, we reported that a partner and a principal bolted Grant Thornton earlier this year for the blue-and-white confines of KPMG, one of whom actually left and came back to the House of Klynveld. Well, it looks like the Purple Rose of Chicago has turned the tables on KPMG. Grant Thornton […]

KPMG partners criminal charges pcaob sec

KPMG Poaches Someone From Grant Thornton and Issues a Press Release, Parts I and II

We here at GC HQ love a good poaching, especially when it involves two of the top six firms in the U.S. So we were happy to see this press release from KPMG come across our virtual desk this morning: Mark Rems has joined KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm, as a principal […]

big 4 big law hogan lovells

Big Law Firm Takes a Page From Big 4 Player Book

A couple years ago we talked at length about the Big 4 going after Big Law. Since then we’ve noted the firms talking about the growth of their legal practices, with one PwC bigwig stating his firm’s ambitious goals openly while an EY leader said their threat to law firms is overblown. As we’ve discussed, […]

Grant Thornton Poaches a Deloitte Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Grant Thornton has put everyone on notice that they've snagged Deloitte National Managing Partner for U.S. Government Affairs & Public Policy Jim Brady. He will become GT's Central Region Managing Partner effective August 1. Brady has had quite a career at Deloitte, serving in many similarly dynamic roles. Among them: National Audit Leader for Growth […]

EY Law Continues to Not Threaten Law Firms By Poaching Lawyers

EY Law has picked up the former managing partner of Addelshaw Goddard, a large international law firm based in London, and another AG partner who will both join EY UK's legal services practice. I trust EY will let law firms know when this sort of behavior is a threat. Until then, carry on, law firms. […]

Ernst & Young Hired Some People

We like to call attention the competitive poaching that goes on behalf of accounting firms because they do such a good job of bombarding the world with that knowledge. It probably got started when we noticed that PwC was using KPMG as its farm teambut more so lately, we've noticed that Ernst & Young aggressively shouting about all the BSDs that are joining the Black and Yellow. 

Ernst & Young Adds to Its Murderers’ Row of Tax Experts

Ernst & Young has wrestled Jeff VanderWolk away from the Senate Finance Committee where he served as international tax counsel. He'll be an executive director in the National Tax and Americas Tax Center reporting to former assistant treasury secretary for tax policy, Michael Mundaca, according to The Hill. E&Y has been building up its National Tax Practice […]

BDO Poaches a Prominent Healthcare Consultant From PwC and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Oh, how we love a good poaching expedition. Especially when a firm feels so good about their prize that they get the PR team involved. BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional services organizations, announced the expansion of the firm’s Healthcare Industry consulting capabilities with the addition of Patrick D. Pilch as a Managing […]

PwC Poaches a KPMG Partner* and Issues a Press Release, Part IX

*By partner, in fact, it's technically a "national leader in Conflict Minerals Center of Excellence" which was a Director role. At least from what I can tell on Greg Szczesny's LinkedIn profile. Anyway, Mr. Szczesny (I'm going with suh-seez-NEE) will be a Managing Director in PwC's Risk Assurance practice focusing on…yes, conflict minerals services. And […]

Ernst & Young Announces a Competitive Poaching Frenzy; Deloitte, KPMG Among the Losers

Yesterday Ernst & Young announced the addition of six new M&A and PE professionals to its Transaction Advisory Services practice. It appears that all these professionals were special enough to warrant a press release, however, not specialy enough that it warranted their own individual press releases. Undoubtedly this will become a point of ridicule amongst their […]

PwC Poaches a KPMG Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part VIII

An alternative title for this post would be "PwC Poaches a KPMG Partner and a Deloitte Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part I." John Tantillo and Farah Faruqui are proud new partners in PwC's Risk Assurance Services practice; they both specialize in internal audit. Tantillo spent 27 years at KPMG prior to trading in for […]

PwC Poaches an Ernst & Young Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part I

Let this serve as the inaugural post to the immensely popular sister series: KPMG v. PwC. And while Ernst & Young has been proactively adding talent via competitive poaching from Deloitte and others, to our knowledge Papa Whiskey Charlie and the Black and Yellow have not had any public personnel entanglements until today: Michael Spielman has […]

Ernst & Young Flips Deloitte The Bird With Its Latest Partner-Robbing Press Release

Perhaps someone at KPMG is available to counsel Deloitte on how to handle the latest press release out of Uncle Ernie's camp that basically rubs in the fact that EY is busy snatching up Deloitte partners. We're not saying it's suspicious that BOTH of the named partners in the press release happened to do time […]

KPMG Seeks Benchwarmers

For the past year or so, we've noted the efforts of PwC to stack up its talent via "competitive poaching," mostly at the expense of its smaller rival, KPMG. During this time, people familiar with the situation have informed us that this trend has been noticed by people at KPMG with slight agitation. In one […]

Ernst & Young Goes on a Competitive Poaching and Publicity Spree

The competitive poaching efforts of PwC have been well documented in these pages, primarily because the communications is really good at issuing press releases announcing the talent they've scooped up. Other accounting firms of notable size have not embraced the power of the poaching press release…until Wednesday when Ernst & Young announced that they had […]

(UPDATE/CORRECTION) PwC Couldn’t Find a KPMG Partner to Join Their Irvine, California Office So They Poached a Grant Thornton Partner Instead

Today in partners ditching their firm for PwC news, Gary Wilson, a 20-year Grant Thornton veteran and managing partner of the Irvine, California office will take the exact same job at join PwC on January 5th. It appears this news was first reported by the OC Business Journal and not by a press release, which proves […]

PwC Poaches a (Former) KPMG Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part VII

As we've discussed, PwC has been on a bit of a hiring spree for partners and directors this year. Perhaps more notably is the firm's development of KPMG into its partner/director farm system. How this appears to work (PwC won't tell us) is that a young man or woman first must achieve the rank of […]

PwC Poaches a KPMG Partner and Issues a Press Release, Part VI

Today in KPMG is the PwC Triple-A team news, partner Erik Hansen has joined the P. Dubs Houston office as a risk assurances partner leading the firm’s Internal Audit Practice in the Oil and Gas Industry Sectors. I suppose it goes without saying that Mr. Hansen is pretty adept in the energy field, as well as auditing:

Hansen has served companies in the oil and gas industry on issues related to internal audit outsourcing and co-sourcing solutions, Sarbanes-Oxley assistance services, as well as other risk and control-related services. He has also served as an instructor in several KPMG training programs designed to provide partners and managers with the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective in the marketplace.

Enjoy Houston, Erik! Just keep your wits about you at the happy hours down there.

[via PwC]
Earlier: More posts on KPMG v. PwC.

PwC Now Picking Up Talent From a Big Law Firm

Namely, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Pamela Olson will head up PwC’s Washington National Tax Services practice when she leaves her position as Skadden’s Washington office tax group on January 1st. From the sounds of it, everyone is pretty giddy about this, mostly because Ms. Olson is kind of a big deal. “Everyone in the tax community knows Pam,” said Mark Mendola, PwC’s U.S. Tax leader. “Now our clients will be able to gain from her wisdom. In the current uncertain economic environment, the counsel she will provide to PwC clients is certain to be more invaluable than ever before.”

Why does everyone know her? Well she’s pretty good at what she does and she’s been around. She’s been an assistant secretary of tax policy with the Treasury department, chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, a senior economic adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaign (we won’t hold that against her), a tax adviser to the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform and “repeatedly in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and The Best Lawyers in America for tax law.”

So not exactly a lightweight. All this and she never worked a day at KPMG. Amazing.

[via PwC]

Exodus Watch ’11: BDO Tax Partners

Apparently a grip (a half dozen or so) of them have left the firm in the past two months, says a source familiar with the situation at BDO. At least three are supposedly now with PwC (none worthy of P. Dubs press releases) and another two are off to Deloitte in various markets. If you’ve recently jumped Captain Jack’s ship or know of more details for your office, get in touch.

PwC Wasn’t About to Let October Pass Without Announcing Their Latest Talent Acquisition From KPMG

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that PwC has made KPMG it’s own personal farm system for partners and directors. It seems that P. Dubs follows all the talent out there and then simply calls the men and women up when they’re ready for the big leagues. We’ve noted four press releases put out by PwC announcing appointments of partner/directors that were brought over from the House of Klynveld. And who knows how many other, non-PR worthy partners, have also joined Team Autumn. Trust us, it’s happening; we hear things.

ANYWAY, in today’s Daily Grind newsletter, I wondered if PwC would take the opportunity of All Hallow’s Eve to pull a trick on KPMG, announcing that yet another partner or director had recently joined up with P. Dubs. My wonderment was largely in jest but I guess I’ve misunderestimated the scamps in PwC’s communications department:

Eric Israel, who joins PwC as a managing director, is a former KPMG managing director and that firm’s US advisory practice leader on climate change and sustainability. He has more than 25 years of experience with KPMG where he began his career in the Netherlands as a Chartered Accountant. Later, Israel moved into sustainability consulting where he has focused his work for nearly 14 years. Israel has global experience in sustainable development concepts and application, finance and sustainability assurance, climate change and carbon consulting & verification, business research and development, as well as knowledge management and corporate governance. He also has participated in the work of organizations such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Sustainability Consortium and the AICPA’s and CICA’s joint Sustainability Task Force.

Israel co-founded KPMG’s Global Sustainability Services practice and wrote KPMG’s first Sustainability Audit Manual. He received his BA in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. He will be based in PwC’s New York office.

In other words, Izzy is was KPMG’s Global Sustainability practice. He wrote the audit manual for crissakes! Of course since he’s just a co-founder, that hopefully means that his fellow co-founder is still around. At least until he/she gets their own press release.

Promotion Watch ’11: KPMG Admits 166 New Partners in the Americas

That’s right boys and girls, 166 new lucky Klynveldians will be taking a seat at the big kids table, only to be poached by PwC in the next 2-3 years. Despite the risk that many of these new partners will trade blue squares for autumnal Atari, John Veihmeyer and Henry Keizer were excited to welcome the newest members of the club:

“These new partners are role models for high performance – with a passion for quality, an unyielding commitment to integrity and outstanding service, and a dedication to helping clients cut through the complexity in this dynamic environment,” said John B. Veihmeyer, Chairman of KPMG’s Americas region and Chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP (U.S.).

“We are very proud of each of these new partners, and we look forward to their continued leadership. We’re especially grateful to the spouses, family, friends, coworkers, and mentors who have played a key role in their development and their career success,” Veihmeyer said.

Henry R. Keizer, Deputy Chairman of the Americas region and Deputy Chairman and COO, KPMG LLP (U.S.) said, “With their steadfast focus on technical excellence, professionalism, teaming and relationship building, these new partners have helped us make great strides in achieving our strategic priorities.

“Their ability to engage and motivate our people has also been critical to our efforts in fostering a high-performance culture – thereby driving the firm and our people to the next level,” Keizer said.

The KPMG press release doesn’t have a breakdown of the numbers but luckily we got our virtual hands on an email that has the breakdown. We won’t name names but it’s probably moot since someone at PwC Experienced Hire recruiting probably has them all on a hit list already. ANYWAY, here’s the breakdown by service line for the U.S. (74 new partners):

Advisory – 26
Audit – 27
Tax – 21

And by line of business:

Information, Communications and Entertainment – 12
Financial Services – 17
Healthcare and Pharm – 5
Industrial Markets – 19
Private Equity – 4
Mid Market – 3
Government/Public Sector – 1
Consumer Markets – 9
Other – 4

Congrats to all the new partners!

[via KPMG]

Competitive Poaching Isn’t Just for Big 4 Firms; Dixon Hughes Goodman Picks Up an Aronson Senior Partner

We’ve chronicled many cases of poaching in these pages, focusing mainly on PwC’s harvest of KPMG partners. You may have thought that this type of competition occurred between the top firms with the occasional outlier of an obscure firm catching a Big 4 fish. Not so! Accounting Today reports that a super-regional [?] firm also doesn’t mind mixing it up with its smaller rivals:

Lisa J. Cines, CPA, has joined super-regional firm Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP as managing partner of the firm’s Rockville office. Previously, Cines had spent almost 30 years with Top 100 Firm Aronson, including serving as managing officer from 2001 to 2010. Most recently she was partner-in-charge of business and corporate development.


Thirty years at a firm including nine years as a managing officer isn’t anything to sneeze at, so this jump from Rockville, MD-based Aronson – a firm with approximately $56 million in revenues – to DHG who has roughly $280 in revenues (both numbers based on the most recent stats) this late in one’s career makes us wonder. Perhaps you can read between the lines for us:

“Dixon Hughes Goodman represents the future of accounting – a firm with a commitment to market niches and depth within its areas of service,” she said. “I look forward to this new phase of my career with such a dynamic organization.”

Maybe pinstripes are a little too prevalent at Aronson? That’s the theory we’re going with at the moment. If you’ve got other ideas, let us know.

Cines Joins Dixon Hughes Goodman [AT]

PwC Falls Victim in the Competitive Poaching Game to…WTP Advisors

As you know, the Big 4 are pretty competitive when it comes to landing the best talent. The brightest brains. The biggest, swingingest…well you know. Anyhoo, PwC has been on tear this year, luring an accounting firm equivalent of a platoon from KPMG. They’ve also managed to pick off people from Duff and Phelps and the SEC.

But now the tables have turned unexpectedly on P. Dubs. They certainly had to be wary of the likes of Deloitte, E&Y and yes, even KPMG trying to woo their partners seeking greener pastures but it’s highly unlikely they saw this coming:

WTP Advisors, an award-winning, global tax and advisory firm, announced today that it has opened a new office location in Long Beach, CA. The new site will be headed by tax expert, Jon Worden, who most recently managed PwC’s West Region International Tax Services Quantitative Solutions Team. “Jon is a terrific choice to lead WTP Advisors’ West Coast tax practice. Like all WTP directors, he has Big Four experience, combined with a drive to forge deep and lasting client relationships. His personality, talent, and ambition will represent us well with large multinational companies in this region,” says Mike Minihan, Partner and co-founder of WTP Advisors. In his new role, Worden will be responsible for serving the L.A., Orange County and Northern California markets, as well as cultivating relationships with organizations up and down the West Coast.

Or maybe they did. WTP Advisors was founded by “four PwC veterans” back in 2005 according to this Fortune blurb on the firm’s website. It also boasts that it “has retained 100% of its clients” since the founding of the firm. The clip above is also from said blurb which depicts some sort of Rumble in the Professional Services Jungle between WTP and PwC. Perhaps WTP is gunning for P. Dubs because there is some bad blood there, we don’t know (but would love to hear about it). And with only 75 employees and $12 million in revenues, they barely register on Bob Moritz’s radar but it’s clear that they can poach P. Dubs talent and they are already better at using PR to make it known than some other firms.

BREAKING: Big 4 Firms Compete for Talent

For those not previously aware:

A talent war is among the top concerns for both the accounting profession and their corporate clients, says Jim Henry, managing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco. Even as the nation struggles with persistently high unemployment, those with the right skills and credentials are in demand. “We’re seeing a hot market for those with the relevant skills,” said Henry. “It’s a sign of the economy improving over the last 18 months.”

Since this is a BizJournal publication we hit the paywall but can presume that Diego discussed PwC’s successful competitive poaching campaign (which included picking up James Draper in San Fran).

Accounting firms battle to attract the best talent [SFBJ]

PwC Snags Another KPMG Partner

Is PwC offering these partners a lifetime supply of Girl Scout Cookies or something?

Ellen Rotenberg will join PwC to head up the Banking, Capital Markets and Insurance group as a tax partner in New York. She was most recently the National Tax Leader for Banking and Finance at KPMG. Prior to that position she did a stint in KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice.

If you’re keeping score at home, this is the fourth KPMG partner/principal to join PwC since February (that we know about). Kinda makes you wonder if Tim Flynn is really retiring. [PwC]

SEC Officially Falls Victim to PwC’s Competitive Poaching Strategy

~ Tell Kayla I’m sorry for butchering her last name for over two hours. It’s fixed now.

PwC has announced the appointment of Kayla Gillan, formerly SEC Chair Mary Schapiro’s Deputy Chief of Staff, as the firm’s head of the newly created Regulatory Relations Group. This confirms a report by Bloomberg from last week.

Ms Gillan is no lightweight as she is a founding member of the PCAOB, served as general counsel for CalPERS and Chief Administrative Officer for Risk Metrics. The ecstatic Bob Moritz: “[PwC is] extremely fortunate to gain the experience, insights and future contributions of such a highly accomplished professional, one whose career has been dedicated to serving investors and other market participants,” BoMo said, adding, “Kayla Gillan is an example of making the investment to drive this transformation.”

It’s been a busy spring for PwC landing and announcing new appointments of partners and principals starting back in February and continuing through the spring.

[via PwC]

PwC Shifts Its Competitive Poaching Focus to Duff and Phelps

At least for today! As we’ve discussed, PwC has been on a bit of shopping spree when it comes to KPMG partners and principals. Today however, P. Dubs announced that it has picked off Dwight Grant of Duff and Phelps to join their Financial Engineering services group.

Mr Grant was DP’s Global Leader of Financial Engineering prior to joining PwC. His addition follows the firm’s pick up of Pedro Santos to lead the Financial Engineering group as well as Jeremy Fago, Timothy Davis and Matthew Tanner as principals. No word in the PwC press release where those chaps came from but if you’re in the know, we’d love to hear about it.