Poaching

IRS Poaches a KPMG Managing Director and Issues a Press Release, Part I

The IRS has itself a new associate chief counsel, international, in the Office of the Chief Counsel, and the agency plucked him away from our favorite four-letter Big 4 firm. Peter Blessing is his name, and international tax law is his game. “We are very fortunate to attract an individual of his caliber and expertise,” […]

Legal Experts Think KPMG France Will Likely Get Away With Fidal Lawyer Poaching

Early last week we told you guys about KPMG France recently stealing away 130 lawyers (some reports say 144 or 145 lawyers) away from France’s largest law firm, Fidal, which is threatening to sue the Big 4 firm for “unfair competition.” But legal experts who were interviewed by Law.com say Fidal’s case against KPMG is […]

KPMG France Just Poached 130 Lawyers From a French Law Firm, Which Is Understandably Pissed

In Going Concern’s nine-plus-year history, Caleb and Adrienne have chronicled many, many instances of “competitive poaching” among the Big 4 firms. PwC and KPMG, in particular, have a long history of poaching from one another. But with the Big 4 firms’ legal brands showing huge growth among alternative legal service providers, what is starting to […]

Hey Tim Ryan, We Found That Shoe Shine Guy You Wanted to Recruit to PwC

Back in 2015, Caleb wrote an article based on a LinkedIn post by then-PwC Vice Chairman of Stuff Tim Ryan about an exceptional shoe shine guy he met at LaGuardia Airport. In typical holier-than-thou, white-collar fashion, Ryan kicked himself for not giving the guy his card, as he likely dreamed throughout his flight of offering […]

Deloitte Is In Your State Office, Poaching Your CIO

Colorado Chief Information Officer Kristin Russell is leaving Gov. John Hickenlooper’s administration for a leadership role in a new government cloud computing practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP. Russell will be stepping down May 9 after just over three years as CIO and secretary of technology for the state government. The state has already begun the […]

Are Booz Consultants Hoping to Get Poached Ahead of the PwC Deal?

Apparently, some folks at Booz are busy little bees on LinkedIn: Booz & Company management consultants have rushed to update their resumes and LinkedIn profiles after a proposed takeover by big four accounting firm PwC was announced last Thursday. It has raised concerns about how much talent and inherent value will evacuate the $80 million domestic […]

PwC Is Still Looking For (Other Big 4’s) Talent

We didn’t say poaching. But if we did say poaching, we’d also mention PwC is pretty damn good at it.

A non-PwC but Big 4 tipster shares an unsolicited email received on LinkedIn. Names have been redacted to protect the innocent (and guilty):

Significant Audit Opportunity with PwC in Chicago!
Dear ______,

Hello! I took some time to review your profile and felt that it would be mutually valuable for us to connect. I am a the manager of the talent acquisition team for our Assurance group at PwC, and we are currently experiencing substantial growth in this area across the US. In fact, our Chicago region ranked # 1 out of 6 markets with respect to growth in 2010.

Therefore, I’d appreciate the opportunity to set up some time with you to have a dialogue around industry and marketplace trends and PwC’s current expansion plans.

Even if you are not currently exploring outside opportunities, I would welcome the chance to network with you. Alternatively, if you know of anyone else who is open to considering new ventures, please feel free to pass on my details. With all the changes going on in the industry, especially at PwC, it’s always good to do a little information gathering.

Please feel free to contact me, or _____, Experienced Recruiting Associate – Assurance, at________ or at _______.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Is it just me or is “a little information gathering” a totally creepy proposition? And really?! “Significant” position? That’s the best they could do? I’m sorry but if I were a Big 4 grunt happy with my employer, it would take more than “significant” to get me to double cross them by abandoning them for the enemy.

Of course, this teaches those of you miserable in your current positions that it is important to have an updated LinkedIn presence that will draw in those anxious recruiters in like flies to Caleb’s armpits after a marathon yoga session.

Go get ’em, PwC!

PwC Lands Another KPMG Partner; Steven Tseng Joining Transfer Pricing Practice

This just in – more competitive poaching from P. Dubs.

PwC US announced today that Steven Tseng has joined PwC US as a partner in the firm’s Transfer Pricing practice. Tseng will relocate to China in June to focus on helping multinational companies with their transfer pricing planning in China and the Asia Pacific region. Tseng will also take the lead role for tax and transfer pricing planning for companies seeking to transform their value chain globally, in particular in Asia.

Tseng joins the firm from KPMG, where he was the Asia Pacific Regional leader for Global Transfer Pricing Services (GTPS) as well as the partner in charge of GTPS in China and Hong Kong. Prior to this role, Tseng was partner in charge of Financial Advisory Services for KPMG in Finland.

This latest pickup follows the firm snagging Tom Henry last month. Rumors have it that there will be more but the question is, who’s next? John Veihmeyer? Keep us updated if you hear anything.

PwC Picks Up Thomas Henry from KPMG; Will Lead Global Incentives Practice

This could be what PwC’s Talent Leader was talking about she said that poaching, “[Has] always been a place we like to stay competitive.”

Mr. Henry, a tax partner who has spent more than 25 years in public accounting, most recently at KPMG, has extensive experience in all areas of state and local taxation. He is best known for his work in the credits and incentives space, both domestically and worldwide. His experience in maximizing global incentives for large multinational corporations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa will enable both US-based and non-US-based multinational companies to benefit from his counsel when entering into economic incentives negotiations.

Thomas Henry Joins PwC US To Lead Global Incentives Practice [PR Newswire]

PwC Talent Leader Talks 2011 Hiring Spree, ‘Competitive’ Poaching, Autumnal Hues

As we’ve discussed, Big 4 firms are doing their part to marginally improve the frightening national unemployment number by embarking on epic hiring bonanzas in the coming years. FINS reporter Kyle Stock ran down Paula Loop, PwC’s Global and U.S. Talent Leader to find out the details on the firm’s plans and here are a few highlights:


Starting off – if unemployment doesn’t improve by 2012, Obama won’t be able to blame PwC:

KS: It seems like the firm is always hiring, how does that 45,000 compare with 2008 and 2009?

PL: It’s certainly higher than it has been in recent years. For the US, we’re hoping to hire around 10,000 this year. Those numbers are about 60% higher than they were for 2009 or 2010. About 6,000 of those are campus hires and 4,000 are on the experienced side.

Rumors of our acclimating to social media at a snail’s pace have been greatly accurate but only because we were waiting for The One:

KS: When PwC announced the LinkedIn [partnership], some articles said PwC has been slow to embrace social networking — is that accurate?

PL: Well, we were waiting for the right place at the right time. LinkedIn was a really good match for us.

Poaching, on the other hand, we’re all over that:

KS: I always try to ask about poaching. Is PwC hiring from competitors much these days?

PL: Because I think we are hiring more people, there’s more activity there. That’s always been a place we like to stay competitive.

Once you land those people, how do you keep them? Well, it helps if you come to grips with the fact that the last week of the year is pointless and you tell everyone to stay home. Secondly, you replace the old swag:

KS: Is PwC doing anything new to increase retention?

PL: We’ve had some great stuff on the retention front. We had an annual shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s where we closed our firm. That’s a terrific thing for us. I can tell you, you really get a chance to disconnect. Not only are you on vacation, but no one else is working. It gets people rejuvenated.

And we’re always doing stuff. Our new brand was a really great and exciting thing. We all have new bags for our computers that have our new colors for the new brand.

Right, the new brand! That was exciting. Sure, there might have been some kvetching at first but now that everyone has calmed down it’s really what makes us different from other firms:

KS: So how does the culture differ from a company like Deloitte?

PL: It’s hard for me to say on that, because I haven’t been a part of their culture, but I would say our new brand launch this fall really defines our culture. The colors are really vibrant and warm. We took that really long name and shortened it up. Our new logo can be really animated. I think that’s really what we’re trying to bring out in our culture.

PwC’s Paula Loop on Hiring 45,000 and the Firm’s Big Change [FINS]

Stephen Schwarzman Has Got Himself a Pretty Loyal CFO

Question: Who says “no” to Apple when offered a job? Answer: Blackstone Group CFO Laurence Tosi.

And what does one do when you commit an act of such allegiance? You tell the boss, natch:

Apple Inc. approached Blackstone Group LP Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi to become its finance chief, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Tosi told Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman that he plans to stay, rather than join Apple, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private.

The ‘Berg reports that because Apple has cash burning a hole in their pocket, they may be looking for a CFO who has acquisition experience and in case you haven’t heard, that’s sorta what Blackstone does. Apple gave the classic “non-denial denial” telling Bloomberg that they are “not conducting a CFO search,” and Pete “loves the company and is extremely happy in his role.”

But that doesn’t make him Laurence Tosi, does it?

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

Experienced Recruiting Amongst The Big 4 Gets Aggressive

As you know the Big 4 are extremely competitive when it comes to picking up talent. Now that the firms have amped up their experienced hiring, things appear to be taking an interesting turn.

Case in point, the following email went out to PwC professionals in the Southeast:

Hello. I work for Ernst & Young’s Assurance Recruiting Team and, through my networking, came across your name. I was wondering if you would be interested in making contact for professional networking purposes.

We are currently seeking managers and senior managers in our Southeastern markets. Your referrals would be greatly appreciated as you know the best people in this industry! We are expanding our Assurance Experienced talent pool and look forward to hiring only the best and brightest talent!

There are twelve more reasons to consider EY as a strong career option!! Ernst & Young was just named to FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the 12th year in a row–and ranked highest among the global professional services organizations. The reason? Our people. Together, we’ve created a culture of learning, flexibility, inclusiveness and community responsibility that truly makes a difference.

I have been a finance/accounting recruiter for six years and assure you that not all Big 4 firms are cut from the same cloth……it never hurts to have a dialogue!!!

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Have a wonderful summer!

Say what you want about these particular tactics but if there is a need in a particular office or region, it is Big 4 recruiters’ job to go out and find the talent to fill that demand. Other Big 4 firms seem like a pretty good place to start since they have the “talent” that the firms want. Plus, the email does state that the intent of the message is to “open a dialogue” which, sure, could lead to someone switching firms but let’s be real – this happens.

And don’t forget! This isn’t confined to Dixieland. You may recall that PwC in the UK had been allegedly poaching E&Y partners, as reported by the Times Online.

So if you want to get all defensive about a rival firm going behind enemy lines to do their jobs, so be it, but your firm is likely doing the exact same thing.

Earlier:
Grant Thornton Picks Up Four Tax-Exempt Experts from WTAS

Grant Thornton Picks Up Four Tax-Exempt Experts from WTAS

We’ve confirmed that Grant Thornton has poached four tax-exempt experts from WTAS, LLC. Presumably beefing up their NFP practice is part of the experienceAugust that Stephen Chipman told the GT troops about last week. Grant Thornton employees received an email last night about the news:

“In line with the strategic plan of our firm and in support of our growing not-for-profit industry practice we are pleased to announce that four experienced tax professionals, formerly of WTAS LLC, have joined our Firm. Frank Giardini, who lead WTAS’ National Exempt Tax Advisory Services Practice (ETAS) as well as Ron Taxin, ETAS Director, Russlee Armstrong, ETAS Director and Andrea Kyzyma, ETAS Manager recently joined us. These individuals bring over 70 years of combined experience in providing tax services to significant non- profit organizations, especially in the higher education and healthcare industries. They have served the tax needs of many large public charities and private foundations. Frank and his group are based out in our Philadelphia office, but will serve clients in both the Northeast and Southeast regions. This group will also play a key role assisting our national NFP tax leader, Dan Romano, in serving GT’s national clients as well as supporting the NFP tax professionals throughout the firm.

A source familiar with WTAS, confirmed these departures, saying that they occurred earlier this summer and thought the move was “a good opportunity for them.” Emails and morse code messages sent to Grant Thornton have not been returned.

BDO Does Some Ribbon Cutting, Opens Raleigh, NC Office

More good news out of B to the D to the O as the firm announced today that it is opening an office in Raleigh, North Carolina (full press release after the jump). This will be the 39th office in the U.S. and fourth in North Carolina. The firm also has eight affiliate offices in the state.

In the process, the firm managed to pick up former Ernst & Young audit partner Michael Dannar (a refugee perhaps?).


The good times at BDO have been aplenty lately as the firm just admitted five partners on July 1 and was given a mulligan on the Banco Espirito lawsuit. Oh and don’t forget that the firm fka BDO Seidman is celebrating its 100th birthday all year.

No word if there will be cake or freakishly large scissors at the celebration but nevertheless, it’s good to see some expansion in the Tar Heel state for a change.

BDO USA, LLP EXPANDS NORTH CAROLINA PRESENCE WITH NEW RALEIGH OFFICE

Chicago, IL – BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional service organizations, has announced an expansion of it’s presence in North Carolina with the addition of a new office in Raleigh. The Chicago-based firm, which now has offices in 39 cities around the country, had previously serviced clients in this market through its Charlotte practice. Pending a move to permanent office space at 5430 Wade Park Boulevard in August, the new practice, which will have approximately 15 staff, will be temporarily located at:

BDO
5410 Trinity Road, Suite 310
Raleigh, NC 27607

The Raleigh business community will now have more direct access to BDO’s full array of services which include assurance, tax, risk advisory, financial planning, business restructuring, litigation and fraud investigation services. Michael Dannar, previously with Ernst & Young, has joined the firm as a partner and will assist in serving the firm’s assurance clients in Raleigh and throughout the southeast. Mr. Dannar has significant experience working with colleges, universities and other non-profit organizations.

“We have been working with clients in Raleigh for a number of years now and the time is right for us to establish a permanent presence. This new office will enable us to better serve our clients in this growing market,” said Jack Weisbaum, CEO of BDO USA. “We are also happy to welcome Michael Danner to the partnership. His knowledge of the market will be a valuable resource to our firm.”

BDO SEIDMAN FACTS:

• BDO is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1910.
• BDO represents companies ranging from Fortune 500 multinationals to closely-held private businesses.
• BDO had $620 million in revenues in 2009 (6/30/09). Over the past four fiscal years, the firm has averaged double digit growth (10.2%).
• As an independent member of BDO International Limited (the fifth largest global network of accounting firms), the firm can leverage the resources of more than 1,000 member firm offices in 115 countries around the world.

ABOUT BDO USA

BDO is the brand name for BDO USA, LLP, a U.S. professional services firm providing assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies. For 100 years, BDO has provided quality service through the active involvement of experienced and committed professionals. The firm serves clients through 39 offices and more than 400 independent alliance firm locations nationwide. As an independent Member Firm of BDO International Limited, BDO serves multi-national clients through a global network of 1,138 offices in 115 countries.

BDO USA, LLP,a limited liability partnership, is the U.S. member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. BDO is the brand name for the BDO network and for each of the BDO Member Firms. For more information please visit: www.bdo.com.

Allegedly, a Few Ernst & Young Partners Just So Happened to Join PwC

Never having the pleasure of attending a partner-only soiree, we don’t have much knowledge about the haps at these events but we do imagine catering slightly better than what you would find at an in-house training but served by oompa loompas. And an open bar, natch.

Likewise, we’ve never heard about Big 4 partner mixers where, for example, an PwC partner might chat up a E&Y partner talking IFRS, where they fall on the staff’s hottie list and “oh by the way, waddaya say you join our firm?” To save face, we imagine said E&Yer responding with a “No, I will not make out with you” retort followed by open-faced slaps and ripped Jos. A. Bank until the beefy security pulled the two apart (at which point the P. Dubs partner gives his target the “call me” sign).


We bring all this up because the Times Online reports that there has been a fair amount of defection from Ernst & Young to PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Middle East (no sissies allowed). PwC’s Middle East practice was purchased by the UK firm last year and now the Times reports that 20 E&Y partners have been poached by P. Dubs:

According to people familiar with the situation, the defections — amounting to almost a fifth of Ernst & Young’s partners in the Middle East — were in several locations across the region. Most were from Ernst & Young’s consulting business, The moves began last summer but were kept secret because of a settlement between the two firms. PwC agreed that it would not approach any more Ernst & Young staff in return for Ernst & Young agreeing not to take legal action to block the departures.

Neither firm would comment for the Times article except to boast about their numbers in the region, “PwC confirmed that it had recruited 25 new partners and 400 staff in its Middle East offices in the past 12 months,” and “A spokesman for Ernst & Young said that it remained ‘easily the largest’ of the Big Four in the Middle East,” so both firms’ communication departments seem to be operating as normal.

Whether such (alleged) deliberate defections have happened in the States, we don’t know but we hear it is quite the spectacle (marched out by the OMP the second the news got dropped) when one partner notifies his/her intent to leave for a competitor, so all out war could reasonably be expected.

PwC raids rival before Middle East step [Times Online]