30 Oct 2013 02:20pm

PwC to merge with US rival

PwC has signed a conditional merger agreement with US rival Booz & Company

The merger with the management consultant is subject to approval by Booz & Co’s 300 partners, who will vote in December.

Cesare Mainardi, chief executive of Booz & Co, said a combined organisation would “help reinvent management consulting for the next century”.

The move would bolster PwC’s advisory, assurance and tax arms, and significantly build its strategic advisory experience.

Dennis Nally, chairman of PwC International, said, “We believe this proposed combination of Booz & Company with our existing assurance, advisory and tax capabilities would create a stand-out professional services organisation that delivers first class quality services to a broad range of stakeholders. In particular, it would give CEOs the opportunity to work with a global consulting team that could provide services from strategy development right through to execution.

“One of the real strengths of PwC is the scope and quality of our services, giving us the ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders to build trust and solve important problems. Today’s proposed merger would only add to that strength.”

Booz & Co has a total workforce of 3,000. In 2008 it separated from Booz Allen Hamilton, the consulting firm best known for its work with U.S. government agencies. The two firms are no longer related.

Commenting on the merger, Dave Way, managing director of specialist accountancy and finance recruiter Marks Sattin said, “The accountancy sector is in a real purple patch – PwC is confident enough to acquire Booz to beef up its advisory work, corporate finance is booming due to strong M&A activity and the big four firms are hiring strongly. Indeed, our projections show 11,474 new jobs are set to be created in the next year in the profession as a whole.

“This has positive signs for the wider economy. A support service such as accountancy showing such confidence means their paymasters are performing well and are confident of the economic outlook. Accountancy has remained fairly ‘recession proof’ but now the economy appears to be on the march again, the modus operandi is moving from consolidation to growth.”

It’s been an active year for at both ends of the market. Earlier this year, Deloitte bought Monitor, the strategy house co-founded by Harvard management expert Michael Porter, out of bankruptcy.

In the UK, mid-tier firm Grant Thornton bought the financial services arm of consultancy Navigant, rivals BDO and PKF merged, and Baker Tilly bought RSM Tenon out of administration. Changes brought about by the Retail Distribution Review has seen a number of IFA arms snapped up by other financial advisors.

Helen Roxburgh




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