Frances Ball 2 Sep 2019 12:22pm

Female partners who quit KPMG over bullying launch firm

Maggie Brereton and Ina Kjaer, both former senior partners at KPMG, quit the firm over the way it dealt with complaints of bullying by deal advisory boss Sanjay Thakkar

Brereton and Kjaer, regarded as among the firm’s most talented partners, left the firm in February. Now post-gardening leave, they have launched a rival consulting business together that promises to depart from the “macho” working culture of the industry.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the two women outlined the ways that Eos Deal Advisory would be run as a diverse business, with a working practice that will not “waste talent” by relying on intense overtime hours which often exclude women and minorities.

The company will move away from “a very old-school way of selling deals”, Brereton told the FT. “We don’t want to be a new KPMG, a mini-me.”

“The business will allow minorities and women who walked out of the market to feel like they want to work in it”, Kjaer said. “Many feel like they cannot participate in this market. We will bring proper diversity into this market.”

They have also set a target of a zero gender pay gap from the start of their business.

In another distinction that will set the company apart from rival firms, their pre-deal and post-deal specialists will work closely together on the advice that they will offer clients.

The two women are undaunted in the face of potential political and economic chaos. “Brexit will get you more deals,” Brereton explained.

Eos Deal Advisory, named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, plans to hire 15 people in the UK by the beginning of October.