KPMG cut the ribbon on its new Chicago HQ digs on Sept. 19.
“Chicago is very important to our firm and our future,” said KPMG Chairman John Veihmeyer. “Our investment signals how confident we are in our Chicago team and in this city. I'm convinced the time is right to invest in Chicago, and our firm is committed to building our operations and being a continued part of the development and growth of the city's economy.”
The firm said it currently has 1,800 partners and professionals in Chicago and its new headquarters features a flexible mix of individual, open, and private meeting spaces combined with the latest technology on six floors and a mezzanine.
KPMG’s Chicago OMP Pat Canning said the firm expects to grow its Chicago office, including significantly expanding its workforce.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told ANR the firm will add 500 new jobs to its Chicago office over the next five years.
KPMG is very optimistic as it looks at the landscape of the next three to five years. “There are great opportunities,” said KPMG Chairman and CEO John Veihmeyer. “We are very optimistic as we look at what exists.”
Fueling that optimism are the convergence of the “great growth opportunities,” that Veihmeyer said exist across the firm’s three business lines -- audit, tax and advisory – and the tremendous changes to the business landscape.
“We clearly view all three as growth businesses,” he told ANR.
While there will be specific drivers for each service area, the macro drivers impacting all areas will be transformation, regulatory and risk management.
“Regulatory is a perfect example of the same dynamic across the three areas,” Veihmeyer said. “The increased regulatory focus, and the resulting reporting requirements, tax implications, and operational changes, requires audit, tax and advisory support.”
The firm is anticipating great growth opportunities in its advisory practice, as evidenced by its recent acquisition of EquaTerra, a global outsourcing and advisory firm. (See related in ANR's Feb. 25 issue.)
“We see the advisory business, as well as tax, as very high growth for the next three to five years,” Veihmeyer said.
The firm has a stated goal of more than $13 billion in global advisory revenue by 2015.
KPMG’s global advisory FY10 revenue was approximately $6.57 billion.
In the same way that one dynamic affects three services areas, the three service lines converge to a point of impact.
“The skills embedded in each of our practices are also key to providing a quality audit,” Veihmeyer said.
KPMG’s marketplace optimism, a view shared by its Big Four peers, begets opportunities for professionals when the “opportunity coin” is flipped over to the people side.
“In this world of tremendous opportunities the only real asset is your talent and expertise,” he told ANR.
KPMG is “significantly ramping up its hiring and will be for the next three to five years,” Veihmeyer added.
“Right now we are very aggressive in the direct acquisition of senior talent as a way to enhance our client service and create opportunities for all our professionals and partners throughout the firm,” he said.
As head of a professional services firm, it isn’t surprising KPMG’s Chairman and CEO counts among his top priorities making sure the firm is “positioned to help and service clients by creating and maintaining a culture that serves as a magnet for talent.”
Adding to the challenge is the fact the “war for talent is getting even more intense,” Veihmeyer told ANR.
In addition to ramping up hiring, Veihmeyer said the firm has additional acquisition plans beyond its recent deal for outsourcing advisory firm EquaTerra, coupled with alliances as the firm sees “opportunities to go to market.”
“I think you will see more deals like the one we did with EquaTerra, a company with global reach” Veihmeyer said. “It is rare if we have a client that doesn’t look at themselves as operating in a global marketplace. We are well-positioned to provide that ability to our clients.”
In the acquisition arena, KPMG’s leader said the strategic acquisitions the firm was interested in would expand the firm’s abilities in one of two ways, adding scale to existing to skill sets or broadening the scope of our skill sets and service offerings.
This story was published in the February 25, 2011 issue of Accounting News Report
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