KPMG: E&Y faces hurdles when merging 87 units

& Young
faces many difficulties when embarking on its plan to merge all
its European partnerships at the same time, according to the co-head of
KPMG Europe, the only
accountancy firm to have integrated firms.

KPMG merged its UK, German and Swiss practices last year but was outdone last
month when E&Y unveiled plans to unite all its 45 European firms in one big
move and incorporate another 42 partnerships in Africa, the Middle East and
India under the same 87-firm single management umbrella.

John Griffith-Jones, KPMG Europe co-head, admitted in an interview with the
Financial Times that KPMG’s own three-way efforts had been more
difficult than expected because each firm had its own culture and practices.

‘But the advantages of having only three is you can have a discussion about
which way to do things and you can work your way through it,’ he said. ‘If you
had had 15 or 25,or 45 or 87, you would have the danger that you would never get
anything agreed and you would either go for the compromise of saying everyone
continue to do exactly what they were, or else you would just be swamped by
somebody being unhappy about every single thing you do.’

Further reading:

Have you heard the one about the merger?

E&Y in global merger move

the Financial Times story

Related reading