E&Y will poach to fill consultancy gap

The consulting industry faces ‘cannibalism’ as it struggles to find the next
generation of capable staff,
& Young
‘s head of advisory Steve Varley has warned.

Laying out an aggressive expansion plan to bring
‘s 400-staffed advisory business up to 1,000 by 2010, Varley said that
the firm would recruit the best staff from existing players, such as the other
Big Four firms, large scale IT services businesses and experts in industry. It
will also introduce a rigorous training regime for graduates and trainees.

The sale of accounting firms’ consulting arms and consolidation were the main
factors in the lack of fresh blood. ‘There’s an imbalance between supply and
demand,’ said Varley. ‘E&Y is looking to get great at building new

Varley’s comments may worry other big players in the market, which have
already seen aggressive poaching from the Big Four.

Consulting has an increased focus for the Big Four firms, which have moved
back into the advisory space following the end of non-compete agreements struck
with the IT services giants after the sell-off of Big Four consulting arms.

E&Y’s ambitious plans follow similar goals at KPMG Europe. Aidan Brennan,
head of performance consulting at KPMG Europe, said that, over the next three
years, the firm was looking to grow headcount from 1,000 to 1,800, and double
revenues to more than £400m.

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