Firms face corporate finance work crisis

Figures, compiled by Bureau van Dijk/Zephyr exclusively for Accountancy Age, reveal that in the first six months of this year, the large accountancy firms worked on only £5.9bn of deals, with KPMG leading projects worth £2bn. This compared with nearly £15bn for the same period last year, a fall of more than 60%.

It was also revealed the number of deals where accountancy firms acted as a lead adviser had also tumbled. KPMG topped the table, working on 44 deals with a value of £2.1bn between January and June this year.

The biggest loser was Andersen, which last year topped the poll with £4.5bn, but this year only recorded £247m worth of deals as it reeled from the aftershock of Enron.

At the beginning of the year, commentators expected to see an upturn in activity by the summer – now there is little hope of increased activity until the end of the year at the earliest.

Ian Smart, managing partner for corporate finance at Grant Thornton, which advised on £192m of deals, said: ‘It is going to be a long slog.’

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