KPMG in £16m reinvention drive

The move is in response to fears that firms such as KPMG would be seen as less glamorous after splitting from their consulting partners.

Known as ‘Darwin’, the project is designed to create a firm that is ‘faster and more flexible’, and give the Big Five firm’s staff greater freedom in the way they work. The financial commitment will include time costs, but also involves expenditure on internal online systems.

Ian Barlow, KPMG’s new London senior partner, said: ‘This is part of the response to what life will be like without consulting.’

Building on previous management initiatives, Barlow admitted the individual ideas were not new, but claimed the combined package was ‘radical’.

Part of the review involved a re-assessment of the firm’s physical environment, including office layout and online systems to speed up travel and other expense authorisations.

The firm has just completed a series of roadshows in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow telling staff of the changes. KPMG floated its consultancy arm in the US last year, and it is likely the European consultancy practice will be sold to the US company.


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