Most FDs say merger collapse has not tarnished reputations

Ernst & Young and KPMG have survived their merger collapse with reputations intact, according to the majority of finance directors surveyed for The Big Question.

Only 26% of the 200 FDs polled by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel said the two firms had tarnished their image by abandoning the merger.

Rakesh Gulati, FD of vehicle rental company Churchfields, was among those who thought it had been a damaging experience for the firms.

‘They were only in it to be a spoiler for the Price Waterhouse/Coopers & Lybrand merger, which in itself is flawed,’ he said. Ian McBain, a financial accountant at GE Capital IT Solutions, agreed: ‘It shows an inability to plan ahead successfully,’ he said.

But 51% of FDs said the firms’ images had not been tarnished. ‘Long-term, this will be seen as the right decision,’ said Manoj Bhardwaj, FD of Chamberlain Hotels.

David Rawson, FD of Sunbeam Europe, said: ‘Most FDs were concerned by the planned mergers, and it is a tribute to their judgement that this merger isn’t proceeding. Overall, the announcement is strongly welcomed.’

A sizeable 23% of the FDs surveyed remained neutral on the issue.

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