Addressing Andersen partners in London last week, at a near two-hour question and answer session – the first time Connolly has addressed Andersen partners – he spelt out the aims of the firm.
The two firms are expected to be officially merged by 1 July, subject to regulatory approval, and Connolly, in an attempt to alleviate fears of Andersen partners, outlined his intentions.
According to witnesses at the session, he said Deloitte partners, in instances where they earned less than their peers at Andersen, would be offered performance-related bonus schemes to counterbalance any shortfall.
But a spokeswoman for Deloitte said: ‘We believe Deloitte partners earn more than Andersen partners.’ But they refused to comment further on what they described as a ‘private meeting’.
Meanwhile, Connolly added at the meeting that he was committed to selling off Deloitte Consulting, but he would be looking to grow its internal consultancy arm, Management Solutions.
Deloitte reluctantly announced in February it was going to spin off Deloitte Consulting from the firm’s audit operation.
It is understood the firm is considering a number of options including a separate private partnership, selling the business or a flotation on the Stock Exchange.
PricewaterhouseCoopers took more than a year to decide to float its consultancy after failing to sell it to Hewlett-Packard in November of 2000.
Connolly admitted to Accountancy Age earlier this year that Deloitte’s decision was a reaction to events in the US following the Enron disaster, and to business concerns of awarding non-audit contracts to audit clients.
‘Our conclusion was that we were putting at risk a lot of business in our consultancy and this was the right action,’ he added.
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