Merger campaign has cost ICAEW £1.42m

Following calls for more transparency about the true cost of a super
institute, the ICAEW has revealed that it has spent £1.42m over 18 months in the
build up to possible consolidation ­- including more than £400,000 on a single
special members meeting.

An ICAEW spokeswoman said the institute had sought to run a ‘cost-effective
campaign’, while ensuring that the proposals put to its members had the
‘necessary legal and financial underpinning’.

‘Failure to have done so would have been complacent. In the context of a
transaction involving an organisation of our size, the costs are proportionate’,
she said.

She denied money had been spent on an external marketing consultancy to find
a suitable name if the merger went ahead, but revealed that the ICAEW had spent
£560,000 on consulting, receiving feedback and ‘rolling out the strategy to
members’, £410,000 on ‘calling a special members’ meeting and the associated
campaign to encourage as many members as possible to vote’ and £450,000 on ‘due
diligence and other costs’.

A full breakdown of the £1.42m will be published in its annual report.

Bruce Lawson, from lobby group Members Against Consolidation, said it was
‘doubtful’ whether the £1.42m included the management time spent on ‘this
unnecessary face-saving exercise’ and added the true campaign cost would
‘probably exceed £2m’.

A CIPFA spokeswoman refused to comment on its breakdown of costs as the
campaign was ‘ongoing’.

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