Kieran Poynter, UK senior partner at PwC said: ‘We had too many partners in certain areas. A number will therefore be leaving us.’
He added: ‘We operate in a dynamic and fast changing environmentwhich means we have to be constantly re-inventing ourselves to meet the developing needs of our clients and the career aspirations of our people.’
A spokesman for the Big Five firm said the partners who are losing their positions, thought to number around 100, had already been told and were being offered free career counselling. But he declined to comment on the compensation packages on offer.
He added that the cuts were taking place across PwC’s business units and across the country, and that there was no specific focus on any particular business area or region.
‘We had reached the point where we had too many partners in certain areas. That’s all there is to it,’ he said. As yet, none of PwC’s other national firms has announced a partnership cull.
A report in last week’s Sunday Times suggested the shake-up could cost the firm as much as Pounds 80m in compensation.
Price Waterhouse has been losing partners to its rivals since its merger with Coopers & Lybrand in 1998. At least one other Big Five firm claimed its profit levels were proving attractive to disgruntled PwC partners.
The announcement followed the failure in November of the firm to sell its consulting wing to IT company Hewlett-Packard for an estimated £12bn. PwC, however, said that the decision had nothing to do with the HP deal – which could have netted partners handsome windfalls.
PwC also revealed global revenues of $21.5bn (Pounds 14.6bn) for the fiscal year-ended June 30, 2000, a 15% increase over the previous year’s turnover of $18.7 billion (Pounds 12.7bn).
PricewaterhouseCoopers CEO James J. Schiro said: ‘Our strong financial performance reflects the focus and effectiveness of our people in building a culture of client service and product innovation. This was especially gratifyingcoming during a year in which we laid the groundwork for our impending restructuring and played a leadership role in forging consensus on a new US regulatory framework for our profession.’
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