E&Y defends ‘consultancy’ aspirations

Ernst & Young’s departing chairman Nick Land has defended the firm’s
moves in the consulting industry.

E&Y and KPMG have been criticised in some quarters for moves to return to
the market, which they had fled amid accusations of conflicts of interest.

E&Y set up an ‘advisory’ arm last year under Steve Varley, five years
after it sold its consulting business to Capgemini.

But Land was indignant about not returning to the market. ‘We are not
re-entering that business. We are advising on the decision-making process.
Should X build a shared service centre? We will not run that shared service
centre for X,’ he told Accountancy Age.

Asked why E&Y had waited for its non-compete agreement to run out if it
was not re-entering the same business, Land said: ‘Our non-compete, very
crudely, was whatever [Capgemini] bought from us, we could not go back into the
market for a period of time and sell.’

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