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KPMG on talent hunt as advisory battle looms

Source | The Economic Times : By Vinod Mahanta, Sachin Dave 

MUMBAI: After losing more than 350 professionals to Deloitte in the past few months, professional services firm KPMG is rebuilding its advisory practice, using both organic and inorganic routes, as the battle for advisory business gets fiercer between the Big Four firms.

KPMG, which currently has 250 partners and directors in its advisory practice, plans to hire 15-20 partners and scores of executives across levels in the next 12-18 months to strengthen its practice.

Each of the Big Four firms slices its advisory business differently; at KPMG, management consulting, risk consulting, and transactions business are banded together in the advisory business, and all the practices notch up more than half of the firm’s revenues. “We want to achieve 20% growth in business consistently, and will choose our sectors and businesses carefully so that we are the best in these. We will focus on chasing quality of revenue, not just volume,” said Vikram Hosangady, the newly minted head of advisory, KPMG.

The firm is relying on hiring aggressively, upskilling current teams, and using technology extensively in a bid to scale up its advisory service lines. While focusing on delivery in current clients, the firm now aims to gun for white spaces in financial services, consumer, industrial, infrastructure, and government businesses.

When asked whether the sudden exodus of more than 60 partners and directors and hundreds of executives shakes up client confidence and hits business, Hosangady said, “with over 6,000 people and a global platform like KPMG, we are a very resilient organisation. Clients always prefer organisations, not individuals. In sectors where we lost people, other talented people stepped in and the global firm helped us in global accounts. We didn’t end up losing clients.”

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