The first two years of the new millenium will be known as the time of spin-offs and divestitures of consulting arms from the CPA firms with which they have previously been associated. The Big Five and several top tier national firms have reacted to the SEC crackdown on auditor independence, and have taken aggressive moves to separate their consulting divisions.
To help keep you up-to-date on the latest changes, here is a summary of the consulting changes in the Big Five Firms:
July 19, 2001 - Ready, Set, IPO
Accenture makes its debut on Wall Street. So far the Street is unimpressed.
July 2, 2001 - Deloitte Won't Split
June 4, 2001 - PwC, H-P Try Dating Instead of Marriage
They couldn't pull off a marriage before, but these two giants are working arm-in-arm - just to see how well they can do it.
April 30, 2001 - More Merger Talk Among the Big Five
Andersen CEO Joseph Berardino kicks up a storm by suggesting that the firm plans to consider the option of a merger later in the year, although they are "fine" as they are now.
April 10, 2001 - Deloitte Reportedly Selling Consultancy Business
Strong rumors surface that Deloitte is considering splitting off its consulting practice. No definitive answers from the firm.
March 15, 2001 - PwC Says No Go To IPO . . . For Now
PwC starts responding to rumors that they are next in line for an IPO. The answer is absolutely not . . . for now at least.
February 26, 2001 - Accenture May Hop on the IPO Bandwagon
Buoyed by KPMG's successful offering, Accenture eyes plans to follow suit.
February 23, 2001 - PWC Sets July 1 Date for Separation
PricewaterhouseCoopers sees the writing on the wall and is set to separate consulting as of July 1, 2001.
February 8, 2001 - KPMG Consulting Enters Uncertain Market
KPMG Consulting breaks the barrier as the first firm of its type to go public.
Nov 14, 2000 - HP Drops Bid for PwC Consulting
In a surprise announcement, technology giant Hewlett-Packard stated it has withdrawn its bid to purchase the consultancy arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Nov 10, 2000 - KPMG to Delay Consultancy IPO
The initial public offering of KPMG's consultancy business, which was covered extensively in the press earlier this year, has been delayed until probably early 2001 according to sources close to the firm.
Oct 27, 2000 - Andersen Consulting to Become Accenture in New Year
Effective January 1, 2001, Andersen Consulting will go by the new name of Accenture, the firm announced on Thursday. The change in name was forced on the firm by the divorce arrangements brokered in August by the International Chambers of Commerce. As part of the settlement, Andersen Consulting's accounting parent Arthur Andersen won the right to keep the Andersen name.
Oct 25, 2000 - Grant Thornton to Sell E-Business Consulting Practice
Grant Thornton LLP, the leading U.S. accounting tax and management consulting firm serving middle-market, entrepreneurial companies, has agreed to sell its 450-person e-Business consulting practice to Hitachi Ltd. for approximately $175 million.
Oct 13, 2000 - Andersen Consulting Considers Partial IPO
Newly-divorced Andersen Consulting is considering a partial initial public offering, according to reports.
The firm's partners voted to look into the possibility of an IPO, which could see the entire company valued at $25-30 billion.
Sep 11, 2000 - HP May Acquire PricwaterhouseCoopers' Consulting Biz
The hottest accountancy news this weekend was the revelation that computer and printing equipment giant Hewlett-Packard has engaged in talks with PriceWaterhouseCoopers to buy its global management consulting business in a deal estimated to be worth $17 to $18 million.
Aug 15, 2000 - Andersen Consulting-PwC Merger Rumors Quashed
Now that Andersen Consulting is free of Arthur Andersen's grasp, the rumor mill has been grinding with a variety of predictions and fantasies. Talk of a merger between PricewaterhouseCoopers and the newly-unwed Andersen Consulting has been roundly condemned by the consultancy firm. Andersen Consulting was not in merger talks with anyone, a spokesperson confirmed, after reports that the two were holding discussions.
Aug 8, 2000 - KPMG Goes Public!
KPMG Consulting, a breakaway company from KPMG, which was formed last February, has announced an initial public offering. The company plans to offer 324 million shares of stock, which are expected to sell for between $6.75 and $8.75 per share.
Aug 7, 2000 - Andersen Consulting is Free!
Andersen Consulting got the word in its New York Offices at about 5:00 this morning – the firm is no longer tied to Arthur Andersen in any way and can compete freely for clients without having to pay any fees to Arthur Andersen.
May 10, 2000 - BDO Spins Off Consulting Division
BDO Seidman has announced that it will spin off its Business & Technology Solutions consulting practice into a separate company, named Wavebend Solutions, LLC.
Feb 29, 2000 - Cap Gemini Merges With E&Y Consulting
An $11 billion merger announced this week between French technology services company Cap Gemini and the consulting arm of Ernst & Young will create one of the world’s biggest consulting organizations. An infusion of $365 million to E&Y and issuance of 43.5 million shares will result in E&Y auditing and consulting partners owning a 36% equity stake in the combined organization. This is just the tip of the iceberg according to the experts. Expect many more partnerships of this type to be forged to take advantage of technology consulting opportunities.
Feb 3, 2000 - Formation of KPMG Consulting Positions Firm To Go Public
In a move generally interpreted as a first step towards taking its company public, KPMG announced on Monday the formation of KPMG Consulting, a separate corporate entity, which will handle the business consulting side of the business.