Deloitte has formed regional clusters of member firms but is
unlikely to adopt a large-scale Ernst & Young-style
integration, according to the network’s global chief executive.

Jim Quigley said Deloitte’s regionalisation approach has been
underway for a number of years, including in Latin America where it
has a 13-member group called Latco.

The Big Four firm also has clusters in the Middle East, Central
Europe, Southeast Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Quigley stressed the importance of ensuring integrated member firms
had a similar cultural approach.

“We believe the ties that really bind an organisation together
and enable cross-border behaviour are those that are defined by
culture and strategy. But at the same time we remain open-minded to
look at any other [organisational] options that we think might help
enable [growth],” he said.

When asked whether merging firms across vastly different
cultures and economies could cause operational problems, he
responded: “That’s one of the reasons why you move at a measured
pace that the network wants to move, you don’t simply rush into
it.

“[Our member firms] have a common vision. We’ve got a common set
of values, we practice under a single brand and we also deal with a
regulatory and litigation environment that is very different border
by border – the organisation structure that we are working under
today recognises those things.”

About 3,300 Ernst & Young (E&Y) partners across Europe,
the Middle East, India and Africa approved the proposed integration
of E&Y separate country practices into a single business unit
earlier this month.

The new unit will be an $11 billion organisation with more than
60,000 people and led by a single executive team. It will be
effective from 1 July 2008.

E&Y chairman and chief executive Jim Turley added: “This
announcement, together with the recent integration of our Far East
practices, and that of our Americas practices in 2006,
differentiates us in the marketplace as the most globally
integrated professional services firm.”