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August 30, 2009

KPMG Europe grouping helps ‘win rate’

Almost two years after KPMG Europe
was formed by the merger of the UK and German firms in October
2007, the reorganisation of KPMG practices into its Europe entity
has led to gains in areas from international audits to IT,
according to KPMG Europe joint chairman John Griffith-Jones.

The European grouping is to expand to 13
members with the new additions of KPMG CIS (Commonwealth of
Independent States – which has six countries) and KPMG Turkey.

Once they have officially joined, the combined
European firm will have 30,000 partners and staff working from more
than 100 offices with net revenues of €4.6 billion ($6.5 billion),
according to combined 2008 figures.

Griffith-Jones said those partners who are
involved in international work with significant European operations
believe it is a much better way of operating.

“Time and time again our partners are working
much more quickly together, the speed of response and the quality
of the response and the knowledge of who really knows about a
sector is infinitely higher. I believe that is definitely helping
the win-rate,” Griffith-Jones added.

Being picked for a major EC audit contract and
quickly creating a pan-European banking response unit to the credit
crunch are two practical examples Griffith-Jones gave of the
effectiveness gains of the entity.

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Earlier this year, KPMG Europe beat 10
competitors, including Deloitte, Ernst & Young and
PricewaterhouseCoopers, to be awarded a €42 million Europe-wide
contract to provide audit services under the EC’s seventh framework
programme.

KPMG Germany has been appointed as lead
contractor, with the KPMG audit team involving all 27 EU countries
and nine EU-associated countries.

Under the four-year deal, KPMG expects to
carry out around 3,000 audits.

The creation of the credit crisis banking unit
enabled KPMG Europe to talk to various national governments and
pitch for work drawing on expertise from what all its member
country governments were doing based on almost definite first-hand
knowledge, Griffith-Jones added.

“It is coming up to our second birthday now
and all of what I call the ‘hassle factor’ has disappeared. It is
business as usual, it has not transformed the organisation, but it
was never designed to. But it really has helped in the areas of the
big clients and the international work,” he said.

“The benefits just grow and grow as people get
to know each other better; it is not just a one-off benefit. These
cross-border teams, sectors expertise get stronger and stronger as
the roots go deeper and deeper into the organisation.”

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