Fri, 24 May 2013
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Stuck in the middle
There's nothing inevitable about merging. When the push required to lift PEP from £450k pa by 20-30% is considerably more than 20-30% more sweat and effort why should it? And while PEP's dropping by 5-10% pa the sense of urgency is missing. What is noticeable is that those who bet the shop on catching up with the big firms are suffering post 09. There's a massive gap between top 5 and top 50, but that doesn't mean the future for the top 150 is all about international expansion.
The issue is Not consolidation - it's buyer power. Most if not all of these medium tier firms could restore their PEP levels if they stopped wasting time and money on partner pet projects. Trying to be A&O lite is a nonsense, but there are alternatives.
If you think the profession is going the same way as Accountants etc - you're wrong - dangerously so. The real issue is much more subtle and much more destructive than some illusory search for scale for scale's sake.
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