Profiting from reshuffles and regulation

Elizabeth Fournier

squo;s been a busy year for PwC’s reshuffled executive board.

As well as moving to its new, ultra-sustainable offices at More London, the firm has succeeded in wrestling the Aviva audit mandate from rival Ernst & Young after 10 years, and bulked up its advisory services with the acquisition of technology and management consultants Diamond Consulting.

But one area where activity has been less frenetic is in the firm’s public sector segment, where revenues fell to £230m from last year’s £279m.

Luckily for PwC, the curb on public sector spending has been more than offset by a 14 per cent increase in revenue from its financial services clients – a sector that was responsible for £949m in turnover in the latest figures, up from £803m the previous year.

No other sector, from technology and entertainment to the firm’s consumer products division, saw anything like the same boost.

Managing partner Richard Collier-Keywood puts the rise down to a combination of compliance advice due to an influx of new financial regulation, and an increase in restructuring mandates – bad news for banks, but with a £146m silver lining for PwC’s financial advisory teams.

With this morning’s Independent Commission on Banking report promising yet more regulatory intervention for the financial sector to get its head around, this is one revenue stream that is unlikely to dry up anytime soon.