PwC overtakes KPMG as Britain’s biggest auditor

Marion Dakers
BIG FOUR auditor PwC has leapfrogged its rival KPMG to become the top British auditor by client numbers, according to figures out yesterday.

PwC only added three net new listed clients in the third quarter, but with a total of 370 it was enough to overtake KPMG, which lost a net 12 clients to put its total at 368, a report by Morningstar shows.

KPMG, which last month warned of looming redundancies in its UK business, suffered a number of big and small client losses in the quarter including banking group Investec.

PwC also continued its dominance of the FTSE 100, auditing accounts for 42 of the biggest blue chips. KPMG is in second place with 24 after adding one auditing mandate, followed by Deloitte and Ernst & Young.

Together, the big four account for over 98 per cent of profits represented by the Morningstar rankings.

Grant Thornton remained the auditor of choice for firms on the junior stock market, though the firm lost a net seven Aim-listed clients in the quarter to take its mandate haul in the sector to 165.

Morningstar’s league tables for financial advisers were more stable in the quarter. For FTSE 100 clients, only JP Morgan Cazenove and Bank of America Merrill Lynch managed to pick up a single client each.

On the stockbroking side JP Morgan Cazenove kept up its winning streak, adding one FTSE 100 client and retaining its number one position.

UBS, BAML, and Morgan Stanley followed, with little change at the top of the broking business.

A growing resurgence in Aim listings helped Cenkos keep its spot as the leading nominated adviser for firms on the junior market, adding four clients to take the brokerage to 78.

Cenkos also jumped one place to take joint top spot in the Aim stockbroker tables, adding six clients to bump its total to 83, putting it into the joint top spot with finnCap.

A strong quarter for WH Ireland pushed it up two spots to third place.

Slaughter & May retains its crown as the most prolific blue chip legal adviser, with 42 clients.