EY carve-up decision delayed as partners mull plans
The planned break-up of ‘Big Four’ firm EY has been pushed back to the end of the year as regional bosses mull the practicalities of proposals to carve up its consultancy and audit practices, according to reports.
Regional heads of the professional services giant are yet to formally approve the decision and a strategic review of the proposal has yet to conclude, according to sources cited by the Sunday Times.
The decision had reportedly initially been slated for last month but is now expected by the end of this month at the earliest. Any plans will also need the approval of the firm’s partners, which could extend the process until November or December.
The professional services giant is set to shake the industry as it becomes the first of the ‘Big Four’ to break off its consultancy and audit practices, after major criticism over conflicts of interest over a series of high profile audit failures.
EY’s rivals PwC, Deloitte and KPMG yet to commit to similar plans, but there is speculation that the move could prompt a wider shake up in the sector.
The move will see EY’s audit practice floated on the stock market in a move that could pocket the firm’s 13,000 partners multimillion-pound payouts.
EY’s global boss Carmine Di Sibio said last month the move could potentially win its consulting division up to $10bn in extra fees from global tech giants.
Such contracts have been out of reach due to conflict of interest concerns over the fact that it audits the majority of major US tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Oracle.
EY was contacted for comment.