KPMG Combining Firms in Americas, Europe to Form

Regions, Serve Global Clients / Moves Seen as Integral to Firm's Globalization Blueprint NEW YORK (ots-PRNewswire) - In its drive toward an integrated client service structure, KPMG, the global accounting, tax and consulting firm, announced today that it is moving to strengthen its service strategy by combining member firms in North and South America -- as well as national practices in Europe -- to create global operating regions, according to Colin M. Sharman, chairman, KPMG International. "KPMG's 19 member firms throughout Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean have unanimously agreed to combine operations with the United States firm, KPMG LLP. KPMG's national practice in Australia and New Zealand is also combining with the United States, to form the new regional KPMG 'Americas' body," Sharman said.

"In the first step toward regionalization in Europe, KPMG will combine its national practices in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and operate there as the 'EMA' (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regional practice," he added. Other KPMG practices are expected to join as well.

The KPMG "Americas" firms have combined annual revenues of more than $5 billion. In addition, the United States firm has 25,000 partners and professionals; the Latin America, Mexico and Caribbean firms have more than 5,000 partners and professionals. There are 4,300 partners and professionals at KPMG in Australia and New Zealand.

The four European national practices in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands had total revenues of $3.5 billion in 1998, representing about one-third of KPMG's global revenues.

Stephen G. Butler, chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP, who will lead the new regional KPMG "Americas" body, commented, "This is how we're going to remove national barriers to serving global clients and realize KPMG's unique vision for the future. It is a vision focused on a globally managed product line organization that serves multinational clients wherever they operate. This structure aligns us with how our global clients operate, but also allows us to recognize individual country cultural issues and national client bases. In sum, it will enable KPMG to further refine its global capabilities," Butler said.

"KPMG regions in the Americas, Europe and eventually Asia- Pacific will give the worldwide firm the ability to deliver on a consistent global basis the products and services clients need to solve their problems," said Mike Rake, KPMG senior partner in the United Kingdom. "Achieving true globalization will enable KPMG to deliver its best worldwide resources -- the high quality products our clients need to the world class product experts who implement our services regardless of their country of origin."

"Achieving our vision also means being the leader in our chosen markets," the U.S.' Butler pointed out. "We'll continue to place major emphasis on lines of business, targeting industries in which our professionals have exceptional expertise and are able to provide the most value for our clients." In the KPMG global model, market leaders will team with chief executive officers of assurance, tax, consulting and financial advisory services to apply resources, ensuring that global clients receive the service their size and dominance demands, he said.

Butler added that today's announcements are the outcome of a considered globalization strategy announced at KPMG's international partners meeting in September 1998, which also led to the creation of an international executive team last year. Driven by its global business strategy and gains in systems consulting, KPMG is continuing to pursue an Initial Public Offering for a portion of its consulting business. KPMG LLP announced last year it was evaluating opportunities to raise outside capital to further develop its consulting business in the Americas. Butler pointed out that the United States firm is working closely with KPMG International, EMA and Asia-Pacific member firms to ensure that the Americas consulting practice is fully integrated with KPMG's global consulting business. KPMG is in ongoing discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission about the intended IPO.

As a further sign of KPMG's worldwide consolidation, a global branding campaign to position KPMG as a source of understandable and "actionable" business advice was launched in 1998 in the United States, and has since been adopted on a national and pan- regional basis in Europe and Asia. The campaign tag line, "It's time for clarity," was chosen because corporate leaders worldwide are charged with bringing clarity to their shareholders and employees. The campaign promises that KPMG helps clients analyze their businesses with true clarity -- raising their level of performance, achieving growth and enhancing shareholder value as a result.

"Being global also means being capable of accessing the same information at the same time, regardless of whether you're in New York or New Delhi," Butler added, referring to KWorld, a leading- edge knowledge management system currently being deployed globally. KPMG is moving to link the entire firm in real time with a single, scalable, Internet-based knowledge-sharing network.

"This knowledge management system is transforming KPMG's embedded intellectual capital into a global strategic asset -- and it is enhancing KPMG's ability to collaborate with other organizations, irrespective of their messaging environments. A single knowledge repository allows us to access global sources of information, limit redundant information searches, and streamline the development of client deliverables anywhere," he said.

KPMG International's member firms have more than 6,700 partners and 92,000 professionals in 157 countries. KPMG's Web site is ots Original Text Service: KPMG International LLP Internet: Contact: George Ledwith of KPMG LLP, 201-505-3543

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