EY global partners to discuss split timeline as rivals see opportunity

The firm’s Australian division declined to comment on its timeline for any proposal and the details of the scheduled senior partner meeting.

The view of leaders at one rival big four consulting firm is that the current uncertainty around EY will be distracting to partners and those close to partnership. In this view, rivals will have an opportunity to win EY clients away from the firm and should look to recruit senior EY staff members.

This echoes the views of an executive search veteran who has previously told The Australian Financial Review that the financial attraction of becoming a partner would be diluted if EY’s consulting operation had outside ownership.

That veteran, who asked not to be named because he did not want to upset EY’s partnership, said EY’s current partners had a “vested interest” in promoting the split because they would be in line for a massive payment.

EY’s partners intend to offset this concern by telling senior staff there will be more opportunities for them to become partners if the firm proceeds with spinning off its consulting arm because the separate businesses will be able to grow faster than in the current combined form.

However, an EY staff member said that they wanted to know if current staff members would receive any financial incentive if the transaction went forward beyond more opportunity.

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