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Grant Thornton’s Supply Chain Advisory Practice acquired by KPMG


The acquisition strengthens KPMG’s existing restructuring services practice in the automotive, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and defense and other manufacturing industries by expanding current capabilities in financial and operational restructuring, supply chain advisory, supplier services, technology and performance improvement. The transaction also includes Grant Thornton LLP’s Vontik software system.

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
July 20, 2010

In a move geared to expand its restructuring capabilities, U.S. tax, audit, and advisory firm KPMG LLP said it has acquired the Supply Chain Advisory Practice of Grant Thornton LLP.

KPMG officials said bringing Grant Thornton’s supply chain practice into the fold strengthens KPMG’s existing restructuring services practice in the automotive, pharmaceuticals, aerospace and defense and other manufacturing industries by expanding current capabilities in financial and operational restructuring, supply chain advisory, supplier services, technology and performance improvement.

Financial terms of the transaction, which closed on July 16, were not disclosed. KPMG said that 23 Grant Thornton employees will join KPMG, adding that KPMG will also take over existing Grant Thornton projects at select Fortune 500 companies.

As part of its restructuring services practice, which has been built out over the last 18 months, KPMG has been looking for some core operational restructuring capabilities to supplement its work in the manufacturing sector, said Drew Koecher, partner and head of Restructuring for KPMG in the U.S.

“We needed something with some global heft and reach, something that was already [credible] in the market, and something that had a proprietary bend to it that was going to distinguish the firm in a new capability going forward,” said Koecher. “The acquisition achieved all of those things based on the objectives we set out.”

Koecher did not rule out future acquisitions to augment KPMG’s restructuring services practice in the future as it continues to grow its business, as the current supply chain restructuring market is a very fluid environment, with a lot of talent and assets and businesses changing hands and moving around.

And Kimberly Rodriguez, a partner in KPMG’s Advisory Services and former lead partner for Grant Thornton’s Supply Chain Advisory Services practice, said one of the appealing parts of joining KPMG for Grant Thornton was its combining of financial and operational strengths to improve performance in manufacturing companies.

“People really believe KPMG has an appreciation for financially-focused breadth, as well as the operational sides of businesses,” she added. “Grant Thornton’s deep automotive and supply chain operational capabilities fit in nicely with what KPMG already had, and it allows us to take what arguably in automotive supply chain is some of the best supply chain capabilities and resources and apply them across different industries…like hospitals, heavy equipment, construction, aviation. It is really about taking supply chain—and the financial and operational side of the business—in a variety of industries and improving performance.”

In terms of how this deal will help KPMG better serve shippers, Koecher explained that a big piece of the puzzle with this deal was to provide shippers with a plant-level, shop-floor capability on the operational restructuring size and build up its supply chain capabilities for the performance and technology sides of its business. This, he said, builds a key part of KPMG’s restructuring business that it was looking to grow. What’s more, he pointed out that KPMG has a great deal of sector-specific expertise in its restructuring and broad advisory business for energy, healthcare, broad-based manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and defense.

“[This deal] is an opportunity to take those operational restructuring skills in various sectors and enhance our product offering on an integrated basis,” he said. “This was a key part of the equation to continue working with Fortune 500 clients and is something Grant Thornton brings to the table.

Also included in this transaction is Grant Thornton’s Vontik Software system, a supply chain monitoring/ management tool used by several Fortune 500 companies, and in which KPMG is going to invest to provide further global capability.


About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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