News round-up: Amphibians, Deloitte, FTI Consulting

by Vault Consulting Editors | March 02, 2011

  • My Vault

Well, March is turning out to be a cracker so far isn't it? First McKinsey's former managing director takes a warning shot across the bow from the feds (lots more to come there), and now we find that Monitor Group has been receiving a cool $250k in the bank every month from one Muammar Qaddafi of Libya. Yep, that's the one. To find out more about this week's news blockbusters, you had better click here and here. For today's more modest consulting news, well, you're already there.

Modest, you say? One species of amphibian, long-hidden in the heart of Africa, would beg to differ. A few years ago, a research team working in a remote region of Tanzania known as the "Galapagos of Africa" discovered a new species of frog. It's name? Nectophyrnoides deloittei. Sound familiar? That's because it was recently named after Deloitte, a major contributor (you know, to the tune of £200,000) to the projects efforts to document and preserve the Rubeho Forest wilderness. Heather Hancock, Deloitte partner, explained the firm's involvement. "This project was a pioneering move by Deloitte. We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to the rainforest, to biodiversity and to the development needs of local people," she said. "It is a rare honor that ARC (African Rainforest Conservancy) have chosen to name a newly discovered species from the Ruhebo region for our firm, and one we will cherish." Uh yeah, that's a no-brainer. The very day that an exotic species of amphibian is named Frogus reynolds I will lay down my sword and quarrel no more.

Deloitte also made headlines in Australia today (tomorrow, actually) after it moved to acquire Access Economics, a small strategy outfit based in Canberra. While Access is small (only about 60 economists/consultants will make the move to Deloitte), it is reasonably famous on the island continent; the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the firm became nationally known as the "Treasury-in-exile" for the policy work it did on behalf of the federal government and all of Australia's main political parties. The Aussie consultants said that they had rebuffed several past takeover attempts, wooed only by Deloitte's commitment to world communities and volunteerism. "Without sounding too highfalutin' about it, we have always regarded ourselves as doing something more than just commercial," said Chris Richardson, Access's director, in an extremely Australian way. Access Economics will retain its name (albeit with a giant 'Deloitte' tacked onto the front of it) and leadership.

In other news of the small but well-known, the Wall Street Journal reports today that sleepy Jefferson County in Alabama is on the verge of hiring FTI Consulting to lead its turnaround effort. The county, home to the state's largest city in Birmingham, is faced with a gargantuan $3.2 billion in debt that it has no chance of repaying in full; FTI, then, will be charged with avoiding what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history as its primary concern. The Journal reports that FTI won the contract outright despite competition from Alvarez & Marsal, PwC, Huron Consulting Group and others.

For more information:
Leap year for Deloitte
SMH: Access Economics moves up in scale
WSJ: Debt-Laden Jefferson County Near Hiring FTI Consulting

Filed Under: Consulting

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