News round-up: February 1

by Vault Consulting Editors | February 01, 2011

  • My Vault

It's here—the moment we've all been waiting for! Yes, dear readers, February is finally upon us: yet another bleak month of snow, sludge, and sickness. Luckily, you can turn to the news round-up at Consult THIS to turn your afternoon gloom into a glorious rainbow.

First up this month: Oracle's wallet and reputation took a hit today when it agreed to pay $46 million to settle a lawsuit that involves both recent-acquisition Sun Microsystems and Accenture. The lawsuit stems from charges made by the Department of Justice that Accenture, while providing IT support and advice to Sun Microsystems, received kickbacks worth millions in exchange for that firm's willingness to peddle Sun products to government clients. Further allegations also suggest that Sun gave misleading information to government officials on the case. Oracle, having purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010, has to foot the bill (throw legal bills in there too) by default. Accenture seems to have escaped punishment, though others weren't so lucky; Hewlett-Packard and several other tech giants also implicated in the investigation have come to similar settlements with the federal government.

Next comes Towers Watson, which announced today that it had completed its acquisition of EMB. A press release described EMB as a "non-life consulting and software company" of over 300 employees, each of whom have made the transition to Towers Watson by now. Initially announced late last year, the acquisition "will result in the formation of the largest non-life actuarial consultancy in Europe and one of the largest in the world," the release asserted. The move makes sense; Towers Watson boasts insurance among its primary advisory capabilities, and EMB brings more specific expertise to its new parent. That expertise includes a comprehensive line of proprietary software (EMB Igloo, EMB Emblem and EMB ResQ) licensed by users across the world. Rory O'Brien, former managing director for EMB, will head Towers Watson's Insurance Management Consulting unit. "Our clients will find the same advantages," he said, "plus the broader and deeper resources of a global consulting firm as well as access to risk transfer and other solutions."

And last, some news that highlights the oft-blurry line between law and consulting. FTI Consulting, the subject of a flurry of recent news, announced today that it had poached a top partner from BigLaw powerhouse Latham & Watkins. The hiring of John Huber, a 24-year Latham veteran and former director of the SEC's Corporate Finance division, marks a high-profile win for British strategists FTI. At the firm, Huber "will focus on expert witness work, forensic accounting advisory and restatement matters." And in Washington DC, former Senator Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, has signed on as a partner at Latham's BigLaw colleague McGuire Woods, where he'll work at the firm's public affairs/lobbying subsidiary McGuire Woods Consulting.

For more information:
Oracle to pay $46 million to settle kickback charges
Towers Watson Completes Acquisition of EMB
Corporate Securities Expert John Huber Joins FTI Consulting
NYT: K Street Snags Another Former Senator

Filed Under: Consulting

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