News round-up: Huron, KPMG, CSC

by Vault Consulting Editors | February 22, 2011

  • My Vault

We, like many in the working world, are coming off a delightful three day weekend which saw a brief gap in the steady stream of consulting news that readers of Consult THIS have become accustomed to. For those hoping to once more bask in the glory that is the news round-up, I bring good tidings: welcome back! With any luck, this week's round-ups will feature enough stunning revelations, cutting-edge insights and rambling, pointless openings to bring our readers to the very brink of Enlightenment.

First up this week we hear from Huron Consulting Group, which published less-than-stellar financial results for fiscal year 2010 this morning. Fallout from the poor showing was swift; by the early afternoon, the firm had announced that David Shade, president and COO, had resigned. Effective March 31, 2011, Shade will be succeeded James Roth (current CEO) in the role of president and James Rojas (current CFO) in the role of COO. While a press release called the shake-up "a natural progression" for a firm that has recently "emerged from the global economic downturn," neither assertion appears to be accurate. Instead, Shade's resignation seems the direct result of results from Q4 2010, which show a net loss of $4.9 million. On the year as a whole, Huron's performance improved significantly from 2009; the company made $8.5 million in 2010 compared to a loss of nearly $33 million in 2009. Of course, this resurgence wasn't enough to save Shade and others. Despite the favorable income growth from 2009, revenue actually declined this year by roughly $6.5 million; 2010 also saw the firm shutter its strategy, utilities, investigations, and Japan consulting units, as millions of dollars in legal expenses (for undisclosed litigation suits) capped off a tumultuous year at Huron. Revenue continued to stagnate in Q4, and that was that for Shade. The now ex-president and COO will continue to serve the company as a consultant through this summer.

KPMG made another stride in its race to keep pace with its rivals in the Big Four today when it announced that it had acquired EquaTerra, a "business advisory" firm that "helps clients achieve sustainable value in their IT and business processes." I can't be sure if it's a direct translation from that description, but what EquaTerra does best is outsourcing (the firm says: "No. 2 on the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ recent 2010 list of the World’s Best Outsourcing Advisers"). As an outsourcing specialist, the firm boasts clients worldwide, which fits the bill for a KPMG pick-up. KPMG chairman Timothy Flynn agreed. "EquaTerra is an ideal fit for KPMG and we look forward to welcoming the EquaTerra team to the KPMG network family," he said. "Through this acquisition, clients of KPMG member firms will benefit from the addition of a market-leading sourcing adviser to help them transform their organizations into more flexible enterprises in a way that meets today’s complex market demands."

Lastly, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) announced today that it had acquired the UK Government Consulting unit at Symantec. The former Symantec employees, transferred to CSC immediately, will work in CSC's cybersecurity department. CSC said the move will significantly bolster its cybersecurity practice across the world, not just in the UK. Similar international consulting firms have made similar moves recently, as demand for cybersecurity services continues to surge (WikiLeaks, anyone?). After this development, CSC claims to have more than 2,000 consultants working exclusively on issue.

For more information:
Huron Consulting Group Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results
Huron Consulting Group Announces Executive Team Appointments
KPMG Acquires EquaTerra (PDF)
CSC Strengthens UK Cybersecurity Enterprise

Filed Under: Consulting

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