A visit to PricewaterhouseCoopers' US homepage reveals big plans for the firm formerly known as Diamond Management & Tech Consultants, which the Big 4 giant acquired late last year. Front and center is a banner reading "PwC + Diamond: Delivering your next competitive advantage", beside a link to November's press release announcing the merger. Diamond, which brought 500 employees and impressive momentum (not to mention revenue) to PwC, appears to be retaining some autonomy within its new parent's umbrella (Adam Gutstein will continue to helm the Diamond team). It makes sense; the Diamond acquisition plugs a considerable gap (IT consulting and support) in PwC's advisory portfolio, and Diamond's name and network far outshines PwC's among IT industry insiders.
The move underscores PwC's commitment to growing its advisory division. Similarly to its Big 4 counterparts, PwC's advisory division is seen as a major revenue generator of the (very) near future, particularly in light of high demand for turnaround/rebuilding advice as the global economy recovers from crisis. Case in point: while tax and assurance, historically the firm's two main cash cows, have struggled of late (tax revenues have declined steadily since 2008, while assurance has leveled off), advisory had its biggest year in 2010, bringing in roughly $6.2 billion that year. With continued investment, advisory should overtake tax services as PwC's second-largest revenue generator in a few years.
The Diamond acquisition clearly shows PwC's willingness to go down that path—they'll have to in order to keep up with the rest of the Big 4. Now, let's kick back and see if PwC can match Deloitte and KPMG stride for stride and announce its own plans to hire hundreds of thousands of new employees.
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