Firms in the News: March 13

KPMG Top Executive Reflects on Difficult Choices in Richmond Talk

The insider trading case that rocked New York-based KPMG (FY12 net revenue of $5.8 billion) last year was both painful and “a teaching moment for our firm,” according to John Veihmeyer, global chairman.

Veihmeyer made the comment during a March 4 talk with business students at the University of Richmond. During the executive speaker program, which was covered by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he outlined the firm’s reaction to the scandal in response to a question about making difficult choices with no clear, positive outcome.

“It is a painful episode for me to recollect on the one hand, but on the other hand, it was really a moment of great pride for the firm, in the way the firm reacted and the way our clients responded,” the newspaper reported.

Scott London, who was a partner at KPMG, was fired and pled guilty to insider trading after giving confidential information about KPMG clients for stock-trading purposes to a friend.

Veigmeyer told the firm’s leadership team not to circle the wagons, but to put out a public announcement about the investigation. KPMG also withdrew as the accounting firm for the two companies, Hebalife Ltd. And Skechers USA Inc., that had been compromised.

“What you are really deciding is the best of the alternatives that are out there, and not necessarily a great outcome,” says Veihmeyer.  “You have got to get comfortable making decisions that may just be the best bad option that you have available to you at the moment.”



 The Bonadio Group Will Combine Offices

Pittsford, N.Y.-based The Bonadio Group (FY13 net revenue of $54.2 million), an IPA 100 firm, this week signed a lease with Uniland Development Co. to expand its space in Amherst, N.Y.

The Bonadio Group merged with Gaines Kriner Elliott (GKE) on Nov. 1. The merger included GKE offices in Amherst, Batavia and East Aurora, N.Y. and two subsidiary companies—Gemko Information Group and Athena SWC.

“After evaluating our options, we concluded that expanding at Corporate Parkway is the right move for our newly combined Buffalo staff,” says Thomas Bonadio, CEO and MP. “By expanding to the entire floor, we can create the best atmosphere for visitors and excellent work conditions for our people. After merging in November, I can tell you that they are very much looking forward to realizing the benefits of working together in one place.”