Two of Ernst & Young’s top leaders—with opposing views on how to split up the firm—said Friday they are still working toward a resolution after meeting in California this week.
“Our discussions have been collaborative and are based on shared objectives and an agreed strategic rationale,” the firm’s global Chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio and US Chair and Managing Partner Julie Boland said in a joint statement. “We are continuing to work towards a transaction.”
- The pair met with other members of the firm’s global executive in Palo Alto, Calif., this week to continue hashing out aspects of the complex deal with more negotiations expected over the coming week, a source familiar with the deliberations said.
- The pair of top leaders said they are working “to make progress on key elements” necessary to restructure the $45 billion firm.
- Boland has questioned whether a greater share of the firm’s tax professionals should remain with the assurance practice after the split—a business she would eventually lead. At issue is the need to ensure the remaining audit practice has the resources to properly staff the audits of its largest multinational clients.
- EY partners across 75 of the firm’s affiliates could see a windfall in one-time payments to audit partners while consulting partners would receive equity in what would be a new publicly traded entity.
- About 13,000 partners will have the final say whether the firm moves forward with the carve out, but votes have been pushed back as leaders grapple with the thorny logistics of reassigning tax partners, divvying up assets and shoring up pension payments and other liabilities.
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