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All but one of the firms on this weeks top five tier remain untouched by the recent tide of consolidation in the industry.
Among the Big Five accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoppers LLP's consulting unit stays intact, for now. PWC, which edged to No. 1 on this year's List, has resumed scoping out prospective buyers and investors now that Hewlett-Packard has withdrawn its offer to buy its consulting business.
Accounting firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers are actively looking to sell their management consulting units in response to regulatory forces, which frown upon the potential conflict of interest when a firm's auditing and consulting services cross paths. The consulting arm of Andersen Worldwide last year broke away from its accounting partner and highlighted its secession by renaming itself Accenture (No. 2 on the List) Jan. 1 this year.
On the flipside, there has also been cases of consulting firms moving toward alliances in attempts to gain a foothold into capital markets. Deloitte Consulting (No. 4 on the List) this month joined forces with No. 3 software developer Oracle to cater to the health care sector. It makes good business sense. Deloitte provides management direction to its clients and Oracle backs up the "solutions" with the technology.
Similarly, URS Corp., a lead player in the construction industry, acquired O' Brien Kreilzberg (No. 3 under the joint operations) in 1999, to maximize the consulting firm's font of knowledge about construction, dispute resolution and risk assessment, among other industry specific issues.
Paris-based management and IT consulting firm CapGemini drove a large stake into American soil and expanded its presence in the states last May by acquiring consulting behemoth Ernst & Young LLP (No.5 on the List).
'BIG FIVE' JUST GOT BIGGER URS's acquisition of O'Brien Kreitzberg raises its consulting arm to no. 3, while Europe's IT darling, Cap Gemini, buys U.S. behemoth Ernst & …