KPMG has 2nd-tier cities in its sights

By Hu Yuanyuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-09 07:59
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BEIJING - International accounting company KPMG is stepping up its efforts to tap opportunities in the country's second-tier cities while keeping a close eye on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), Carlson Tong, KPMG's China chairman told China Daily.

"We plan to set up branches in Wuhan, Chongqing and Tianjin in the near future, as more companies plan to go to inland cities," Tong said.

The company just set up its latest mainland office in Xiamen, a major coastal city in Fujian province. The new office, KPMG Advisory (China) Limited Xiamen Branch, will begin operations with about 80 professionals to provide a wide range of tax, financial and business advisory services.

"That reflects our strong commitment to this market and the new office will also contribute to our better service coverage in Southeast China, where we already have a presence in Guangzhou and Fuzhou," Tong said.

KPMG will evaluate the city's economic development, enterprises' status and the local talent pool in its expansion plans, Tong said.

KPMG will also focus on different types of businesses in different cities. In Shanghai, where there are plenty of foreign enterprises, the company's business will center on auditing, tax and advisory services. In Beijing, it mainly provides listing, corporate financing and M&A services for State-owned enterprises.

To fuel its rapid expansion and support its double-digit growth in China, KPMG plans to recruit up to 1,500 new graduates in the country next year.

"With stable growth, China is the priority in our five-year strategic development, driving us to invest huge in human resources," Tong said.

The other three leading accounting companies, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, are also expected to hire more than 1,000 new graduates next year to tap the rising Chinese economy.

Compared with its three major rivals, KPMG has been solely relying on organic growth instead of joining hands with local companies.

"But as local accounting firms have seen impressive progress in the past few years, we now also consider merger and acquisition opportunities," Tong said. "Sharing the same value is a key criteria when we are seeking cooperative partners."

KPMG also plans to increase the proportion of its advisory services in its business portfolio.

"We are expecting to see soaring revenue from our advisory services, such as M&A, outsourcing, cost minimization and business transformation," Tong said.

KPMG started operations in China in 1992. It has more than 9,000 employees and 13 offices in the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao.

China Daily