By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
When we talked with PwC Vice Chairman and Managing Partner Mark Mendola recently about the announcement on that firm’s innovative agreement with GE to provide an integrated tax service globally, the conversation sparked on the common business need for constant change and reinvention.
“GE and PwC have been in talks for over a year now,” Mendola said. “ I think GE was, like a lot of other companies, looking at transforming themselves. As they did that, they recognized they had superior talent and wanted to keep their employee base intact while looking at a variable cost model rather than a fixed cost model.”
During conversations Mendola saw an opportunity to mesh GE’s capabilities with PwC’s industry leading tax practice. He suggested GE’s talents could act as a “creative additive” to PwC’s global network. After looking at what would be best for both work forces, they came to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
As part of the agreement, PwC is to hire over 600 of GE’s tax team from around the globe and acquire GE’s tax technologies. The move puts a new emphasis on PwC’s Tax Function of The Future while simultaneously providing global enterprise tax solutions to their clients. Mendola explains:
“It’s not a transaction, but more of a managed services arrangement where we would onboard 600 people. There’s no cash consideration. The commitment would be that we would create development opportunities for them.”
While the hope is they will continue to work on GE matters there will be opportunities to work on other projects as well.
“It’s a really fun proposition for the employee base as well,” Mendola says adding that today’s politically charged and austerity based environments will mean the need for international tax professionals will expand worldwide.
“We believe strongly as a global network that we need increased capabilities. We’re finding more and more that our talent pools need to be bilingual and mobile and they look forward to those challenges.”