is a gigantic accounting
and "professional services
, by some measures the largest of the Big 5
being Arthur Andersen
, Deloitte and Touche
, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young
). With offices in most countries around the
globe, KPMG provides assurance
services to companies. It also has a theoretically
independent consulting arm, KPMG Consulting
The entity known as "KPMG Peat Marwick" was formed in 1987 with the merger of
Peat Marwick International (PMI) and
Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG), and on
January 1st, 2000 the name was officially shortened to just "KPMG".
The oldest of its constituent
companies go back over three hundred years, and some still remain
in the acronym:
K is for Klynveld
Piet Klynveld founded the accounting firm Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co. in Amsterdam in 1917.
is for Peat
William Barclay Peat founded the accounting firm
William Barclay Peat & Co. in London in 1870.
is for Marwick
James Marwick founded the accounting firm Marwick, Mitchell & Co. with
Roger Mitchell in New York City in 1897.
is for Gördeler
Dr. Reinhard Gördeler was for many years chairman of Deutsche Treuhand-Gesellschaft and one of the masterminds behind the merger.
Like the others in the Big 5, KPMG jumped aboard the e-business
bandwagon in a big way, touting its know-how and innovative solutions.
Their true acumen
has been called into question though, as within
half a year KPMG have managed to pull two stunts that have gained them
a rather bad reputation in the hacker
The first flap came in April 2001, when the KPMG corporate anthem
leaked out onto the Net and turned into an Internet meme.
To their credit, KPMG did not attempt to enforce their copyright to stop
its propagation, although this may have been primarily because the
official KPMG line was that they had nothing to do with it.
But in December, KPMG started to enforce their "Web Link Policy"
(http://www.kpmg.com/disclaimer.html), which states:
KPMG is obligated to protect its reputation and trademarks and KPMG reserves the right to request removal of any link to our website.
The following web link activities are explicitly prohibited by KPMG and may present trademark and copyright infringement issues:
And while the paragraph saying so seems to have disappeared from the
KPMG's legal nastygram
s said that all
links, even those to
KPMG's homepage, require a formal "Web Link Agreement" with KPMG.
One of "hundreds" of these letters was, coincidentally, sent to
, host of the KPMG corporate anthem
The hacker community's response was obvious: everybody and their
started to link to www.kpmg.com
, which within days
shot up to the top of Blogdex
At time of writing, KPMG's response is unclear --
if they have any sense, they'll forget about the whole thing and
hope everybody follows suit. Then again, if they had any sense,
they wouldn't have gotten into this mess in the first place...
www.kpmg.com (which, incidentally, was designed by Razorfish and looks hideous unless you're using IE)