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Chris Hughes

Ernst & Young IPO Will Create a Lot of Sour Grapes

The firm’s possible sale of its consulting business will make partners very wealthy. What about former partners?

Big Four Accounting Firms Come Under Government Scrutiny
Photographer: Jack Taylor/Getty Images Europe

When partnerships decide to sell their firms into the public markets through an initial public offering, it’s always about the money — even if it isn’t only about the money.

Big Four auditor Ernst & Young LLP’s potential IPO of its consulting activities could trigger stock windfalls of as much as $8 million each for the consulting partners, according to the Financial Times. Even the partners in the audit firm left behind could get payouts too — averaging about $2 million each, the Wall Street Journal reported.