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About In House Tax

About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

In-House tax execs moving back to Big Four......

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

By Simon Godley

In my last two blog postings on people moves, I have highlighted senior tax executives (either Head of Tax or senior divisional tax manager) that have been attracted back into the profession into Big Four firms at senior levels.

Clearly the Big Four are tempted to bring into their tax service lines senior industry tax execs, I guess because they have very valuable insight (ie from the 'users' perspective) of a particular industry. Notable moves have been from financial services / insurance groups into a Big Four's FS tax practice in London. Also, the tax service line is bringing in a well known figure in that industry, someone who will have a valuable network and possible in-roads into existing and new clients.

However, I have also picked up that there are risks for the practice in opting for this type of hire. A senior Head of Tax will be looking to join the practice at Tax Partner level to offer them the financial incentive for the move. A Head of Tax of a very large corporate group could be earning a package of £200 - £350k including bonus, and so will need to join as an equity partner. This salary level is above what could be offered at Director level. This could lead to two areas of concern for the practice. Firstly, this new Tax Partner is under pressure to bring in the revenue stream proportional to their salary level, and to demonstrate that they can convert their industry contacts into fees, which I suspect is not easy. Secondly, and more of an immediate issue, is what impact this appointment may have internally to those at Director level in the practice who are trying to carve out a progression to a Partner role. In a very buoyant and growing economic backdrop, these two issues may become less significant, but in more tense and uncertain times?

For the above reasons, I think this is why the vast majority of Tax Partner appointments are home grown, but clearly sometimes the Big Four like to take more of a risk to raise their profile in a particular sector.

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posted by Simon Godley


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