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KPMG’s Towers Watson HRSD Acquisition Strengthens Global HR Transformation Capabilities

KPMG recently announced its intention to acquire Towers Watson's Human Resources Service Delivery (HRSD) practice to strengthen its global HR transformation capabilities, including Workday implementations. The acquisition is expected to close by end of Q3 2015.

This is a wise move, given the high growth rate of Workday. Although Workday does not break out its financial results between HR and finance, total company FY 2015 revenues were $787.9m (up 68% y/y), with ~700 global clients.

In FY 2015 Workday added 1,150 employees, ending the year with 3,750. An additional ~1,250 employees are expected to be added in fiscal 2016 to end the year with 5,000 employees. The bulk of the employees will be added in Europe and Asia Pacific as part of Workday's global expansion. By KPMG acquiring Towers Watson's resources in the U.K. and four key Asia Pacific countries, KPMG will be prepared with the right resources to support this high growth.

Clearly, KPMG is focused on HR transformation, having made five other related acquisitions since 2011: EquaTerra, Optimum Solutions, The Hackett Group's Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning practice, Zanett Consulting Solutions, and the Workday practice of Axia Consulting.

And now KPMG is strengthening its Workday implementation ability to rival HR consultancies and HR BPO vendors including Deloitte, Mercer, Accenture, IBM, Aon Hewitt, CSC, HP, and NGA HR. This is big business. Major Workday implementations to date include:   

  • HP, with over 300k employees in >100 countries
  • AstraZeneca, with 66k staff in 130 countries
  • Sanofi, with operations in 100 countries
  • Flextronics, with 200k workers in 25 countries
  • CSC, with ~70k employees globally.

With the high growth rate of Workday, it appears there will be no shortage of client implementations to go round, with a good choice of vendors. Vendor selection will depend on a number of factors including prior experience, in-country resources, desire to engage an HR consultancy or an HR BPO provider, or both! 

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