Will it be a winner? Given the E&Y name and the money they're throwing at it, I think it'd be difficult for them not to have some success within the 2-3 years they're allowing for it to make a profit. However, I don't know think the advisory services offering will be a real "winner" in terms of quality, thought leadership or uniqueness. I think they've just rushed into things in order to get the services to market marginally ahead of the competition.
Recruiting massively? Yes. Good people and good salaries? From personal experience I disagree. I got an offer on Monday - from the partners I met in the run-up, I would only rate 25% as being up to scratch. 75% were frankly incompetent. Too many ex-auditors, not consultants, and not up to growing a business of this type. With the salaries on offer I don't think they could get much better though and I get the impression they may be hiring in bulk then trying to operate an up-or-out policy.
As you might have guessed from that, I don't think it's a coherent offering. Will their strategy be enough? Not as it is - there is still a lot of confusion internally about where the focus is and there is a lack of leadership and entrepreurialism to go out and actually win the business. Culturally a lot of people are still in the mindset where they can take a backseat on business development, and spend the time playing politics, without it being noticed on the bottom line. However, with the new chairman coming in with personal experience of consultancy, they may well get a kick up the backside and some sort of strategic leadership may emerge over the next 12 months.
Are they doomed? Certainly not, but neither do they have much of a competitive edge to my mind. There are some big risks that they'll have to overcome in terms of getting the right people on board - and in a tightening climate for talent that could be difficult.