Located in all major US markets, PwC’s Private Company Services (PCS) is a national practice comprised of more than 170 partners who provide customized tax, audit and advisory services to private companies, their owners and high net worth individuals. More than 60 percent of America’s largest private companies are PCS clients1. They span a broad scope of sectors and industries ranging from manufacturing to retail to industrial to professional services. A hallmark of PCS is a robust thought leadership program that provides clients with timely, thought-provoking information to help manage and grow their businesses and wealth.
1Forbes America’s Largest Private Companies 2014
PCS professionals are regularly sought out for their insight and opinion on issues of national and local interest affecting their audience. A number of recent articles featuring people from our Private Company Services practice - including Personal Financial Services (PFS) - are included below, as well as an archive of coverage over the past months.
President & CEO Magazine Podcast: Focus on the Middle Market: 4 Q Trendsetter Barometer
February 20, 2015
In this quarterly podcast series, President & CEO founder, Paul Stukel, speaks with Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader about the results of the most current report. In the podcast, they discussed the positive results - an acceleration in the labor market, the optimist about the coming year. However, the consistent issue of getting qualified workers is growing worse. According to Esch, there is no quick answer to this issue. Companies are developing internal training and mentorship programs but finding workers who can contribute immediately is not likely.
Employee Benefit News: Private Companies see a rosy 2015 - but is this a jobless recovery
February 19, 2015
In this bylined article, Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, discusses that while the US economy is growing and revenues are up, executives are still struggling to find employees with the skills they need. This talent gap, according to Esch, is a significant issue and will be a major barrier to growth if not resolved. Employers are saying that they cannot find the right workers and this is a chronic problem. Fully one-third of the companies interviewed for the last Trendsetter Barometer report say they were unable to fill open positions in the past year. These are the larger, faster-growing companies. Further, wages have remained flat as well.
New York Times: Tips for Navigating a Changing Tax Landscape
February 14, 2015
For the New York Times article, writer Jan Rosen interviewed several tax professionals including Brittney Saks, US leader of the Personal Financial Services practice. In the piece, Saks discussed the need to have third party documentation of standard deductions such as mortgage interest, and charitable contributions as well as often overlooked deductions such as travel and out-of-pocket charitable expenses. The latter require keeping personal records and as such, many individuals do not take the deduction. Another area where record-keeping is important says Brittney is buying and selling investments.
Chicago Tribune: Business succession plan helps ensure smooth transition
February 9, 2015
In the Chicago Tribune article, Alfred Peguero discussed findings from PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey which revealed that 3/4s of business owners don't have written succession plans and that more than half admit to staying on the job longer than preferred to ensure a smooth leadership transition. The second generation CEO of Preferred Hotel Group, a PwC client, Lindsey Ueberroth was interviewed for the piece. Her father remains as Chairman. At Lindsey's request, her father recently stepped back into the business to provide more financial oversight and to close deals with partner hotels.
CFO: Private Companies: We're Hiring, Selectively
February 3, 2015
In this piece Katie Kuehner-Hebert quoted Rich Stovsky on a piece about the findings from the latest Trendsetter Barometer report that discussed hiring expectations. While many positions go unfilled, particularly in the technology and engineering sectors, private company executives only expect to add 1.6% full time equivalent employees to the payroll in 2015. Many blue collar positions are also unfilled according to the executives interviewed for the report because of gaps in skills that many workers have as a result of being out of work since the recession. According to Stovsky many private companies are now partnering with community colleges and offering on-the-job training to create the skilled workforce they require.
Wealth Management.com: From Succession Planning to Success
February 2, 2015
The article, bylined by Alfred Peguero, discusses the challenges and barriers to growth facing family businesses. These include competition, the need for innovation, recruitment and retention and technology. He also discussed the "sticky baton" syndrome - current business leaders' reluctance to hand over the reins of their businesses - and how to help the next generation prepare to take over the business.
Forbes: Most Middle-Market Family Businesses Need a Succession Plan
January 21, 2015
In a blog post in Forbes Insights, contributor Russ Alan Prince discussed the need for family business owners to have a succession plan. The blog resulted from PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey that revealed only 27% of these owners have a substantial and documented succession plan. In the piece, Alfred Peguero, PwC's US Family Business Survey Leader, discussed the prevailing attitudes of optimism around growth, the challenges around succession. Further in the piece, Peguero identified the need for family businesses to become more nimble, forward thinking and professional in how they run their operations.
Family Business United: US owners hesitant about handling over the reins
January 15, 2015
Family Business United, a UK-based magazine and online resource for the global family business community, reported on the key findings in PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey. The article quoted PwC and PCS leaders: Bob Moritz and Rich Stovsky on family businesses in the global market and what is required to success in today's environment as well as Alfred Peguero, PwC's US Family Business Survey leader, about the issues around succession planning and the increase in the "sticky baton syndrome."
CFO: Family Firms Face "Sticky Baton" Syndrome
January 14, 2015
The online edition of CFO reported on the lack of a formal succession plan - an important fact that emerged from PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey. The article discussed the survey results and quoted Alfred Peguero on the "sticky baton syndrome" ....family business leaders' reluctance to hand over the reins of the company because of concerns about the preparedness of the heir apparent waiting in the wings."
Washington Post - Main-street morning: Reinventing the garbage man
January 14, 2015
Main Street Morning, the Washington Post's daily collection of news affecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business, reported that a majority of family business leaders don't have a robust succession plan, a key finding from PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey.
Barron's PENTA Daily: Family Business Woes
January 13, 2015
In PENTA Daily, a component of Barron's which provides insight and advice for families with assets of $5 million and above, Robert Milburn reported on how family businesses are increasingly unsure about their succession plans. An important finding from PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey illustrates the point: only 27% of family businesses said they had a robust and documented succession plan for senior management roles. This is an area of concern given that two thirds of those surveyed were over 50 years old. Alfred Peguero, PwC's US Family Business Leader discussed this and other top trends that came out of the survey.
CNBC: Signs of optimism among family-owned businesses
January 13, 2015
CNBC's Kate Rogers interviewed Alfred Peguero, PwC's US Family Business Leader, about PwC's 2014-2015 US Family Business Survey. In the story, Rogers reported that family businesses are upbeat about growth projections. According to the story, this attitude is in line with the National Federation of Independent Business' Optimism Index for December which broke 100 for the first time since October 2006. Recruiting tech talent is a top priority according to the survey. Says Peguero:"These businesses are putting more into resources like finding top talent, or making investments in technology," said Alfred Peguero, a PwC Family Business Services leader. "You don't do that if you don't think your business will be doing well in the future."
The Business Journal: 7 ways mid-sized companies can prevent cyberattacks
January 13, 2015
Tyson Cornell contributed a story to American City Business Journal on what middle market companies can do to prevent cyberattacks. The article was carried in online editions of 42 different Business Journal publications across the country. In the article, Tyson recommends that companies do the following: conduct an assessment, involve leadership, work across the organization, raise employee awareness, convey privacy and security standards to third-party providers, use the latest security technology safeguards and develop a security and privacy incident-response process.
Wall Street Journal: Reversing Course with Roth IRAs
December 20, 2014
Personal Financial Services partner Mark Nash was quoted in Karen Damato's Ask Next column that responded to a reader's question about how to reverse a 2010 Roth conversion. In the piece, Mark explained how the easiest course of action is to submit the tax return and then file an extension. This "saves you the expense and inconvenience of filing an amended return," says Nash.
Employee Benefit News: Private company hiring trends for 2015
December 17, 2014
Ken Esch bylined the article "Private Company hiring trends for 2015" for Employee Benefit News. Using the latest findings in PwC's Trendsetter Barometer report, Ken discussed how private companies are putting a premium on specialized skills. According to the report, the majority of private companies plan to hire in the next 12 months but they only project a 1.6% net increase in overall headcount. the article also highlighted that the percentage of private companies that saw the talent gap as a growth barrier had jumped from 27% a year ago to 34% in the last quarter. This demonstrates the increased demand for specialist skills.
Risk Management Monitor: Companies Report Increased Optimism and Risk Appetite
December 5, 2014
Risk Management Monitor, the official blog of Risk Management magazine, reported that the Q3 Trendsetter Barometer found 63% of private companies saw higher profitability, expressed greater risk appetite and an increased level of optimism in the US economy. The blog included two infographics from the report: Private company sentiment on economic optimism and other factors and Barriers to Growth.
The Modesto Bee: Water dominates California Food & Ag Summit discussion in Modesto
November 21, 2014
by: J.N. Sbranti
Water was the focus of the California Food & Ag Summit held in Modesto on November 21. The event, sponsored by PwC, is an annual program. Speakers discussed that competing demands for water – used to drink, for crops, and sustaining aquifers and bolstering the state’s economy – could create trouble in years ahead. A number of big water proposals are being explored.
Inc.: ‘Tis the Season for Ho Hum Hiring, Apparently
November 14, 2014
by: Jeremy Quittner
The story featured the latest results found in Q3 Trendsetter Barometer. The piece discussed that while private company owners are generally optimistic about their prospects in the next 12 months, this optimism doesn’t translate into very much that is actionable – which could prolong the economic malaise. The article highlighted a number of key findings in the Q3 report including: private companies are reporting higher profitability; they plan to spend more on new products and services and expansion; they only plan to increase headcount by 1.6 percent.
CBS News – MONEYWATCH: Business leaders more optimistic about the economy
November 12, 2014
CBS Marketwatch ran a story on business leader optimism that included information from the Q3 Trendsetter Barometer. In the report, 63 percent of private company leaders said they are optimistic about the US economy, the highest level since 2011. The piece went on to say that the business leaders are willing to put money behind their enthusiasm; specifically in terms of planning major new investments. However, overall hiring remains lackluster, although companies are hiring specific skill sets. According to Rich Stovsky, US Private Company Services leader, “It points to demographic shifts in the workforce and to core changes in U.S. manufacturing, where employees with specific skills are increasingly replacing workers who typically manned pre-recession factory floors.”
Wall Street Journal: Funds for Charitable Giving See Strong Growth
November 12, 2014
by: Liz Moyer
Strong growth in the stock market has been a wind fall for donor-advised funds this year with an increase of 23.5% in contributions over 2013. The popularity of donor advised funds and other year-end planning ideas were discussed by US Personal Financial Services leader, Brittney Saks, and her team on November 6 at the annual media breakfast held to announce the release of the 2015 Guide to Tax and Wealth Management. “Giving through donor-advised funds has become more popular as it gives taxpayers a lot of flexibility….it’s an easy way to not pay tax on the gain and let it go out to charity over time,” she says.
Wall Street Journal: Some People Overpaid Investment Tax in 2013, Experts Say
November 8, 2014
by: Laura Saunders
Mark Nash, Personal Financial Services partner, is highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article. The story resulted from the annual media breakfast held on November 6, 2014 to announce the 2015 Guide to Tax and Wealth Management. In the piece, Mark discussed areas in which taxpayers may have overpaid the 3.8% net investment income tax. The tax took effect in 2013 but final regulations were not issued until late in the year and some issues were unresolved.
Wines & Vines: Financial impact of quake rises
Oct 1, 2014
As a follow up to the publication's September story about the impact of the August earthquake in Napa, the story reveals that as more data came in, the total damages sustained was increasing. The story included information from PwC about deducting losses. "Due to the high deductibles and costly earthquake insurance plans, events like this earthquake may results in taxpayer incurring extraordinary expenses that may not be covered or fully reimbursed by insurance..."
Directors and Boards: Interest is high, but founders have their concerns
Oct. 8, 2014
PwC partner Catherine Bromilow, co-authored the story which discusses the rising interest among family businesses in corporate governance but the concern of founders of having individuals outside the family or close circle participate in governing the organization. Private Company Services' report "What is the board's role in a family business" which is part of a series, was featured in the article.
Capital Region BOCES: Regents endorse Career and Technical Education option for graduation
Oct. 31, 2014
The article for the Board of Cooperative Education Services publication discussed the Board of Regents vote to authorize the State Education Department to finalize a plan to increase pathways to graduation for students. The story featured the Q2 Trendsetter Barometer report which discussed the lack of qualified workers.
Atlanta Business Chronicle: Changes affect tax planning for businesses
September 19, 2014
Ashley Scott, PCS market leader, was interviewed for a story on the tax planning that accountants are providing small business owners in light of increased tax rates. According to the piece, these business owners, unlike their larger company counterparts, tend to co-mingle their personal income with their business. Scott said that its not too late for owners with extra cash to put that money to work in 2014.
Wines & Vines: Financial Impact of Napa Quake Rising: Bank estimates damage to Napa wineries and vineyards at $80 million
September 12, 2014
Wines & Vines, an online trade publication for the winery industry, reported that more than 60% of wineries sustained damage from the Napa earthquake. The piece included information from PwC about ways for businesses that may not be adequately insured to deduct casualty and disaster losses.
President & CEO: FOCUS on the Middle Market: Ken Esch, Partner, PwC Private Company Services
September 3, 2014
In a three-part podcast series that ran in September, Ken Esch, Private Company Services Trendsetter partner, discussed key Q2 Trendsetter results for private middle market companies including high levels of optimism, rising capital expenditures, and general signs of stabilization.
Listen to Podcast #1
Listen to Podcast #2
Listen to Podcast #3
Lehigh Valley Business, Survey: Private business leaders see favorable economic growth
August 18, 2014
Marty Janowiecki, PCS partner in Philadelphia, was interviewed by Lehigh Business for an article about the changes companies in the region are making in response to an improved economic environment as discussed in the Q2 Trendsetter Report.
Forbes.com, Skills Gap Remains a Concern Among Private Companies as Employment outlook Creeps Up
August 11, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner overseeing the Trendsetter program was interviewed by Forbes.com for an article on private companies’ concerns about the skill gap. Q2 Trendsetter results served as a basis for the article which discussed how employers plan to hire. Hiring, however, will be restrained because they are seeking specific skill sets and because the companies are seeking mergers and acquiring smaller businesses to gain time-tested employees.
Accounting Today, Private Companies Plan to Increase Capital Spending
August 8, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner overseeing Trendsetter was interviewed by Accounting Today for an article on results from Q2 Trendsetter which shows that more than a third of private company CEOs and CFOs plan to increase their capital spending in the coming year, the highest percentage in over two years.
BusinessCheatSheet.com, Plenty of Jobs But Slow Hiring: Do Americans Lack Employable Skills?
July 9, 2014
BusinessCheatSheet.com used information from Q1 Trendsetter results in an article discussing the specific skills that are in demand as businesses consider the types of employees needed to grow their businesses.
ChiefExecutive.net, The M&A Market is Heating Up. Is the Time Right to Make a Move?
July 3, 2014, 2014
ChiefExecutive.net, an online publication of Chief Executive Group which produces proprietary research, events and content to give CEOSs unique insights into data and trends that help them effectively lead their organizations, used the results from Q1 Trendsetter for an article on the uptick in merger and acquisition activity.
The Business Journal, 3 reasons private companies are poised for growth - and what you need to drive your business forward
July 3, 2014
An article written by Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, was published in the Business Journal's digital channels as well as in the San Francisco Business Times, Houston Business Journal and Boston Business Journal. In the article, Ken discussed the Q1 Trendsetter results that indicate growth for private companies – a positive outlook, need for hiring and focus on ROI.
USA Today, Special Editions: High and Dry
Don Wen, PCS partner and PCS Northern California Market Leader, was quoted in the story about the effect of California’s drought on farmers, business and consumers.
The National Law Journal, Tax Reform Poses Challenges for Large Firms, Accountants Say
June 23, 2014
David Gaulin, partner and co-chair of PwC’s Law Firm Services (LFS) practice was interviewed by the National Law Journal about LFS’s white paper on business challenges facing law firms if tax reform is passed.
Employee Benefit News, Beyond physical wellness
June 16, 2014
Kent Allison, PFS partner and leader of PwC’s employee financial education practice, was interviewed by the publication for the article which discusses how the growing stress in employees’ personal lives has expanded the initial aspects of wellness programs to include financial wellbeing.
Inc., Yes, You’re Ready to Do Strategic Planning
May 29, 2014
PCS partner Ken Esch contributed to the article discussing why companies should undertake strategic planning and how to go about it.
CFOMagazine.com, Private Companies Shift into Hire Gear
May 14, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, was interviewed about the hiring that is expected this year according to the Q1 2014 Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlook.
TheStreet.com, Five Big Stories for Rest of 2014
May 8, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, was interviewed by TheStreet.com for an article about the top stories for 2014. In the story Ken explained how the majority of private US companies are in compliance with Obamacare according to the findings from Q1 2014 Trendsetter Business Outlook.
The Wall Street Journal, A Way for Businesses to Avoid 3.8% Tax
May 2, 2014
Bill Fleming, PFS managing director, contributed to the article about an estate planning strategy that can avoid the 3.8% net investment income tax. The March ruling indicates that a trustee who is also an active employee of the business can represent the trust’s “material participation” in the business. This means that income earned by the business with the help of the working trustee won’t be subject to the tax.
US News and World Report, Helping Gen Y Declare Their Financial Independence
Kent Allison, PFS partner and leader of PwC’s employee financial education practice, contributed to the article about how high debt levels and lack of savings are creating financial challenges for Gen Ys. PwC’s 2014 Employee Financial Wellness Survey was used for the basis of the story.
Accounting Today, Private Company CEOs Optimistic about Economy
April 29, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, was interviewed regarding results from the Q1 2014 Trendsetter Business Outlook which shows growing CEO confidence in the US economy.
Yahoo.com, PwC: Economy gaining traction
April 29, 2014
In this online video, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, Ken Esch, talks about the key findings from the Q1 2014 Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlook, including signs that corporate leaders are increasingly optimistic about business prospects.
Plan Sponsor, Generational Financial Health Gap Grows
April 8, 2014
Kent Allison, PFS partner and leader of PwC’s employee financial education practice, was interviewed for an article that discussed the financial health issues younger workers face. The information is one of the findings from PwC’s 2014 Employee Financial Wellness Survey.
TimesLeader.com, Some deductions attract more IRS scrutiny than others
March 29, 2014
A Chicago Tribune article in February which quoted Brittney Saks, PFS leader, was picked up by several publications in March. The article discussed deductions which can raise red flags with the IRS.
The Daily Report, NEW PARTNERS: Everything you want to know about making partner, but didn’t ask.
March 10, 2014
Stanley Kolodziejczak, partner and co-chair of PwC’s Law Firm Services practice, was quoted in this special section of the Daily Report, a legal publication. The story provided advice to senior associates about the reality of becoming a partner in today’s law firm.
IndustryToday.com, American CEOs: Optimism Remains Stable
March 4, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, and Rich Stovsky, partner and PCS leader , discuss recent Trendsetter findings about the increasing optimism of American CEOs in light of ongoing improvements in domestic and international affairs.
Wall Street Journal, New 3.8% Investment Tax Raises Flags
February 10, 2014
Bill Fleming, PFS managing director, was quoted as part of an article about the 3.8% net investment income tax which went into effect in 2013.
CBS Money Watch, Another month of weak job growth raises slowdown fears
February 7, 2014
Trendsetter data was included in a news story that discussed the February 7 Department of Labor report.
Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal, Lack of Skilled Workers Hinders Hiring by Private Firms
February 4, 2014
Ken Esch, PCS partner and Trendsetter leader, was quoted as part of an article that discussed the February 7 Department of Labor report. The article also included the 4Q13 Trendsetter Barometer finding that CEO confidence is at the highest level in three years.
CFO magazine, A New Direction for Goodwill
January 27, 2014
Kirsten Schofield, PwC partner, was interviewed for an article on the Private Company Council’s approval of new standards that will make it easier for private companies to account for goodwill.
San Francisco Business Times, Wine Industry Growth Corked
January 13, 2014
Dave Pardes, PCS director, was interviewed as part of an article about consolidation in the wine market and the acquisition of vineyards including the sale of the Beringer Vineyards.
Private Wealth, Playing Favorites
January 7, 2014
Allison Shipley, a high net worth tax specialist in PwC’s Miami office, was quoted as part of an article that discussed distributing wealth unevenly among children and the unintended consequences.