After more than 50 years as auditor for Schroders, PwC has been replaced by rival Big Four firm KPMG.
PwC has held the audit since Schroders became listed, however in last year’s annual report Schroders indicated a possible shift, saying it would ‘review the credentials of other providers’ for 2013.
The competitiveness of the market is currently under investigation from the Competition Commission for large company audits in response to concerns that companies had become too cosy with the firms that vet their accounts, and Schroders’ move could be interpreted as a response to this feeling.
The commission found last year that 59% of FTSE 350 companies had not changed auditor for at least five years. On average, they had used the same auditor for an average of 11.3 years. Many possible changes are being debated to improve competitiveness amongst audit firms, one being enforced auditor rotation.