Four years after it opened in 2015, the Financial Times reports that KPMG is thinking of doing away with Number 20, the five storey converted townhouse in London's Mayfair which provided a space for clients and 'KPMG hosts' to relax and to hold meetings.
Number 20 is being scrutinised as part of KPMG's ‘Project Zebra’ cost-cutting drive, which has also been associated with the removal of staff mobile phones and the eradication of 200 personal assistants. Now it seems that the senior staff and clients may be deprived of their Mayfair hangout too.
Clients at least might not be that bothered. As the FT noted when Number 20 opened, they are only able to enjoy the full range of facilities when accompanied by a KPMG host. In the absence of a host, clients are restricted to coffee, water, soft drinks and biscuits. Either you have a chaperone (who will likely try to sell you something), or you are on the custard creams.
In itself, this might discourage weary clients from hanging around in the 'client refresh pods' or partaking of the 'chef's table experience.' But Number 20 also has a few other things going against it.
For anyone who hasn't visited, Number 20 has its own website where you can tour the rooms. As might be expected of a Big Four professional services it's not channelling the WeWork hipster paradigm. There's a lot of marroon and blue and some of the rooms are slightly redolent of Frozen. The bar menu at least is big on sandwiches, burgers and fries, and although you can get heritage beetroot and violet artichokes in the dining rooms on the first floor, it's a far cry from 67 Pall Mall. Given that there are around 50 other private members' clubs in Mayfair, clients might be forgiven for going elsewhere instead.
The big losers from a closure of Number 20 would be clearly be everyone who works there - mostly the kitchen and housekeeping staff. Clients and the KPMG staff who were entertaining them can take their budgets elsewhere instead. 67 Pall Mall does a mean lobster vol au vent for £16.
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