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Thread: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

  1. #1
    Stegodon
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    Default What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    What does it mean if someone has this on his Deloitte business card?

    Partner
    Transaction Services

    Is that high up? Middle Management? A dime-a-dozen? Or what?

  2. #2
    XJETGIRLX
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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    I am not a partner, but I have participated in processes related to compensation for law firm partners so I can at least speak to that area (or this firm's practices). There can be many different meanings for "partner," but generally the designation has to do with their contract.

    Partners are people who perform a service related to the main purpose of the business, generally along the lines of consulting or practicing law or something similar. Partners generally bill time to a client, and are paid based on their negotiated contract with bonuses either defined in the contract or based on other factors like hours billed or revenue generated. Partners can be equity partners or non-equity partners, meaning they may be cut in on a share of the firm's profits (if they are equity partners).

    Partners are higher up than paralegals, administrative, or other office staff, but may still be "dime a dozen" if the firm is large. Just exactly what level "partner" puts you at is dependent to some level on the size and structure of the firm.

    Deloitte does accounting, general business, IT, and management consulting so in that context "partner" could mean almost anything. It's about as clear as "consultant."

  3. #3
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    Yeah, "partner" could mean that they're basically a contractor, or that they own a stake in the firm, or it could just be a meaningless title - like how many retail companies call their employees "associates" instead of "employees" these days. Maybe some HR wonk decided that "partner" sounded better or something. Or maybe it has a specific meaning. I dunno.

    I once worked for a company that distributed video via satellite to however many locations the client needed. The company dealt with movie studios and television networks on a regular basis, and because "Joe Schmoe, salesman" wasn't likely to get a meeting with the head of 20th Century Fox or NBC Sports, all salesmen were given the title "VP of East [or West] Coast Satellite Operations".

    You shoulda seen the company flow chart - for everything else, it was "normal", but the sales department had nothing but VPs in it!

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    Elephant
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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    At Microsoft, I believe an employee is referred to as "partner" when they've been promoted to level 68 on the pay scale. It takes a lot to get to that level. I know a guy who recently made partner who was already one of those fabulously wealthy microsoft millionaires 8 years ago when I met him, and he's been working his ass off ever since. So at Microsoft, at least, first you become wildly successful, then you continue busting your ass to become even more wildly successful, and then you might make partner.

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    Elephant CRSP's avatar
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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    In UK law (not sure about American), a partnership's a type of business where the "general partners" possess all the liability for company debts and obligations ("limited partners" can contribute capital, but face no liability). The business type is especially popular with solicitors and accountants, as it imparts the impression that there's extra care taken by the partners in business, in order to avoid getting sued and facing crushing debts.

    It's now also used elsewhere to provide an impression of grandiosity (e.g. calling a car salesman a partner).
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    Prehistoric Bitchslapper Sarahfeena's avatar
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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    My husband worked for a large consulting firm for a number of years (not Deloitte Touche, but a similar one). My understanding of how his company worked was that "Partner" was the highest level of management, and offer of a parrntership mainly hinged on how much $$$ in sales you did (had to be a lot). You had to invest in the company to become Partner, as well. A Partner's job was to make sure his clients' projects ran smoothly, and sell more projects. Partner was a big deal there, required a lot of hustle & long hours to attain.

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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    Well, I used to work for a smaller management consulting company in the next tier below the Big 4 (Deloitte, E&Y, KPMG and PWC), and our term was "managing director," but it was the same thing in practice.

    Once you got to the Managing director level (partner) you were literally a financial stakeholder, i.e. your compensation was in no small part determined by the profitability of your business practice. In other words, you may make $100,000 in salary, but you also get some percentage of the business unit's profit, which in the case of my company, was often millions of dollars for the more senior MDs.

    Being a MD also meant that you were essentially a salesman, and to a lesser extent, a manager. You were responsible for "your practice", which means that you had a subdivision of the business unit that you are held accountable for, primarily for its profit.

    As you can imagine, this is a fairly high stress job unless you're just terrific at bringing in business and at management. It's also why you hear the horror stories about working in those types of companies- since they bill by the hour, they set up the underling compensation to be based on that, then drive them like rented mules to make their profitability goals. The assumption is that if everyone does what is expected, then everyone makes out well. The big catch is that you frequently have to sacrifice an awful lot of personal things to get there. I decided that making more money wasn't worth being the company's bitch, and that *I* wanted to determine where I went on the weekends, and what I did outside of the hours of 8-5 (for the most part).

    FYI, most law firms work in a very similar fashion- the partners are primarily responsible for bringing in cases and managing a team of underling attorneys. They bill in the same way, and most of the issues are the same.

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    Prehistoric Bitchslapper Sarahfeena's avatar
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    Default Re: What does it mean to be a "partner" of a huge corporation like Deloitte or Pricewaterhouse Coopers?

    Yes, bump...that perfectly describes my understanding of the way my husband's former company worked. He pretty much felt the same way you did, and decided that the partner track wasn't for him, which is why he's no longer there. I also have another relative who is a partner at one of the big 4 accounting firms, and he worked his ass off to get there, though the compensation does seem fairly impressive.

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    Quote Originally posted by McNutty View post
    So at Microsoft, at least, first you become wildly successful, then you continue busting your ass to become even more wildly successful, and then you might make partner.
    I'm compelled to correct your statement with facts I'm on first terms with. Microsoft has a structure where all business is done with partners, starting from the "Registered level" and then through a process of points from how manuy certified developers and engineers on your books (there is a portal for this) they allow you to sell the products and services you will have been trained to deliver. every company that sell windows for instance and OEMS that sell PC preinstalled with windows and office etc are micicrosoft certified gold partners. hope this helps. You are now deemed an employee but a firm that earns as much as the smarts and sucess they muster from microsoft initiatives for their partners
    Last edited by cnua; 22 Sep 2015 at 09:58 PM.

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    Oliphaunt Jizzelbin's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cnua View post
    Quote Originally posted by McNutty View post
    So at Microsoft, at least, first you become wildly successful, then you continue busting your ass to become even more wildly successful, and then you might make partner.
    I'm compelled to correct your statement with facts I'm on first terms with. Microsoft has a structure where all business is done with partners, starting from the "Registered level" and then through a process of points from how manuy certified developers and engineers on your books (there is a portal for this) they allow you to sell the products and services you will have been trained to deliver. every company that sell windows for instance and OEMS that sell PC preinstalled with windows and office etc are micicrosoft certified gold partners. hope this helps. You are now deemed an employee but a firm that earns as much as the smarts and sucess they muster from microsoft initiatives for their partners
    That's kind of interesting, actually. How, in your view, does this structure relate to a codewarrior being, traditionally, more of a hired gun than your average 9-5-type employee?

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