Andersen lures dotcom candidates with e-units

Andersen Consulting is to recruit 3,000 extra staff in a bid to double
profits next year.

The company hopes to attract staff with its e-unit scheme, under which
employees can receive stock from its venture capital arm AC Ventures.

Chief executive Joe Forehand said the extra employees are essential if he is
to achieve his aim of boosting profits this year to 15 per cent from 8 per cent
last year.

Andersen hopes to stop potential employees and existing staff from joining
dotcom start-ups with the e-unit scheme.

The initiative was launched last November following a top-level meeting with
senior partners about recruitment and retention problems.

It is offering about 44,000 of its 65,500 employees the chance to earn stock
in AC Ventures.

To date, AC Ventures, in which the company is investing £1bn over three
years, has seen six flotations with six pending.

Andersen hopes the project will also limit the damage caused by staff who decide
to go to dotcom companies.

It has advertised internally vacancies in dotcom companies in which it has a
stake, on the basis that it is better for staff to go to these organisations
than those Andersen does not have an interest in.

Meanwhile, a survey found stock options and other long-term incentives now
form two-thirds of the pay packages of chief executives. The William M Mercer
study is based on responses from 350 US corporations.

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