Q&A: KPMG LLP Transaction Services Partner Mitchell J. Manassa

July 28, 2009

CHICAGO - “ As a multi-services audit, tax and advisory company, KPMG LLP has guided its many clients through all types of economic climates. KPMG partner Mitchell J. Manassa talks about the challenges and solutions his company offers to clients in both the 2009 marketplace and the expansive horizons beyond.

IVCA: What types of offerings have become most important to your clients during this current downturn?
Mitchell J. Manassa: Audit, tax and advisory services continue to be important to our clients. They are currently dealing with compliance and risk issues. They are also looking at opportunities for cost savings, performance improvements and investments.

A lack of liquidity in the credit markets has translated into complex accounting and auditing challenging for our clients, which we are helping them to address. In addition, we are advising our clients on a range of issues concerning cash and liquidity, tax efficiency and restructurings.

IVCA: What general style of communication (developed over the evolution of the company) do clients best respond to on a one-to-one basis?
MM: We believe that it's most effective to provide our clients with open and honest communication. We prefer face-to-face meetings where possible. That type of communication allows our clients to quickly understand and act upon the advice they receive.

IVCA: What type of client has been the most expansive in the last 10 years?
MM: We have been lucky to continually attract well-respected companies that are interested in growth and increasing shareholder value. Our clients range from the Global 100 to middle-market players. They include numerous venture capital and private equity firms, too.

IVCA: How do you keep things simple when auditing or consulting on complex business issues?
MM: Listening to our clients and making sure they know how issues they are facing may affect their risk and financial profiles enable KPMG LLP to keep even the most complex accounting, tax and transactional advice relatively easy to understand and apply.

IVCA: Has the matrix for success changed in the past 1.5 years or is the expectation that the VC community will gain as much as it once gained?
MM: The VC matrix for success has not changed. Venture capital companies continue to seek out investments in the most promising ideas from young companies. However, their business models have been challenged by the current credit and debt markets, volatile valuations and unpredictable revenue streams.

IVCA: What sector within the main wheels of the economy (banking, industry, etc.) most needs to run fluid again if the recovery is going to be sound?
MM: In order for the economy to get back on track, consumer spending and CEO confidence must return to healthy levels. In addition, the financial sector needs to stabilize and make credit more available. Once that occurs, industries will begin to invest more in their business, people and new technologies.

IVCA: What characteristics are different in the KPMG Midwest offices as compared to the other parts of the country?
MM: The Midwest region of KPMG LLP is one of its largest regions in the U.S. with approximately 3,500 professionals serving in 14 offices. Those professionals have a wide range of industry experience and support all of KPMG's service lines.

IVCA: How does membership in the IVCA expand your reach in the venture capital community?
MM: Membership in the IVCA gives our professionals the opportunity to share ideas and information with the most active and sophisticated venture capital and private equity firms in the Midwest.

IVCA: Since your firm is so diverse, what area is best primed for a renewal or growth?
MM: We continue to be very active in offering audit, tax and advisory services to our clients. Our services and industry focus necessarily expands to meet the needs of our clients. We are currently assisting our clients to address issues they are facing in light of the current environment including optimizing cash and working capital, restructuring and assisting with growth initiatives.