Big Four firm KPMG led the pack among large and national firms in the market for Securities and Exchange Commission audit clients in the first quarter of 2013, with a net gain of seven new clients.

It was a tough quarter among the national firms, with seven of the 11 on our list reporting net client losses. After KPMG, only BDO USA, UHY and Marcum reported net gains. (Three other firms reported flat figures.)

KPMG's overall number of new clients (before client losses) was by far the strongest among large firms, at 15. (See our list of large-firm gains and losses.) The firm topped the list of new large accelerated filer clients, with a net of five, and of accelerated filers, with five new clients and a net gain of one. (See our list of new client wins by filing status, below.) It also led the list of new clients by amount of assets audited, and came second in the tables of new clients by market capitalization audited and by audit fees. (See our list of new client gains by market cap audited, by assets audited and by audit fees.)

Among KPMG's big gains were oil and gas services provider Weatherford International, with a market cap of $8.5 billion, commercial bank Webster Financial Corp., with a market cap of $1.8 billion, and New Mexico-based energy holding company PNM Resources, at $1.6 billion.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, meanwhile, came in first in new client gains by market cap audited and by engagement fees, second in new clients by assets audited, and second by net new large accelerated filer clients, with three. (Overall, though, it came out of the quarter with a net loss of three SEC clients.) Among PwC's biggest gains were paints, coatings and surfaces manufacturer PPG Industries, with a market cap of $20.8 billion, and investment management company Investco, at $11.6 billion.

 

DRILLING DOWN

Many of the biggest reports of new engagements reflect mergers or wholesale transfer of old clients to successor firms. Warren Averett, for instance, picked up a number of new clients through its merger with Pender Newkirk. But a few stand out in this quarter's results: Texas-based MaloneBailey grabbed 14 new clients in the first three months of the year, all among smaller reporting companies. Meanwhile New York- and Florida-based Liggett Vogt & Webb, Las Vegas-based LL Bradford & Co., and national firm Marcum all picked up six each. 

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