In the 1980s, Deloitte & Touche led the profession through a decade of unprecedented merger and acquisition activity in American business. At the close of the decade, Emerson’s Professional Services Review commented, “When it comes to acquisition services, no one rivals the Deloitte & Touche infrastructure, commitment, expertise or reputation.
The organization's proficiency in mergers and acquisitions emerged in the 1970s when a new style of management became prominent in corporate America. The new managers were financially sophisticated and aware of the synergies and economies of scale offered by mergers and acquisitions. They relied on their accountants for more than audit and tax skills, and looked for insightful advice, technological expertise, global operations and support for their merger and acquisition activity.
Without sacrificing technical audit proficiency or ethical standards, managing partners Russell Palmer and Charles Steele led the way into this new world of business. Accountants began to emphasize their abilities as business consultants—offering the full range of accounting services and actively seeking additional ways to help their clients.
A new generation of leaders rose to the top of Touche Ross and Deloitte Haskins Sells during these years. In 1982, the two-man team of David Moxley and W. Grant Gregory succeeded Russell Palmer as leaders of Touche Ross. In 1985, Edward A. Kangas, who had made his name in management consulting, was appointed managing partner of Touche Ross. In 1984, J. Michael Cook became managing partner of Deloitte Haskins Sells.
As the rate of mergers and acquisitions accelerated, corporate America became increasingly globalized. Corporations increasingly sought advisers skilled in all areas of accounting and proficient at solving problems throughout the world. Many turned to Deloitte & Touche for just such assistance. To cap off this decade of merger and acquisition activity, Touche Ross and Deloitte Haskins Sells merged in 1989.
The newly formed Deloitte & Touche was led by J. Michael Cook and Edward A. Kangas, who shared the belief that successful accountants of the future would combine strong professional abilities with a deep understanding of their clients’ industries, situations and needs.