Duff & Phelps is comedy

After spending 2018-2021 at Duff & Phelps (now Kroll) and exiting a few of months back, I can now openly make fun of them. The management is hilariously bad and it's no wonder their reputation as a firm is iffy at best.

Here's their latest corporate move- the use of acronyms has been banned firmwide. Kroll's brand new President (took his role 8 weeks ago) sent an email proclaiming that acronyms are not inclusive, and that they are infuriating because some people can't understand them. 

Comments (65)

  • Analyst 2 in CorpFin
Nov 30, 2021 - 10:00pm

His email mentioned that some widely accepted acronyms like NPV, EBITDA, etc are okay but otherwise none are allowed

Dec 1, 2021 - 4:55pm

You cannot be serious. Or is everyone supposed to check the global directory of "widely accepted" acronyms to make sure that the one they're about to use is / is not on the approved list? 

  • 1
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  • Intern in PE - LBOs
Dec 1, 2021 - 2:00pm

We have one of their MDs teaching us at a school in LA, so I get to see firsthand how big of a joke the seniors working at the firm are

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Dec 23, 2021 - 12:04pm

Excuse me, you mean Managing Director and Los Angeles. Stop using acronyms!

Dec 1, 2021 - 4:45pm

Dude I remember when I worked there (like 3 years ago, non US office) they got private equity investors and started calculating some random per employee metrics. HQ's biggest concern was tracking associate utilisation. What idiots.


  • 2
  • Analyst 2 in CorpFin
Dec 1, 2021 - 5:10pm

Yep utilization rate is pretty much the only metric considered when management assigns bonuses and promotions. The work is super cyclical, so during off time (2 months per quarter), you're 30-40% utilized (still have to sit in the office wasting time from 8-6) then they expect you to work enough during busy season (1 month per quarter) to average out to 105% utilization. All for $60k. Lol

  • Analyst 2 in CorpFin
Dec 1, 2021 - 10:15pm

In case anyone was curious, here's the email 😂

Dec 2, 2021 - 3:35am

WOW. His last three bullets are so misguided and stupid. Like excluding most hardo newbies in the industry, most of us use acronyms to signify terms and get concepts across in a concise manner to those who are speaking the same language, such as colleagues or many clients. It's downright dumb to think that acronyms are exclusive or lazy.

  • 2
  • Associate 1 in IB-M&A
Dec 2, 2021 - 7:55am

I'm sure Duff & Phelps is indeed a joke, but I'll play devils advocate here and say that I don't think the sentiment behind this email is that bad. 

There are lots of companies that really do go overboard with different acronyms/shorthands for dozens of different internal groups, committees, processes etc. It really does come off as pretentious, annoying and alienating to new joiners. Worked at a place like this and there would be hardos who would rattle off a handful of these when explaining something and not bother to elaborate further and its just like ok dude, sick, I have no idea what you're talking about.

I think it's really these types of acronyms that he is trying to address, not common conceptual acronyms that you would use with clients, more internal acroynms within the company. I'm not sure I would bother to make such an issue out of it if I was in his shoes but I get it.

Dec 3, 2021 - 11:17am

I agree with this take. This isn't some guy coming in trying to be ultra woke and saying "we want to be INCLUSIVE", this is someone who's come in and been genuinely confused by a bunch of acronyms and is trying to reduce their usage.

If any of you want to give this a try, find two of your colleagues who are vets and set up a meeting with them.

Dec 2, 2021 - 11:15am

This has happened to me a few times when recruiting lol. They justify by saying its the NYC metro area...


Dec 2, 2021 - 12:02pm

Rest in peace to thx 

Listen, here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.
Dec 22, 2021 - 5:05pm

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  • Analyst 2 in CorpFin
Dec 23, 2021 - 11:44am

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