KPMG’s new UK chairman elect Simon Collins yesterday vowed to put his firm at the centre of the debate on how to win back trust in the financial services sector, as he celebrated his election victory against two better known rivals Oliver Tant and Alan Buckle.
Collins, who is currently global head of KPMG’s transactions and restructuring group, said: “Society is asking questions of business and I want us to have a clear answer.”
He said the firm, which is also being probed by the competition authorities in the UK and Europe over its share of the auditing market, faced a major challenge in getting hold of and retaining top talent. “That’s pretty high up the top of my list.”
Collins trained to be an accountant at PwC before moving over to SG Warburg and then Nat West Markets, where he was global head of debt structuring.
Like his fellow UK heads at the other Big Four players, Collins comes from the increasingly important non-audit side of the business.
Current UK chair John Griffith-Jones, who announced the result of the election by email to KPMG employees yesterday morning, said: “Simon has received a clear mandate from the partnership and I am sure that under his leadership the firm has a bright future.
“Simon has already proven himself to be a fine partner and leader, greatly respected by his peers, clients and industry alike.”
SIMON COLLINS, KPMG
STEVE VARLEY, ERNST & YOUNG
● Elected UK & Ireland managing partner in July 2011 by the EMEA leadership board after discussions with UK partners
● Joined E&Y from Accenture in 2006, having started in 1991 and qualified there
● Studied engineering at Loughborough
IAN POWELL, PwC
● Elected chairman and senior partner with effect from 1 July 2008
● Joined the UK firm as a trainee in 1977 and became a partner in 1991
● Worked in assurance in his early career before specialising in troubled businesses
DAVID SPROUL, DELOITTE
● Elected as senior partner & CEO of Deloitte in the UK from 1 June 2011
● Led tax and advisory teams at the firm
● Managing partner for operations at Andersen in the UK until 2002, when it was bought out by Deloitte