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KPMG moves to Marischal Square as growth strategy continues

KPMG has announced plans to relocate to the multi-million pound Marischal Square development in Aberdeen, as it eyes further growth in the city.

KPMG has announced plans to relocate to the multi-million pound Marischal Square development in Aberdeen, as it eyes further growth in the city.

The leading professional services firm will relocate from its current base in Albyn Place to the new city centre location in the Spring.

Final designs and planning are current underway, with more than 140 auditors and advisors moving to KPMG’s new north east home, which will be located on the fourth floor of 1 Marischal Square.

The relocation has been designed to create greater flexibility, bringing teams together for the first time in one open-plan, collaborative space. Plans are also underway to enable clients to make the most of the central location, with event, breakout and shared working spaces.

Martin Findlay, KPMG’s Senior Partner in Aberdeen, said:

“We’ve called Albyn Place home for 25 years, and have some great memories here, but we’re incredibly excited about our next move. KPMG has been part of the fabric of Aberdeen since the nineteenth century, so we felt it was only fitting to make our next base a development which truly reflects the city’s optimistic future.

“For the first time, our various teams in Aberdeen will be able to work together in one dedicated floor, allowing far greater collaboration and flexibility. Our big focus will be on technology and innovation, developing a space that empowers our people and our clients to work together in the heart of the Granite City.”

Stephen Turner, Regional Director, Scotland, at Muse Developments, said:

“We are proud that KMPG has chosen 1 Marischal Square for the next phase of its progression here in Aberdeen. Its presence proves that if the right property is available, world-class organisations will commit to a city centre location and the firm will further enhance the business credentials of the area.

“KPMG is a very welcome addition to our existing portfolio of clients and will further enhance Marischal Square’s burgeoning reputation as Aberdeen’s premier city centre office development.”

He added: “The Grade-A space on offer is proving very attractive to prospective occupiers and we continue to talk to organisations interested in taking their place alongside some of the city’s leading businesses.”

Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing, said:

“KPMG’s arrival means another high-calibre firm and its staff are now located in the city centre, which was a main aim of the Marischal Square project.

“This area of city centre has been revitalised and I am confident it will continue to go from strength to strength. More and more people are attracted to the thriving eastern end of Union Street, which in turn is contributing to the wider economy of the north east.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: http://www.kpmg.co.uk/

Navy Federal Credit Union Ranks #1 for Customer Experience

Navy Federal Credit Union remains the industry leader for a second consecutive year, ranking No. 1 among U.S. companies in KPMG’s 2019 U.S. Customer Experience Excellence Report. The credit union is being recognised for delivering the best customer experience, taking the top spot over 295 brands across 10 business sectors.

“Our mission is to serve as our members’ trusted financial partner for all of life’s important decisions,” said Mary McDuffie, president/CEO of Navy Federal. “Our entire team is committed to meeting our members’ needs and we are always looking for new ways to make the member experience even better.”

KPMG ranked brands across Six Pillars of Customer Experience Excellence to identify the leaders in each country: Personalisation; Integrity; Expectations; Resolution; Time & Effort and Empathy. Navy Federal is one of only five brands to receive a score 8.5 or more.

“KPMG’s research shows us that leading organisations have built unique emotional connections with their customers, and continue to deliver impactful experience across the customer lifecycle,” said Julio Hernandez, U.S. Customer Advisory Practice Lead, KPMG LLP. “Navy Federal Credit Union once again tops our leaders table because our research indicates that they have a personal, individualised understanding of their members, allowing them to put their members firmly at the center of their decision making.”

The research for this year’s U.S. report was conducted via an online survey and was completed in May 2019. A total of 7,552 U.S. consumers who had interacted with a brand in the last six months were interviewed. Each brand needed a minimum of 100 consumer responses to be considered.

Year after year, Navy Federal is recognised for its dedication to creating a satisfying work environment and an exceptional member experience. Earlier this year, Navy Federal celebrated its 9th year on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® List, ranking 29th, the highest in its history. Other notable accolades include being the Industry Leader for Banks/Credit Unions (multichannel) in Customer Experience in Forrester’s 2019 CX Index™ and No. 7 in Best Workplaces™ in Financial Services & Insurance 2019.

About Navy Federal Credit Union: Established in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal now has the distinct honor of serving over 8 million members globally and is the world’s largest credit union. As a member-owned and not-for-profit organisation, Navy Federal always puts the financial needs of its members first. Membership is open to all Department of Defense and Coast Guard Active Duty, veterans, civilian and contractor personnel, and their families. Dedicated to its mission of service, Navy Federal employs a workforce of over 18,000 and has a global network of 336 branches.

Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Employer.

KPMG hires Zurich veteran

KPMG has announced the appointment of Graham Boffey as insurance partner in its financial services consultancy team, effective October 01.

In his new role, Boffey will work closely with Simon Ranger, head of insurance at KPMG, to support clients across the UK market. Boffey brings considerable insurance industry experience and most recently acted as head of UK distribution at Zurich Insurance. He began his career at IBM and Barclays, and spent more than a decade at Aviva, where he fulfilled many roles including chief executive officer of Aviva Healthcare, and, later, managing director of corporate benefits.

“It’s great to be heading back to KPMG – its UK leadership team is bold and braced for change and I want to take that mentality out to clients,” said Boffey. “Customers, and society at large, are putting ever greater pressure on big businesses to demonstrate their value and nowhere is that more prevalent than in insurance; a sector designed to help people protect what’s important to them. Simon and the team at KPMG understand that we have to change now to be relevant in the future. I’m looking forward to getting to know the team and their clients to help them make that change.”

“Graham brings with him a huge amount of experience and a practical understanding of how the industry needs to change,” said Ranger. “He’s helped some of the biggest insurers navigate some of the choppiest waters over the last few decades. I’m sure our clients will appreciate his knowledge, and, most importantly, our colleagues will benefit enormously from working with him.”

International Olympic Committee reappoints PwC

Speaking at the 134th session of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, chairman of the audit committee Baron Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant announced the committee’s recommendation to reappoint the Big Four firm.

“It is with complete confidence that the audit committee approved this proposal and recommended it to the executive board, which also approved this reappointment in the March session,” he said.

The 134th session then approved the reappointment by show of hands.

In August 2018, the IOC invited Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG to submit their proposals in a closed tendering process, which were then assessed by a selection board.

Baron Beckers-Vieujant said the audit committee decided to only include the Big Four as it believed these firms were the only ones capable of delivering on expectations from a global point of view and in line with the IOC’s reputation.

He added that the key argument in the firm’s favour was PwC’s “complete compliance with IOC’s highest standards in terms of the external auditors’ global independence vis-à -vis the IOC and the entire Olympic movement”.

He highlighted value for money and PwC’s commitment to reduce costs over the six-year term as key reasons supporting the choice – explaining that the Big Four firm had already offered to reduce costs in the first year from 402,000 Swiss francs (£324,800) to 391,000 Swiss francs.

Baron Beckers-Vieujant also noted that, although it is not mandatory, the audit committee requested PwC’s audit team change its leadership, as the IOC was “driven to make sure that from all angles they would maintain the highest level of independence expected by the session and the general public”.

PwC will serve a six-year term as the IOC audit committee wanted to align the appointment with the four-year Olympiad cycle.

Baron Beckers-Vieujant said that “since we are in the middle of one, we would appoint [PwC] for two plus four years if you will, and afterwards reappoint or appoint new [firms] for four-year terms”.

He also noted that under Swiss law the firm has to be reappointed by vote on a yearly basis.

Last week, PwC was appointed auditor for pharmaceutical company Diurnal Group following a formal tender process and, pending shareholder confirmation the November AGM, will audit the company’s accounts for the year ended June 2020.

PwC will succeed KPMG and according to a statement from Diurnal Group, KPMG confirmed that it was not aware of anything “connected with its termination as auditor that it consider should be brought to the attention of the board, creditors or shareholders of the company”.

KPMG appoints Christine Hewson as new North Region Chair

Christine Hewson takes on the role from Chris Hearld who was recently named Head of Regions nationally after joining the firm’s executive leadership team.

Based in KPMG’s Leeds office, Christine is an elected member of the firm’s UK Board and has more than 20 years’ experience working across its operations in the North of England, having led its northern Tax & Pensions and Retail practices. She was appointed to KPMG’s partnership in 2006 having joined as a graduate in 1989.

In addition to her role on the UK Board, she sponsors the firm’s partnership with Bedford High School in Leigh. She was also invited to the Northern Power Women’s Power List in 2017 and mentors women in business and not for profit sectors across the region.

Christine Hewson, KPMG Partner and North Region Chair, said: “The North’s business community continues to prove to be one of the most dynamic and entrepreneurial, both at home and internationally. Our traditional sectors remain vital to the region’s future prosperity as they evolve alongside the success of emerging and fast-growth digital industries.

“I’m delighted to be leading such a strong team of people across our offices and looking forward to working closely with Nicola Quayle, Euan West and David Elliott, as office senior partners, to support our ambitious client base in making their visions a reality. There is a real need to bring the government’s industrial strategy to life and it’s clear that, with the right support, business leaders across the region have both the knowledge and the resolve to do so.”

Chris Hearld, Head of Regions at KPMG, added: “Christine has played a key role in developing our northern strategy in recent years and I am in no doubt she will continue to prove an outstanding champion and leader for the region. Our northern business grew by seven per cent last year and we have developed an exceptional partnership across the firm that will only grow stronger as we look to support business’ aspirations both now and in future.”

KPMG kick off World Environment Day with Blue Planet II producer

KPMG began World Environment Day today by hosting a series of events around the UK with the award-winning producer of BBC’s Blue Planet II, Mark Brownlow, to raise awareness of the environmental issues effecting the globe. The events also aim to encourage individuals at the firm to think about how they can make a difference.

During the events, colleagues will be able to gain further insight into KPMG UK’s environmental programmes. These cover KPMG’s plastics commitment, the impact they are having on the business, the individual, and the wider environment, whilst making their own personal pledges to improve their environmental footprint.

“At KPMG we know that to be a responsible business we need to take positive action towards the issues we are seeing in today’s environment, and not just pay lip service,” said vice chair of KPMG UK, David Sayer. “We are working hard to reduce our environmental impact by operating in the most efficient way possible, and we are proud to have reduced our carbon emissions by 27%, exceeding our target of 20% reduction by 2020,” he added.

Following on from the launch of the firm’s “Waste in our Time” campaign, which was introduced last year, KPMG has provided all of its UK staff with re-usable water bottles to make their plastics commitment a reality. Through the removal of plastic water cups, the switch to metal cutlery and replacing more than 3 million plastic vending cups with compostable and paper alternatives, the firm has so far successfully removed 7.4 million items of single use plastics from all national offices.

“Through the firm’s “Waste in our Time” campaign we have seen a number of positive changes both on an individual and an organisational level. We have saved approximately 225 trees and 1000 bags of general waste each month through replacing paper hand towels in the toilets of two of our largest offices with energy efficient hand driers,” Sayer said.

“We have saved our staff in excess of £7,000 over the past year through offering 15p discount when utilising reusable coffee cups, and our plastics reduction throughout our UK offices has been phenomenal, this is all down to the commitment of our staff to provide a better place for everyone to work,” he added.

Sayer also acknowledged that being a socially responsible firm is becoming increasingly important to attract the best young talent.

“On a purely business level, our environmental impact is important to both our clients and our suppliers who are increasingly asking us more detailed and sophisticated questions about the work we are doing. We also need to get this right in order to attract the best talent, as we know that millennials and Gen Z are increasingly seeking out socially responsible employers above all others, so the need for continuous improvement on our part has never been greater,” he said.

Dan Thomas, Head of Corporates, KPMG UK added, “World Environment Day is challenging us all on what we can do to help beat air pollution. The corporate world has a huge role to play and promisingly, five firms a week are now setting sustainability targets.

“Where we are starting to see real momentum is around the use of plastics; in addition, to creating a cleaner, safer environment, this will help the problem of air pollution too. Global plastic production emits 400megatons of greenhouse gases each year – that’s more than the UK’s total carbon footprint.