KPMG hopes for clean start with new SA leadership team

Johannesburg - Embattled auditor KPMG SA on Monday announced its new executive leadership team, just short of a month after its former top management structure was cleared out.

It has also created a special executive position - Head of Risk - to manage client acceptance and retention within the firm. 

Foschini, Munich Re of Africa, Sasfin, Sygnia Asset Management, AVI, Hulisani and Telkom are some of the companies that have either stopped using the services of or refrained from assigning new work to KPMG SA after the fallout from its years-long work auditing Gupta companies, and its role in authoring the controversial 'rogue unit' report for the SA Revenue Service. 

Nhlamu Dlomu, KPMG South Africa’s CEO said in a statement that the new position was part of KPMG SA's plan to improve its governance and risk management.  

She said she hoped the firm's new SA leadership would restore public trust. 

Dlomu, who was promoted to the position of CEO on September 15 following the resignation of Trevor Hoole, said the team would support her in rebuilding the firm's reputation. 

The auditor was criticised in Parliament last week for paying out severance packages to its top leadership who left the company in September. 

"This is day one for the new KPMG, a KPMG where public interest will share an equally important role with enhanced governance, quality and ethics," she said.  "We understand that the immediate road ahead will be challenging."

New team

The position of Head of Risk will be filled by Brian Stephens, a South African who is a former partner of KPMG’s US unit. "He is well-versed in the wide range of issues faced by global organisations and is a frequent speaker at relevant industry forums,” said Dlomu.

Gary Pickering will lead KPMG's audit practice. He has served as an engagement partner on several of KPMG’s major clients in the financial services sector, said Dlomu. 

Sipho Malaba will continue as the executive team member responsible for KPMG's largest business unit - the financial services audit. Malaba will also lead the firm’s strategic projects.

Granville Smith will lead the firm's advisory practice.

Joubert Botha, currently the company's Chief Operating Officer for Tax, will become KPMG SA's interim leader for its whole tax unit.

Modise Maseng will lead the firm's public sector work, while Makgotso Letsitsi will lead KPMG People.

"All three functions of the business - audit, tax, and advisory-  will be supported by KPMG's Markets team, which will be led by Nosisa Fubu," said Dlomu.

Dlomu said that, as part of KPMG International’s "continued and committed support of the South African firm", Andrew Cranston has been appointed as its interim Chief Operating Officer.

"Andrew is a hugely experienced partner who has operated in numerous countries around the world and has also been a previous COO of KPMG International," she said. 

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