London: KPMG has appointed Richard Fleming head of its consulting businesses in the UK.
Fleming, UK Head of Transactions & Restructuring, takes on the role of UK Head of Advisory as part of new leadership appointments made by Simon Collins, UK chairman elect at KPMG.
Fleming is one of the country's foremost insolvency practitioners, having acted as administrator or company voluntary arrangement supervisor on numerous high profile businesses such as MF Global UK, Peacocks, Blacks, JJB and Connaught.
KPMG's Advisory function, which had combined revenues of £859m for the last financial year, comprises Management Consulting, Risk Consulting and Transactions & Restructuring.
Fleming will be supported by Karen Briggs, who becomes Head of Risk Consulting (replacing Adam Bates who moves on to Head of Innovation for KPMG), and Mark Hutchinson who continues in his role as Head of Management Consulting.
Richard Fleming commented, "Businesses are increasingly demanding a broad mix of Advisory services as they seek to cope with the various challenges presented by a persistently volatile economic environment.
"Our Advisory experts work across the corporate health spectrum from enhancing business profitability to assisting businesses in distress.
"There are numerous examples where our Advisory specialists have worked together to deliver a range of services on a particular case. The special administration of MF Global UK being a high profile example, which has involved not only our insolvency experts but technology specialists from Management Consulting and forensic experts from Risk Consulting, to name but a few.
"This new role enhances our ability to provide the right mix of specialists from a diverse range of skill sets at the right time."
Growth to continue apace
Karen Briggs, UK Head of Risk Consulting at KPMG, said, "Our business has doubled in the last 3 years — achieving 43% revenue growth last year — which is both a sign of the troubled times our clients face, across all sectors, and a testament to the strength of our risk professionals.
"We expect our growth to continue apace as fundamental drivers such as the huge wave of regulation, particularly in the financial services sector, and the growth in cyber crime puts risk strategy firmly on the Board agenda and is viewed as critical to achieving sustainable growth.
"Indeed our latest 'Fraud barometer' showed a record breaking £3.5bn of fraud was committed last year, with management fraud up 74%, which is certainly reflected in the heavy pipeline of our forensic and data insights practices.
"A large proportion of our cases involve working with experts from Management Consulting and Transactions & Restructuring so it makes sense for us to pull even closer together so we can be fleet of foot when our clients need us, be that on a company collapse or rogue trading."
Willing to innovate
Mark Hutchinson, UK Head of Management Consulting, added, "As uncertainty continues to stalk the economy in the UK, the issues facing all organisations — from start ups to multi-billion global corporates and public sector bodies — are becoming ever more complex and uncertain.
"The temptation is to sit tight, focusing primarily on stripping out cost, but inaction is not the right way to ride out this economic storm. The organisations that will come out on top are the ones that are willing to innovate around their products and services, harnessing the rapid changes in technology. As one of our clients said recently, "We came to realise that good customer services cost less than bad customer services."
"The same businesses which recognise that problems cannot be dealt with in isolation will be the successful brands of the future and I am looking forward to working as part of a pan-Advisory team to help our clients embrace the opportunity."