Recently KPMG announced it launched a fund aimed at investing in new technologies, like Big Data and Analytics. With the move it embarks ground that no other Big Four firm has gone before – The land of technology investment. Meanwhile it is known that KPMG Capital will be led by former EquaTerra CEO Mark Toon.
Formally KPMG Capital is based in London, yet its final control will be led by Mark Toon, who is based in Houston, USA. The choice for Houston as a headquarters primarily has more to do with Toon’s location. He has his roots in Houston (in 2003 Toon was co-founder of EquaTerra in Houston*) and will also in the coming period continue to operate from the American city known for the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center of the space agency organization NASA. This city brings a competitive advantage to the fund.
‘We are in one of the largest cities in the U.S. with over 50 of the Fortune 1,000 companies” Toon declared in the Houston Business Journal. “Houston has a vibrant economy with lots of technology and it is close to other cities with the emergence of tech-based companies like Austin and San Antonio”.
Global virtual team
In the same interview with the local newspaper Toon provided some additional insights in the working of the fund. Although he wouldn’t disclose how many people are working for KPMG Capital, he did say that the team is currently split between Houston and London. Yet, he emphasizes, the team is virtual designed to have a global reach. “After all KPMG has 3,000 data and analytics professionals based around the world so we have a true global presence”.
Toon expects to announce the first investments by the end of the year. The arm’s initial fund, estimated by Forbes at $100 million, is designed to last five years. In the future, KPMG Capital could choose to form another fund with a different focus than data analytics, Toon says.
* EquaTerra was founded by Mark Toon, Mark Hodges en David Karabinos, in Houstonin 2003. Between 2003 and 2011 the consulting firm grew quickly to become one of the leading global players in the area of sourcing and business process excellence. In februari 2011 EquaTerra was absorbed by KPMG, approximately 300 advisors stepped over to the Big 4 office globally.