KPMG UK appoints new Chief Financial Officer and Head of Retail

10 October 2016 4 min. read
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KPMG has promoted Paul Martin to the role of Head of Retail, building on considerable previous international experience at Planet Retail and Boxwood. Sarah Willows returns to the Big Four firm after 14 months of maternity leave, taking on the dual roles of Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations.

Paul Martin has been a Managing Director at Boxwood Insight since joining the firm, which become part of KPMG in the summer of 2015. Previously, he worked at Planet Retail from 2005, in his most recent role as Managing Director which started in 2011. Earlier roles at the firm include Commercial Director and Business Development Director & Head of Custom Research. Martin, who holds a Masters of Arts in Modern European History & Foreign Affairs from the University of Augsburg, started his career at the Economist Intelligence Unit as an Account Manager. 

Paul Martin, David McCorquodale and Liz ClaydonKPMG’s announcement sees Martin become the Head of Retail from 1 October. He brings considerable international experience to the role, as the firm seeks to further expand the business in light of new international trends, related to retailing and consumer behaviours. Martin succeeds David McCorquodale, who has been with the business advisory for 32 years and retires at the end of 2017 – following almost four years in the role.

Martin says that he is “delighted” to be taking over the reins from McCorquodale. He adds, “Under his leadership KPMG has demonstrated how important the retail sector in the UK is for our firm and has invested accordingly. I am looking forward to continuing to build our capabilities and working together with our exceptional client base and outstanding colleagues.”

Liz Claydon, Head of KPMG’s Consumer Goods and Retail business, says that she “looks forward” to working with Paul. “He brings international connections, innovative thinking and significant operational skills to the fore at a time when the retail sector continues to undergo significant structural change,” she comments. About the retirement of Claydon, she says, “I would like to thank David for his leadership and commitment throughout his four years in charge of our retail practice. He has significantly raised our profile and capabilities in the sector which has led to industry recognition with David named in Retail Week’s Power 100 list for the last three years. He is a big personality who’ll be missed.”

Sarah Willows and Simon Collins

Sarah Willows (formerly McNaught) returns to KPMG after 14 months of maternity leave. Willows has been with the firm for twenty eight years, in her most recent role as the Head of Energy at the firm. Willows spent 20 years working within the firm’s Transaction Services practice, supporting some of the firm’s largest natural resources clients. Between 2007 and 2009, she was Innovation and Knowledge Management at the firm. Across her various roles of increasing seniority, Willows worked across the globe – including the UK, US, Russia and Africa, and is a member of KPMG UK’s Advisory leadership team. Willows holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of London.

Willows returns to the firm as its new Chief Financial Officer and Head of Operations, and is based in London. As CFO Willows succeeds Paul Long, who is stepping down after five years in the role, and succeeds Mike McDonagh as Head of Operations, following his secondment to a client in the US.

Simon Collins, UK Chairman of KPMG, comments, “Sarah has an impeccable professional services track record, having started her career as an auditor, then moving into international M&A f management consulting. In recent years, she has specialised in energy, advising some of our largest oil & gas clients globally, and spent two years in Moscow. Sarah has always been a highly commercial partner, understanding both the UK and international markets, with a laser focus on her clients’ needs. She will be a strong addition to our leadership team, bringing her broad expertise and commercial nous to bear.”

Willows says that she is “really looking forward” to working with the leadership team throughout the growth of business by making the most of the array of market opportunities available. She adds, “It is important that we continue to focus on investing in and maintaining our core business offerings in areas such as audit, where we are winning the largest share of tenders and are the largest auditor of listed UK businesses.”