Head of Deloitte's Financial Advisory practice Neville Kahn resigns

05 July 2018 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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A Managing Partner at Deloitte’s UK wing has resigned to pursue new business interests, according to the Big Four firm. Neville Kahn’s exit will conclude at the end of the summer, coming shortly after it was announced that he was among three Deloitte Partners to be investigated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for an alleged conflict of interest during the administration of retailer Comet.

Neville Kahn, an insolvency specialist and a Managing Partner for Financial Advisory at Deloitte UK has confirmed he will exit his post at the firm at the end of August. The news comes just three months after his most recent elevation with the firm. Kahn is one of the UK’s leading insolvency practitioners, and since joining from rival PwC in 2001, had generated Deloitte more than £25 million in fees on the back of work during the collapses of Woolworths, HMV and Comet.

His resignation comes after a sustained period of scrutiny for his work on the last of those cases. In 2014 then Business Secretary Vince Cable announced that the Insolvency Service has referred three Deloitte Partners to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) over a conflict of interest. Kahn was among them, alongside Christopher Farrington and Nicholas Edwards. Following Comet’s collapse in 2012, the three IPs – previous advisors to Comet – accepted their appointment as administrators despite potential for conflict of interest, according to the Insolvency Service.

Head of Deloitte's Financial Advisory practice Neville Kahn resigns

The employment tribunal had found that employees were not properly consulted on redundancy options as legally required, which could now lead to a possible £26 million compensation package to be footed by the taxpayer. Now the trio of Deloitte partners have finally been placed under investigation by the ICAEW over the administration. While Kahn’s exit comes after this key development, however, Deloitte insists that his stepping down is to pursue new business prospects, ending a 16 year association with the Big Four giant.

A spokesperson for Deloitte said, “Neville Kahn is leaving the firm to set-up an investment fund. This is something he has considered for some time and is unrelated to the Comet insolvency or any investigation by the Institute.”

The 55-year-old is also Chair of Norwood, Britain's largest Jewish charity which works with vulnerable children. Having only succeeded former Chair David Ereira in March 2018, at present it appears that Kahn will retain this role.

Elsewhere, Deloitte also came under investigation for its conduct in the high profile $5 billion Autonomy scandal earlier in 2018. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched a tribunal to examine alleged failings in the collapsed IT firm’s book-keeping, which Deloitte was responsible for as auditor. The FRC oversees the British auditing market, and recently made headlines when it said a break-up of the Big Four may be necessary on the back of a series of alleged conflicts of interest, leading to firms entering into administration.