RSM appoints Paul Herring as Global Chief Innovation Officer

17 October 2019 4 min. read
More news on

Global professional services firm RSM has appointed Paul Herring to lead its innovation efforts on a global level. Herring arrives from Grant Thornton, and will operate from RSM’s Global Executive Office in London.

Innovation lies at the core of everything that is potentially transformative, with technology disrupting industries and changing the way businesses operate and how people live. Despite this, in the last few years the UK has fallen behind in the research & development (R&D) landscape. The most recent Office for National Statistics figure of 1.69% expenditure on R&D shows that the Government is below the European average and behind in terms of meeting its own target of 2.4% by 2027. This is of importance as economies approach the fourth industrial revolution, where the power of computers is replacing labour.

As businesses and governments look to ramp up their innovation efforts, with a bumpy road ahead in post-Brexit Britain, many are turning to consulting firms for help. RSM is one such firm, and is seeking to boost its innovation practice to keep up with this demand. The global auditing and consulting firm targets the middle market, and has nearly 3,800 partners and staff working at 35 locations throughout the UK.

RSM appoints Paul Herring as Global Chief Innovation Officer

As RSM looks to boost its ability to meet the needs of clients in the coming months, it has made a key hire in its innovation services wing. Based in RSM’s Global Executive Office, located in London, Paul Herring has joined the firm as Global Chief Innovation Officer. The position will see him take the lead on executing developments in digital and innovation, applying technology to accelerate the business strategy and integrating a transformation imperative into all areas of the network, reporting directly to RSM International’s CEO, Jean Stephens.

Stephens said of the appointment, “Innovation is at the very heart of our network. It is crucial to the way we work with our colleagues and helps drive internal efficiencies. More importantly, it enables clients, particularly across the middle market, to generate further value, enhance growth and create advantages over competitors. Ground-breaking innovation cannot be achieved in silos, so… Paul’s ability to coordinate with member firms to capitalise on the potential of data and technology, on a global scale, will be vital as we look to continue delivering fresh thinking and new ideas for clients in a rapidly changing world.”

Herring brings more than thirty years of experience in consulting, garnered in a number of senior global leadership roles relating to innovation, risk, governance and strategy. Commencing his career at Arthur Andersen, where he spent 17 years – latterly as a Partner – Herring also spent 15 years with Grant Thornton. His most recent role there saw him working as a Principal in innovation in the firm’s Chicago practice.

Speaking of his latest challenge, Herring said, “I am thrilled to be joining RSM’s diverse and talented team of global thinkers. The network has a strong innovative culture focused around understanding the needs and challenges of middle market businesses, helping them to identify and capitalise on transformational opportunities. I am looking forward to working with member firms to ensure that, together, we are effectively harnessing and utilising the great work being done, in order to support our clients and power the next phase of our own growth.”

The appointment comes in the wake of RSM’s recent "Catch 22: Digital transformation and the impact on cybersecurity" report on innovation within middle-market businesses. The analysis highlighted that while an overwhelming 80% of companies involved in the survey said that digital transformation is a strategic priority for them, only 21% have a holistic strategy in place to pre-empt the increased risk involved with such endeavours.