Bina Mehta appointed Chair of KPMG UK

25 November 2021 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Partners at KPMG UK have voted to extend Bina Mehta’s term as chair by two years. Mehta first took the role at the start of 2021, after controversial comments saw her predecessor forced to resign.

At the start of the year, KPMG UK was placed into turmoil, when a bizarre rant from then-Chair went public. His comments included telling staff to “stop moaning” about long working hours during the pandemic and rubbishing the notion of unconscious bias within the firm’s performance management system as “complete crap”. KPMG duly asked Bill Michael to step aside.

In a bid to stabilise the UK wing of the firm, KPMG quickly installed a replacement: Bina Mehta. Then working as a Client Lead Partner, Mehta brought more than 20 years of international merger and acquisition and restructuring experience to the role, having worked in the UK, US and Canada while acting for private equity houses, lenders and corporates. Prior to her ascension, she had managed some of KPMG’s key strategic relationships.   

Bina Mehta, Chair, KPMG

Since then, Mehta has not been controlling day-to-day operations, because the dual role of Chair of the board and CEO was split following Michael’s resignation. Jon Holt, former Head of Audit, was selected in April as the new CEO to run KPMG’s business in the UK. With that being said, over the few months she has been the first Non-Executive Chair, she seems to have made quite an impression.

Initially taking the position on an interim basis, Mehta was expected to be UK Chair for just 12 months – however, “overwhelming support” from KPMG’s 582 partners has led to a 24-month extension until February 2024. KPMG has been facing trouble on multiple fronts, and it is thought that the stability Mehta’s continuation offers is one of the driving factors behind her re-appointment. Commenting on the news to that end, Holt told the Financial Times Mehta’s appointment “provides continuity and stability.”

KPMG employs over 15,000 staff in the UK, and brought in revenue of £2.3 billion last year, but a number of issues have seen the firm placed under the microscope on multiple occasions. Aside from the Michael fallout, the Big Four firm has been repeatedly hit by audit scandals, with the UK accounting regulator telling it to improve the quality of its audits. Looking ahead, Mehta noted her priority would be “to build trust in our profession and to ensure that we grow our business in a sustainable and responsible way.”

Meanwhile, in a statement on social network LinkedIn, Mehta added, “I’m extremely proud to have been elected by our partners to continue in my role as Chair of KPMG UK. To be the first Non-Executive Chair of this firm and to lead our Board is an incredible honour.  I’m passionate about building trust in our profession, growing our business in a sustainable and responsible way and building an inclusive and authentic culture where everyone can thrive.”