ERM veteran Keryn James steps down as CEO

17 December 2021 2 min. read
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ERM is one of the world’s largest sustainability consultancies, and has been consistently looking to ramp up its offering in recent years. As the London based firm prepares for further growth in 2022, ERM has announced the stepping down of its CEO, Keryn James.

2021 has seen ERM accelerate a major expansion campaign, after winning the backing from investment fund KKR in May 2021. In the following months, this saw the company complete the purchase of Stratos builds on previous acquisitions to that end, including Element Energy, RCG, E4Tech and ERM in the last six months alone.

As well as transforming its operations by buying new firms, ERM is also seeing change at the top of its firm now. After nearly 30 years at the company, five of which were spent as CEO, Keryn James has announced her departure from the firm.

ERM veteran Keryn James steps down as CEO

Speaking on her decision, James said, “It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to serve ERM. The purpose and people at this firm make it one of the most special places I have ever spent time in. I would like to thank all ERMers, past and present, for their passion, skill, commitment and friendship. I leave the business in a much stronger position, with great momentum, continued outperformance, and with solid financial and strategic backing from KKR.”

James assumed the position in 2017, stepping into the shoes of John Alexander, who after nine years in the role, was moving to the role of Chairman. For the two years prior to being promoted, she held the position of Global Director of Operations, and had previously held responsibility for client development, project delivery, people leadership and operational performance.

Following James’ standing down, David McArthur will act as interim CEO pending the appointment of a successor, which will be announced soon. James will meanwhile support the leadership transition and serve as strategic adviser to the ERM Executive Committee, ensuring continuity in client and business development activities.

Tim Franks, Partner at KKR and Chair of the ERM Board, said, “The Board is deeply grateful to Keryn for everything that she has done for ERM over the past 28 years, helping to build a world class company that strives to meet the ever increasing sustainability challenges of our world. ERM is on a remarkable journey of growth and has a critical role to play in shaping a sustainable future for the world’s leading organisations at a time when it is most urgently needed.”