KPMG opens new Leeds office to capitalise on demand

10 December 2015

KPMG has officially opened its new office building at One Sovereign Square in Leeds. The new office, covering 61,000 sq. ft. and housing more than 700 staff, will be the home-base of the firm’s pensions, financial services and restructuring team. Besides which, the new office will provide the full range of professional services for which the Big Four firm is known.

KPMG has opened its new, purpose built, office at One Sovereign Square in Leeds. The space spans four floors and provides 61,000 sq. ft. exclusively to the firm. The office was developed by urban regeneration specialist Muse Developments and built by Morgan Sindall. The building, one of three, was specifically designed to fit in with the context of the surrounding area and face into a central green space. The structure is equipped with a wide range of environmental technologies, including the use of sustainable timber, a green roof and cycle parking bays.

KPMG opens new office in Leeds

Regional base
The new space will house 700 of KPMG’s staff that work within the wider Yorkshire region, providing the full breadth of the professional services firm’s offerings, including audit, tax, and advisory. The key office will have particular competency in pensions, financial services and restructuring, with the national team operating from its new base. The decision to build and develop a new base in the area stems from growing demand for a broad-range of services within the region, from start-ups to multinationals, listed companies and organisations across the public sector.

“We are delighted with One Sovereign Square, which more than delivers on the ambitions we’ve held for our new Yorkshire office from the outset. As well as providing us with an unrivalled, modern, flexible working environment, designed to foster collaboration and innovation, this building shows some real flair,” comments Chris Hearld, Northern Region Chairman of KPMG, on the new office. “We are keenly looking forward to welcoming clients and contacts to our new home over the coming weeks. I have no doubt that this state-of-the-art space will help us to attract the very best talent and to provide an inspiring working environment that will play a part in enabling all of us to deliver excellence to the organisations and individuals with whom we work.”

Chris Hearld Northern Region Chairman of KPMG

Besides featuring business and local authority representatives, the opening of the office also saw local sports heroes take part, including Kevin Sinfield, who led Leeds Rhinos to seven Super League titles, as well as Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Olympic medal-winning Yorkshire triathletes. Pupils from Leeds West Academy and All Saints School, both supported by the profession services firm as part of its corporate responsibility activities, also took part in the opening.

PwC, in June of this year, also announced it would be moving into a new office development in Leeds, signing a 15-year lease to be the anchor tenant of the £100 million Central Square. The firm occupies 55,000 sq. ft. on the seventh and eighth floors, hosting around 700 accountants and advisors.


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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”