Ex-EquaTerra CEO Mark Toon leads KPMG Capital

03 December 2013 Consultancy.uk

Recently KPMG announced it launched a fund aimed at investing in new technologies, like Big Data and Analytics. With the move it embarks ground that no other Big Four firm has gone before – The land of technology investment. Meanwhile it is known that KPMG Capital will be led by former EquaTerra CEO Mark Toon.

Formally KPMG Capital is based in London, yet its final control will be led by Mark Toon, who is based in Houston, USA. The choice for Houston as a headquarters primarily has more to do with Toon’s location. He has his roots in Houston (in 2003 Toon was co-founder of EquaTerra in Houston*) and will also in the coming period continue to operate from the American city known for the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center of the space agency organization NASA. This city brings a competitive advantage to the fund.

‘We are in one of the largest cities in the U.S. with over 50 of the Fortune 1,000 companies” Toon declared in the Houston Business Journal. “Houston has a vibrant economy with lots of technology and it is close to other cities with the emergence of tech-based companies like Austin and San Antonio”.


Global virtual team
In the same interview with the local newspaper Toon provided some additional insights in the working of the fund. Although he wouldn’t disclose how many people are working for KPMG Capital, he did say that the team is currently split between Houston and London. Yet, he emphasizes, the team is virtual designed to have a global reach. “After all KPMG has 3,000 data and analytics professionals based around the world so we have a true global presence”.

Toon expects to announce the first investments by the end of the year. The arm’s initial fund, estimated by Forbes at $100 million, is designed to last five years. In the future, KPMG Capital could choose to form another fund with a different focus than data analytics, Toon says.

* EquaTerra was founded by Mark Toon, Mark Hodges en David Karabinos, in Houstonin 2003. Between 2003 and 2011 the consulting firm grew quickly to become one of the leading global players in the area of sourcing and business process excellence. In februari 2011 EquaTerra was absorbed by KPMG, approximately 300 advisors stepped over to the Big 4 office globally.



Accenture's Rothco installs new Executive Creative Director

24 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Jen Speirs is set to take over from Alan Kelly as the Executive Creative Director of Accenture Interactive-owned agency Rothco. Speirs arrives as Kelly takes up the role of Chief Creative Officer at the firm.

Rothco is a full-service creative agency based in Dublin. Founded in 1995, the firm contains more than 150 strategic, creative, technology, design, project management and production professionals located in Ireland’s capital city. The agency strategically plans, designs and produces powerful communications campaigns across Europe for numerous iconic brands, including Tesco, Heineken and Lyons. Internationally recognised for its prowess in the sector, Rothco notably found success at the Cannes Lions awards in both 2015 and 2016.

Such success inevitably drew the eye of Accenture during its extended spending spree to strengthen its digital design and advertising offerings, housed under the Accenture Interactive moniker. A year after purchasing Rothco, Accenture Interactive has since continued this push into the advertising space, acquiring New York and London-based agency Droga5 earlier this month, and adding illustrious clients such as HBO, Amazon and The New York Times to its roster of clients. Despite its purchase, Rothco has also been undergoing its own period of change, however.

With the news that long-term incumbent Alan Kelly had won a promotion from his position as Executive Creative Director (ECD), the agency commenced a hunt for his replacement. Kelly joined Rothco nine years ago as a Copywriter, and has now worked his way up to the role of Chief Creative Officer. Assuming that office, he will pass on his previous role to Jen Speirs, who exits BMF Australia, relocating half way around the world to fill the vacancy.

Accenture's Rothco installs new Executive Creative Director

Speirs was appointed BMF’s Deputy Executive Creative Director in March 2018, having joined BMF as a creative director in 2016 from her previous role at Foxtel, where she was a Freelance Creative Director. Following her arrival at BMF, she worked across brands such as McDonald’s, Carefree, Arnott’s, Berlei, TAL, Bonds, BWS, UN Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, while her work has picked up awards at NY Festivals, Clio, AWARD, Cannes, Effies, Media Federation, Caples, and Spikes Asia. Speirs also worked at DDB Sydney as Creative Director for six years, with clients such as Telstra, Lipton and Johnson & Johnson.

Commenting on her new challenge, Speirs said, "When I look at a lot of Rothco's work, like JFK Unsilenced, the #takenotice breast cancer campaign on the Molly Malone Statue, Sleeping Flags – it all has that perfect combination of creativity, innovation and craft… So the opportunity to go and be a part of that, and work with the awesome people I’ve met so far, was far too good to say no to. I can’t wait to get over there and get stuck in.”

Remarking on Speirs’ arrival, Kelly added, "I am chuffed we have poached someone as incredibly talented as Jen Speirs. I think it’s a testament to the work we are doing in Rothco that we are attracting world-class talent like Jen to these shores. Jen is a super addition to the team as she is both gifted and decent, two qualities we always look for when we hire. I also may have told her that Dublin's weather is pretty much the same as Sydney's – hopefully, she hasn't fact-checked this yet."

Related: Accenture's push into the creative sector is an identity crisis.