KPMG in the U.K. made it official this morning that head of audit Jon Holt will replace Bill Michael as the firm’s new CEO.
KPMG in the UK has confirmed that following a partnership vote, Jon Holt has been elected with overwhelming support as the firm’s Chief Executive. He will start in role immediately and will serve until the end of September 2025.
Jon has decades of experience supporting clients with audit, transaction services and advisory projects. Since joining the firm in 1994, he has led several of KPMG’s largest business units and most recently held the role of Head of Audit overseeing 7,000 people. Prior to this, Jon headed up the firm’s Financial Services practice. He has also held the role of Office Senior Partner in Manchester, leading one of KPMG’s largest offices.
Bina Mehta, Chair of KPMG UK said: “I’m delighted that Jon received the overwhelming backing of the partnership. Jon’s extensive experience and inclusive leadership style means he is well placed to deliver the next stage of our growth strategy and support our clients as the country emerges from the pandemic.”
Jon Holt, Chief Executive of KPMG UK, said: “I’m very grateful for the support of the partnership and excited about the future for our firm. We are made up of over 16,000 people doing great work for our clients and in the communities where we live and work.
“KPMG has a great opportunity, as we exit the pandemic, to support our clients and help them build and grow their businesses during this period of profound change. I am confident that KPMG has the people, skills and expertise to grasp this opportunity.
“Now is the time to challenge ways of working and use what we’ve learnt during the pandemic to really drive positive action. This is the moment for leaders to adapt their operations, reduce their environmental footprint and recruit diverse talent right across the UK. I am passionate about driving this change. There must be no limit in business to where talent, achievement and hard work can take you, whoever you are and whatever your background.”
Jon is KPMG UK’s Head of Audit and Chair of the firm’s Executive Committee for Audit. Prior to being appointed to his current role in 2019, Jon was KPMG UK’s Head of Financial Services, leading the firm’s Banking, Insurance and Asset Management practice. Before that, he was senior partner at KPMG’s Manchester office.
He has two decades of experience supporting financial services companies with audit, transaction services and advisory projects. Since joining KPMG in 1994, Jon has worked with a wide range of companies including Old Mutual PLC, Aviva PLC, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Prudential PLC, Skipton Building Society, Covéa and Royal London Group. Jon is a Trustee of Patchwork Foundation – a non-partisan charity supporting participation of young people in democracy and civil society.
Driving inclusion and diversity has been at the heart of Jon’s strategy as a leader. As Head of Audit he has worked to ensure the firm makes its Audit practice a place where every talented auditor can thrive, regardless of their background or identity. He is personally sponsoring the firm’s Black Lives action plan in Audit and last year set up the Audit Evolution Board, which aims to bring greater diversity of thought and advises on initiatives to create a better audit business.
According to the Financial Times, Holt was the only CEO candidate sent by the firm’s board to KPMG U.K.’s 580-some partners for consideration in order to avoid a competitive run-off. He still needed the approval of a majority of partners to get that CEO seat, which obviously he got.
Holt takes over for Michael, a gruff Aussie who had served as KPMG CEO and chairman from 2017 until Feb. 12 when he resigned after hurting some KPMGers’ feelings during a Zoom meeting.
After Michael quit, Mehta, a KPMG board member, split the positions of CEO and chair. She was appointed chair in February and is serving a 12-month term. Mary O’Connor, the firm’s head of clients and markets, had held down the fort on an interim basis until Michael’s successor as CEO was elected.
Jon Holt to become KPMG’s UK chief with immediate effect [Financial Times]