KPMG appoints former Saica president as new CEO

A recycler drags his trolley past the KPMG offices on Empire Road in Johannesburg on 15 September 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

The company rocked by a Gupta scandal last year has admitted that the challenges facing both the firm and the profession have intensified.

Audit firm KPMG South Africa on Wednesday announced Ignatius Sehoole as its new chief executive to take up the role on May 1 next year.

KPMG last month said Nhlamulo Dlomu would step down and it would seek an external head to spearhead the company’s quest to repair its reputation. Dlomu was appointed last year after KPMG suffered reputational damage over work it did for companies owned by the controversial Gupta family and for the national revenue service. It fired its previous leadership over the scandals.

Sehoole is an experienced leader in the accounting profession, having served a successful two-term role from 2000-2009 as executive president of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

KPMG said Sehoole’s start date was being coordinated to comply with the requirements of audit independence rules.

Auditor independence rules require that Sehoole take on the appointment as chief executive only after the issuance of any reports related to the current year’s audit of those companies audited by KPMG where Sehoole has also served as a director or officer in the current financial year.

Meanwhile, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu will continue to serve as executive chairman in the interim and will revert to his non-executive chairman role on May 1.

Nkuhlu said while KPMG South Africa had changed substantially over the past year, the challenges facing both the firm and the profession had intensified.

He said the board felt it was important to appoint an external candidate to the firm.

“Ignatius will be able to build on the foundations Nhlamu established to restore trust in KPMG. He will also participate in efforts to reposition the profession with clients and the public,” said Nkuhlu.

Sehoole said he looked forward to the opportunity to help lead KPMG South Africa.

“It is imperative that the profession rises to the challenges it is facing, and it is in the national interest that KPMG be part of the solution,” he said.

“My priority at KPMG will be to continue to restore client confidence and again make KPMG a firm where the best people wish to work. I look forward to the opportunity to accelerate this rehabilitation phase.”

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