“Spend more time listening than talking.” For Peter Nash, Chairman of KPMG, the ability to really hear what clients and the firm’s partners are saying is the key to fulfilling the firm’s mission – and his own – to inspire confidence and empower change. A further important lesson he learned from his own KPMG mentor, Patrick Burroughs, who was lead partner on the ANZ account when Peter was a junior consultant was “it was more important to engage with a client about their business and issues that concern them rather than the technical issues we often take comfort in”.
In his current role as National Chairman, Peter is responsible for the overall governance and strategic positioning of KPMG in Australia, but his extensive experience across KPMG as Regional Head of Audit for Asia Pacific, National Managing Partner for Audit in Australia, and head of KPMG Financial Services has given him a unique perspective on working with clients and on empowering others.
From 2005 through to 2009, he was the Global Lead Audit Partner for BHP Billiton while from 1998 to 2003 he was the Global Lead Audit Partner for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited. “They taught me about the complexity of business and the significance of relationships and communication,” he says. “Both were very formative in understanding the role the client plays in our business and the importance of empowering the KPMG team to excel.”
Working right across the business, providing advice on a diverse range of topics including audit, risk management, internal controls, business processes, and regulatory change, as well as providing financial and commercial advice to many government businesses at both a federal and state level, Peter has learned a lot about getting the best performance from his team. “To achieve outcomes you need to give people opportunities within boundaries to find their own way and provide guidance and advice rather than dictating direction.”
Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne
Certified Practising Accountant, CPA Australia (starting Feb 2004)
Fellow – Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (starting July 1987)
Fellow – Australasian Institute of Banking & Finance (starting July 2003)
Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors
Member of Business Council of Australia
Board Member Reconciliation Australia
Board Member Koorie Heritage Trust
Board Member Schools Connect
Member of the Advisory Council of The Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne
Honorary Auditor for Very Special Kids