Following the outcome of the UK’s recent referendum on EU membership, KPMG in the UK has appointed Karen Briggs, one of its most senior partners, to the newly created role of Head of Brexit. The role will supplement the firm’s existing executive leadership team.
Simon Collins, KPMG UK Chairman, commented:
“Friday 24th June represents a pivotal moment in UK business history; Brexit will dominate the business agenda for some time. We have pulled together experts from across the firm to provide the help and guidance our clients need and have appointed one of our most senior partners to our executive committee to lead the charge.
“Karen has built a strong reputation in the market for working on large-scale complex, international regulatory issues, involving complex legal negotiations, for some of our most high profile clients so is well placed to work with organisations at home and abroad as they adapt to the post Brexit world.”
Karen Briggs, Head of Brexit at KPMG, added:
“Our dialogue with clients shows that they need expert support on mitigating the risks and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise from a Brexit. To ensure we can deliver both the Brexit-related services our clients are demanding, on top of business as usual, I plan to build a dedicated team.
“We have been advising our clients to consider the next two weeks, two months and two years to assess the path ahead. Looking at our 2:2:2 model, many of our clients have been seeking advice on their immediate risks. However, we are now seeing clients look further ahead to what opportunities might lie ahead in the next two years – whether these are bolstering trading relationships with China or out-manoeuvring competitors. We are also engaging international clients and are observing, interestingly, predatory intentions from other European nations considering what competitive advantage a Brexit might mean for them. Of course, it is not just a case of risk versus opportunity. For some businesses, a potential Brexit is stalling activity. The M&A and IPO market would be a good example of this. We are the largest M&A adviser by volume and we have seen half a dozen deals we are working on put on hold in the wake of the vote outcome. Whether this is a short-term wobble or has more lasting ramifications remains to be seen at this stage.
”KPMG has been working with clients to understand the implications of the UK’s relationship with the EU for years: including advising industry trade bodies such as the SMMT, informing the strategic thinking of individual companies as they consider trade tariffs or providing immigration law advice to EU CEOs working in the UK.
KPMG’s response to the EU referendum has been led by Melanie Richards, the firm’s Vice Chair, who will continue to provide strategic counsel to Karen Briggs as part of her broader role as Vice Chair and will continue to sit on the firm’s Brexit response panel, which comprises senior partners and experts in tax, economics, audit, immigration and financial regulation amongst others. Karen was formerly the firm’s Head of Solutions, which comprises Tax, Deal Advisory and Management & Risk Consulting. The heads of each department will report into Philip Davidson, the Managing Partner, in the interim, with further announcements to follow.
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Notes to editors
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.