With growth the mantra of corporate Australia for 2018, KPMG Australia is readying its business for a surge in demand for mid-market mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
The team is being reshaped and expanded, with industry stalwart and long-standing M&A head, Jon Adgemis, taking on a new role at KPMG, and Peter Turner now leading the practice. Two new M&A partners – Paul Childers and Helen Sutherland – have also commenced with the firm this New Year.
“I’ve been given a clear mandate to continue to grow the business, beginning the year with two new high calibre partner appointments – both talented leaders who bring a wealth of experience and expertise enabling us to expand the practice and capitalise on a market full of opportunity,” said Peter Turner.
Mr Turner explained this was in response to the firm’s expectation of a busy year in M&A. “Our outlook for M&A activity in the mid-market is strong, driven by an active private equity market and domestic and international companies pursuing growth through acquisitions. In fact, 2018 looks like it will see the largest amount of capital raised by private equity since the GFC. With the advantage of having a strong and well established national M&A presence, with offices in every major capital city and a tightly connected international M&A network, we are experiencing significant growth right across the country,” he said.
“The US will continue to be the largest source of inbound M&A activity, followed by Europe. There is still a strong appetite from Chinese investors in Australian assets, particularly in the healthcare, food and branded consumer goods areas, but the days of the ‘wild card’ investor that may pay over the odds are probably over. From a sector perspective, there’s interest very broadly – with food and health probably the standout targets. Geographically, in addition to the major markets, we’re also focusing on Western Sydney as an M&A hot spot,” he added.
Jon Adgemis has taken on a new role with KPMG, as Managing Director M&A, and remains very engaged with the business. He will also pursue new personal commercial endeavours.
“Jon has brought connectivity, a deep sector and transaction technical knowledge and significant origination capability to the firm. He has led the practice with distinction and built on the legacy of those partners before him to develop a market-leading M&A practice. Everyone loves working with Jon, so we’re delighted he remains working closely with us,” said Mr Turner.
As part of the build of KPMG’s M&A team, joining the firm as new partners are Paul Childers and Helen Sutherland.
Paul Childers will lead a new M&A team in Parramatta. He joins from Deloitte, having spent the last three years developing and establishing his presence in the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) M&A market. Paul joins a team of four M&A professionals focused on the GWS market. His appointment reaffirms KPMG’s Sydney growth strategy, servicing clients via a ‘three cities’ presence (Sydney CBD, Parramatta and Penrith) and considering the region a key place to be doing business in Australia.
Helen Sutherland joins the firm from PWC. Prior to this, she worked for Fletcher Building Limited in their Group Strategy and Corporate Development team. Leveraging her industry knowledge and connections, Helen will focus on industrials and healthcare. Having worked as both an adviser and in-house M&A, Helen brings a wealth of experience from both a client and market perspective.
Helen joins recent hire Cecily Conroy in the firm’s Sydney CBD office. In a newly established role, Cecily leads KPMG’s equity capital markets function, providing independent advice to companies looking to IPO or raise capital from public markets.
“We see the specialist experience brought by Paul Childers and Helen Sutherland as vital in resourcing deal flow in 2018,” said Peter Turner. “Our outlook on the M&A market overall is bullish.”
KPMG’s leading position in the M&A sector is underpinned by its recent Number One ranking (by deal count) in the 2017 MergerMarket financial advisory league tables in Australasia, Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) and Globally.