“I truly believe that building strong relationships with clients is critical to create trust and confidence.”

Interview with Hélène Béguin

In an interview, Hélène Béguin, KPMG’s newly elected Chair of the Board, takes stock of her first 90 days in office and explains how she envisions her contribution through this new role.

Hélène Béguin, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, KPMG Switzerland

Hélène Béguin, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, KPMG Switzerland

You have now been in office as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for 90 days. What challenges have you already had to overcome?

I would not talk about challenges I had to overcome but as we have two new board members, we wanted to prioritize their onboarding. As we highlight during the onboarding sessions we offer through our Board Leadership Circle, we believe the success of a new board depends directly on the quality of the induction and onboarding process and how we define our most important topics in our 2021 agenda. We discussed what will be the duties and responsibilities of the KPMG Board and reviewed together the organisational regulation so that everyone was aware of important aspects included. I also had several discussions with our CEO to agree on how we will work together. We had our first Board meeting in January.

Did you feel prepared when you took over the Chairman of the Board at KPMG?

Yes, I felt ready to handle this new role. Since I already was a member of the Board for many years, this new step is a great opportunity for me to further contribute to the development of our firm together with my fellow board members and colleagues. I want to embrace this new role as quickly as possible, be a great ambassador for KPMG in Switzerland and continue to develop strong and valuable working relationships with my board colleagues, our CEO and all the Partners.

You have a longstanding career as an auditor. How do you convince your clients to entrust KPMG with their work?

I truly believe that building strong relationships with clients is critical to create trust and confidence. We also need to create value and be relevant in our work, maintaining high quality in everything we do, being constantly innovative yet supportive. This is what I have always tried to achieve with all the teams and clients I have worked with for many years now.

How has technology impacted KPMG’s business model?

Technology has had a strong impact in the way we operate and deliver our services, not only in the Audit practice but in all services. In the current difficult environment, we would not be in a position to deliver our services without the technology and the tools we developed over the last years. I am amazed to see how fast we, as a firm, as well as our people, adapted to this situation. For example, all our proposals include strong elements of technology in all aspects, be it in our methodology, our communication tools or our use of data. We use every opportunity to bring the client into our digital universe. We have a high-tech digital workspace in Zurich – the Insights Center – where our in-house experts help clients interact with their data and look at their challenges through a new lens.

What is KPMG’s strength?

Passionate and inspired people who always go above and beyond to propose the best services and solutions to our clients. People who seek to create value with our innovative product portfolio and relevant technology and who are committed to our values and culture.

Who has been your main source of inspiration during your career so far?

As you can imagine, having spent more than 30 years in this firm I have been inspired by many different colleagues and clients. I always felt supported and encouraged to reach further. Thanks to them all, I have built my own ambition and developed as a person over time.

For what contribution to KPMG as Chairwoman do you want to be remembered?

People will certainly remember that this is the first time we elected a woman in this position at KPMG in Switzerland. However, I do hope that people will also think that I have contributed to making KPMG a strong partner for our clients and a great employer to work for today and for future generations. I also hope I inspired many women to grow with KPMG.

Connect with us

Stay up to date with what matters to you

Gain access to personalized content based on your interests by signing up today