Strong governance

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Our firm

Strong governance

Our business strategy, decision-making processes and policies are guided by our purpose and our values.

Our UK Board

Our new governance structure is progressive for our profession. By separating the roles of Chair and Chief Executive we are adopting best-practice principles of governance.

As at 15 December 2021, our UK Board is made up of 9 members:

  • The Chair, who is also the Senior Elected Member
  • The Chief Executive
  • Five additional Elected Board Members, who are elected by the Partners
  • One Nominated Board Member, who is nominated by the Chair
  • An additional Executive Board Member, who is nominated by the Chief Executive

The Elected and Nominated Board Members, including the Senior Elected Board Member, are drawn from the partnership with a sufficient mix of competency, experience and independence of the day-to-day running of the firm.

The Board is attended on a regular basis by the independent non-executives who form the Public Interest Committee, and the independent audit non-executive who is Chair of the Audit Board. Together, they bring valuable external insight and challenge to the discussions at the Board and its committees.

Female UK Board members / 56% 15-Dec-21 spot count
Ethnic minority UK Board members / 22% 15-Dec-21 spot count
UK Board members from lower socio-economic backgrounds / 22% 15-Dec-21 spot count

I'm proud to lead a diverse Board and I see the value it brings every day through the quality of conversation, the different perspectives and the challenge that our members bring. This allows us to hold the Executive to account to deliver a sustainable impact for our people, clients, communities and planet.

Bina Mehta / Chair, KPMG in the UK

Our Board members have a broad range of skills and experience, spanning finance, accounting, audit and technology. They are individually, and collectively passionate about promoting inclusion, diversity and equity and many are involved with charitable foundations, mentoring initiatives and education programmes to help support our people and our communities on this agenda. Further details about our the members of our UK Board can be found on our UK website and within our Transparency Report, which is hosted on Our report hub.

The Board oversees the long-term stewardship of the firm and the accountability of management, approving a strategy aligned to our purpose and Our Values.

They seek to balance the interests of various stakeholders in order for the firm to have a successful and sustainable future. The Board’s key stakeholders are: clients and investors (in audited entities); partners; alumni; colleagues and new recruits; regulators and government; our global KPMG network; the Executive Committee; the Public Interest Committee; the Audit Board; and the wider community.

Information on the role (including responsibilities in relation to these stakeholders), composition and appointment terms of the Board, can be found in Our Board Charter and Board Terms of Reference.

Our priorities for 2022

In 2022 our UK Board will continue to oversee and monitor:

  • Stewardship of the firm and the accountability of leadership, with emphasis on audit quality.
  • The strategic direction of the firm in its multi-disciplinary model and its alignment to its Trust and Growth strategy.
  • Financial and investment performance to deliver the three-year business plan.
  • The firm’s culture, setting the tone from the top on culture and ethics.
  • The firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance strategy.
  • The quality of the firm’s relationship with its regulators and the firm’s response to regulatory matters.

Our UK Board shall also act on relevant recommendations of our triennial independent Board effectiveness review.

We manage risk responsibly

We manage the risk we take, ensuring we act responsibly, in the public interest and in the interest of the entities we audit, our clients, our people, our regulators, and the markets and communities we work in.

The identification, evaluation, management and monitoring of the most significant risks that face our firm and could threaten the achievement of our strategic objectives, or our business model, future performance or solvency, are the responsibility of our Board. The principal risks and uncertainties that the UK firm faces are: Growth; Clients and audited entities; Execution – Quality; Execution – Delivery; People, Talent and Culture; Technology and information management; Business operations, resilience and controls; Financial management; Trust; Regulation; and Legal.

There are numerous policies and procedures in place to help the UK firm, and members of KPMG International, comply with professional standards. Employees are responsible for complying with these policies, and there are controls and processes in place to help them.

Further information be found in our Transparency Report, hosted on Our report hub.

Modern slavery

KPMG has a zero-tolerance stance on modern slavery.

While the professional services industry is not typically considered a high-risk sector for labour-related breaches, we are acutely aware that risks can arise across our operations and supply chain. We have a critical role to play in managing potential harm to people through a risk-based approach to human rights due diligence.

Our latest Modern Slavery Statement provides an update on the progress we’ve made over the course of FY21 to strengthen our approach to the detection and prevention of modern slavery within our business and supply chains. We do this through:

Our policies We are currently going through an internal refresh of all our policies, to ensure we have a comprehensive policy framework in place to prevent, eliminate, and educate on modern slavery and human trafficking.
Risk assessment and due diligence Modern slavery risk indicators guide our human rights due diligence processes. This ensures our efforts in identifying, assessing, addressing and preventing modern slavery risk are focused on areas where the risk of harm to people is most likely.
Training Modern Slavery training is fundamental to raising awareness and building employee capabilities to mitigate risks and appropriately escalate concerns. All colleagues at KPMG are provided with modern slavery training, and members of our Procurement team are also provided with specific training on their role in preventing modern slavery in our supply chain.
Measuring effectiveness We recognise that the review and assessment of our actions to identify and address modern slavery risks across our operations and supply chain will be an ongoing and evolving process. We use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to better understand the effectiveness of our approach to managing modern slavery risks.
Governance and approvals We recognise the importance of a collaborative approach to addressing modern slavery risks in our operations and supply chain:
  • Our UK Board is responsible for ensuring there is a satisfactory framework for managing cultural, ethical, risk and reputational matters affecting our firm. They are also responsible for approving our annual Modern Slavery Statement, ahead of publication.
  • Accountability for modern slavery relating to our business resides with the Chief Risk Officer.
  • Our cross functional Modern Slavery Working Group meet quarterly to review the effectiveness of our Modern Slavery Programme and drive forward our approach to tackling the risk of modern slavery in our operations and supply chain.
  • Day-to-day responsibility for the management of our programme is led by Risk and Compliance.

Read more: KPMG Modern Slavery Statement

Political and policy engagement

We recognise the importance of engaging with politicians, policy makers and our regulators on issues of relevance to business and society, such as regional growth, Net Zero and the future of work. Whilst at all times maintaining a position of political neutrality, our insights and experience help to strengthen public policy.

Our engagement takes place across a range of forums – from participation in think tank roundtables to holding events at political party conferences – and is focused on areas where we feel that we can make a valuable contribution to the debate. We also help to improve public policy through our involvement in industry-led government forums and trade body committees.

We are committed to ensuring that our political engagement is based on principles of transparency, integrity and accountability and we aim to demonstrate best-practice in conducting political engagement at all levels of government.

As part of this commitment, we have a formal policy in place, which applies to all UK partners and colleagues, to ensure that our engagement is conducted in a manner that demonstrates our firm's commitment to: be a responsible employer; have a positive societal impact; and to support our communities to prosper. This includes guidance on both formal political engagement, as well as voluntary political activity. It’s underpinned by the principles set out in Our Code of Conduct, to act responsibly and in the public interest.

The Future of Towns: tackling a divided vision for the future

We are committed to playing our part in supporting regional growth. To help us do this, we wanted to better understand what the future looks like for our towns. Working alongside the leading cross-party think tank Demos, who conducted extensive public polling and social media analysis on the topic, we facilitated regional business leader focus groups to explore the opportunities and challenges facing towns, as the government looks to ‘Build Back Better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our research found that towns are split down the middle over their vision for the future, with opposing views on: the prospect of newcomers from cities and other countries; issues related to the ageing population; the need for new housing; the creation of new jobs; and the prioritisation of a sense of community.

Our report, The Future of Towns, provides recommendations for how central government, town leaders, businesses and residents could, and should, work together to tackle this divide. From further economic assessments, to participatory conversation and community buy-in, the aim is simple: to unite people in towns behind a single vision for the future, one that enables them to take advantage of the large-scale investment promised as part of the government’s “levelling-up” agenda. As a large UK employer, we recognise we have a role to play in driving action on these recommendations, which is why we’re engaging with cross-party politicians and policy makers to strengthen public policy in this area, in support of the future revival of the towns we operate in.

Read the report