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In our 2019 Global CEO Outlook, participants identified three key priorities:

  • drive agility by rethinking the operating model
  • create and sustain an innovative culture
  • deliver organization-wide digital reinvention.

These are our priorities too. In 2019, we worked to ensure that our investments are focused on helping clients meet these objectives. This was a year in which a growing number of engagements brought many aspects of our portfolio together to help businesses deal effectively with complex issues. We saw tremendous collaboration across our organization to build services and capabilities that are in demand globally.

Gary Reader's Quote
Gary Reader

Our success begins with understanding our clients’ markets — the challenges they face, the opportunities created by digital and societal change, and the expectations of our clients’ own customers. We go to market as industry specialists, combining that knowledge with technological capabilities and a deep understanding of our clients’ businesses. As sectors converge to find new solutions to major issues like mobility, healthtech and sustainability, the breadth of our knowledge allows us to bring unique insights.

In 2019, we continued to build a powerful ecosystem of KPMG professionals, alliances and clients, that delivered ground-breaking work. 

Working with alliances

Our alliance partners tell us that our deep knowledge of clients and their sectors is the difference between a merely competent deployment and a truly successful implementation. Our collaborations with alliances help us support hundreds of clients across our organization. We work with Google Cloud, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Workday and many more, combining our business knowledge with our alliances’ technology and data to design a marketleading portfolio of solutions and services.

Many of the success stories in this review are thanks to the growing capabilities of our people to merge their knowledge with that of our alliance partners, together delivering results that would be impossible to achieve by working alone.

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Mark Goodburn

Investing in capabilities

Our clients are dealing with disruption amid rapidly changing technology and associated challenges — from staff expectations of smart and efficient digital operations, to customer expectations of frictionless interactions and real-time responses. 

We know that the answer lies in that balance between appropriate technology and detailed business knowledge. Their biggest challenges are often not linked to finding technology, but to using it as an agent for agility and positive change within the client’s business.

Our own investments are designed to help clients at every step of their digital transformation journey. KPMG’s Connected Enterprise and Powered Enterprise solutions support front-, middle- and back-office transformations and technology implementation programs. Our cybersecurity solutions are helping clients build resistance to cyberattacks and to help minimize their impact. Our regulatory driven transformation solutions help clients adapt to regulatory changes like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), new accounting standards or Know Your Customer (KYC) laws. We help our clients go beyond compliance to deliver smart new approaches to data collection and reporting. Our clients repeatedly tell us how well this holistic approach works for them — and for their customers.

Helping our clients meet their goals

KPMG does some of its best work by seeking insight from clients to work with them as collaborators focused on the client´s agenda. We are making significant investments in tools and capabilities that enable our people to drive change in an informed, timely and pragmatic fashion. 

The stories that follow show how we are acting on our commitment — equipping our people with the skills, tools and solutions needed to deliver insightful and sustainable change for a new era.

A unique ‘transformation’ initiative is unfolding in Buenos Aires

Mariano Sanchez
Partner
KPMG in Argentina

Mariano Sanchez is working with the city of Buenos Aires’ government to transform an entire urban neighborhood and community by relocating 4,000 residents along with their homes, businesses, schools and local services.

“This is a change management project that’s very, very different from any others we have completed,” says Mariano. “It is a unique piece of work in which we are not dealing with a company but with people, families and diverse local businesses. It’s part of a huge transformation project in the biggest barrio in the city of Buenos Aires.”

The objective of the ambitious ‘Strategic Resettlement Plan’ is to improve socioeconomic conditions for residents occupying a rundown urban area situated beneath a busy highway. By building new apartment buildings, schools, health centers, public services, parks and more, the project will ultimately generate a promising future for the neighborhood and its residents.

“We are coordinating the demolition of old homes, businesses and services that were built under a local highway and which are, in many cases, quite unsafe,” says Mariano. “It’s particularly sensitive work, given the nature of the project and the fact that many residents have fears and anxieties about resettlement and are reluctant to move. Change management in this case requires us to do a lot of crucial ‘social work’ with local leaders — working with the city to communicate effectively with residents and make sure things progress as planned.”

The project, to be completed in 2020, will ideally set the standard for future urban-improvement initiatives in Argentina. Mariano is particularly proud to participate in a project that offers a creative solution to the pressing problems people in many of the world’s declining urban centers are facing today.

“In my personal experience, this is as real as it gets. When you work with companies you see progress and transformation — but it cannot compare to seeing how these people live today and how they will live in the future with the creation of better housing, new schools and worldclass health services,” says Mariano. “It’s a project with tremendous impact — a one-of-a-kind, life-changing initiative that I am very proud to participate in.”

 

Helping a leading insurer improve its governance, risk and compliance systems

Kaman Chun
Senior Consultant
KPMG China

Kaman Chun is working with her client on data migration for its adoption of a new Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) platform. SAI Global BWise provided the GRC technology solution and KPMG was selected to work with BWise on a business-led roll out of the platform.

Before the data-migration program could begin, the team needed to identify which data to migrate. Kaman and her team used their knowledge of the sector and of their client to help ensure that they designed the right business requirements. They consulted widely and delivered a specification that covered operational risk management, internal control of financial reporting and issues management.

As a data and analytics (D&A) specialist, she worked with her client to translate their business requirements into instructions for BWise to help them build the system. Kaman’s risk and compliance background added to her D&A skills and helped her to become “the bridge.”

“I got to know the client initially through workshops. Then people from all three organizations started to collaborate with each other. This was a great environment for building trust and friendship.”

Kaman is proud of how she and her team made an impact on her client’s digital transformation journey. “I am very excited to have worked with my client on putting a sound data management foundation in place to make this new platform a success for them.”

She also enjoys coaching junior colleagues. “Because of the size of this engagement, we brought in a lot of people. It’s a great opportunity to train people on data migration and the GRC system and to help them develop their skills.”

“The best part of this engagement is what it has taught me about my client and about the Insurance industry in general. I’ve worked with my client’s business units all across Asia, learning how to get value from this technology. It’s very satisfying to see how this work helps them to confidently meet the expectations of their staff, customers and regulators.”

 

Helping Royal Bank of Scotland efficiently and effectively increase accuracy in customer onboarding

Adam Wang
Assistant manager
KPMG in the UK

Adam Wang knew he was coming into a collaborative culture when he joined KPMG in 2016. As someone who believes strongly that “the learning curve never ends,” he says his experience here has been very fulfilling.

“It’s been quite amazing to be part of this work environment. I’ve had access to the insights and expertise of KPMG professionals globally as needed and they have been a tremendous help as I develop critical new skills and experience that I will be able to share with my own team,” says Adam.

Adam gained valuable experience working with the technology delivery services team before “welcoming the next big challenge” — taking on his current role as delivery manager on the project to build a new platform for business processes and online customer services. He works closely with the service-desk managers and other users, including the customer journey team, to support work and implement ongoing improvements.

“When this opportunity came up, I saw it as a very interesting challenge and an excellent opportunity to get involved in designing and building web applications from scratch,” he says.

Adam looks forward to further developing his technology skills and learning more about the finance sector. “I’ve learned an incredible amount in a few short years and have taken on significant responsibilities that have really helped me to grow as a KPMG professional. I appreciate KPMG’s learning culture and dedication to helping every employee continually develop new skills for future success,” he says.

 

Implementing a system for a global pharmaceutical client

Kalpana Iyer
Manager
KPMG in the UK

IT cybersecurity manager Kalpana Iyer, a Physics graduate with an MSc in Information Security, saw a fast-track project as a unique new challenge. The success of the project required her to tap into her experience in Privileged Access Management solutions, which help organizations manage access to privileged employee accounts in order to protect critical data and assets, meet compliance regulations and enhance cybersecurity.

Kalpana’s team ran the project through separate ‘Discovery’ and ‘Delivery’ workstreams.

On the discovery front, their work included: a detailed assessment of the client’s privileged accounts; interviews to identify issues; a plan to onboard privileged accounts into the information security company, CyberArk; and an assessment of requirements for audit monitoring and keystroke logging — two critical compliance functions.

Meanwhile, the team working on delivery rapidly built and tested a customized CyberArk solution, delivered precise documentation to help deploy the solution, and hosted training sessions for users.

The project involved long hours and close collaboration with the client at every step. Kalpana noted: “We were able to achieve the results in what I believe was record time. I learned how essential it is to build a relationship with both my client’s business and their technology teams. We were able to work with the client to gain the level of consensus needed to move extremely fast on this project.”

“We all recognized the importance of bringing the highest levels of determination and enthusiasm to every part of this,” she adds. “I’m proud to say that the entire KPMG team demonstrated remarkable drive that proved crucial to our success and that helped us build strong relationships with the client’s team.”

 

Working with Telefónica Colombia on a market-leading robotic process automation program

Alain Almeida
Vice-President, Technology Enablement
KPMG in Colombia

Alain Almeida joined KPMG in Colombia nearly 20 years ago and has built up a practice specializing in technology, systems implementation, data analytics, cybersecurity, robotic process automation (RPA) and intelligent automation.

In 2018, Alain led a successful RPA engagement that saw Grupo Bancolombia starting to integrate more than 85 robots or “bots” — software that can execute commands, reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, automatically or with minimal human intervention. The bank’s operations now boast 9,000 robotics workstations. Hearing about this, another of his clients — Telefónica Colombia — approached Alain to discuss a similar program for their business.

As an advocate for RPA and the benefits it can provide to companies and their customers, Alain was delighted to accept this challenge. Over the course of two years, he worked with Telefónica Colombia’s information technology team on a program that is currently the largest RPA implementation in Latin America’s telecommunications sector.

The team designed and launched more than 445 robots to support more than 65 processes, marking the start of a sustained digital transformation program across Telefónica operations. Telefónica now has an RPA Center of Excellence to drive artificial intelligence programs throughout the organization.

Alain is excited about how this work has changed perceptions of KPMG. “KPMG is now one of the leading providers of RPA advice in Latin America,” he says. “I am very proud of the work that our team delivered and of our ability to take learnings from one sector into another. RPA can help our clients make tremendous progress in efficiency and quality, bringing down error rates and helping them to build customer trust.”

 

Transporting Keuhne + Nagel into revolutionary logistics

Angela Tien
Associate Director
KPMG in Singapore

Angela Tien works in KPMG in Singapore’s Digital Village, specializing in digital innovation projects.

Her story begins with Kuehne + Nagel (KN) asking KPMG to meet their innovation team, who were on a study program to learn more about Singapore’s innovation ecosystem. The conversations led to an agreement that KPMG in Singapore would work with KN to design a new solution to grow their transport logistics business.

Angela and her team used design thinking to identify how KN could grow their business in the ASPAC region. They researched the market thoroughly, interviewing customers and vendors in Malaysia and Singapore to help ensure that both KPMG and KN understood the issues and the opportunity, before moving to product design.

Angela’s team presented their business case to KN board members and included a product roadmap, market analysis and investment requirements. They also delivered a quick prototype that not only helped KN see how this product would work but also gave them confidence that KPMG’s team could deliver.

“I didn’t feel like I was just a vendor because I helped the client go from concept to development. This was a great experience — I felt that both KPMG and the client shared in the creation and success of eTrucknow,” Angela says.

Angela used the Agile project management methodology to develop the product, working closely with KN to showcase eTrucknow before launching it in Thailand in July 2019. KN is now looking at KPMG’s product roadmap to determine how to roll out eTrucknow within the region.

“We looked at this in a very Agile manner — lots more collaboration, in the design and development phases, with our clients — so our relationship with them was established from a very early stage,” she says.

Through her participation in KPMG’s Global Innovation Network, she is excited about building a career in this area. “Digital is here to stay — and the people I work with are really keen to keep pace with it and support our clients with their transformation programs.”

 

Delivering business transformation support to a major food corporation

Shehtaaz Zaman
Director
KPMG in the US

Our client is focused on modernizing and optimizing its finance, supply chain and human capital management operations through the implementation of Oracle Cloud.

KPMG is working with them to design and implement a future-state operating model, using the KPMG Powered Enterprise methodology over the multi-year transformation program. KPMG Powered Enterprise is our cloud-based digital transformation solution that’s designed to drive sustainable change, rising performance and lasting value.

Shehtaaz Zaman, a Director in KPMG in the US, says he “leaped at the opportunity” to participate in this challenging, multi-dimensional program.” This is one of the largest, and most-complex implementations that the US firm has undertaken. It has been an exciting and remarkable learning experience for me and for everyone involved, thanks to the unique mix of challenges. We set out with an overarching ‘one team’ mind-set and that has been crucial to our success to date.”

“Our client made it clear early on that they were looking for a trusted advisor,” says Shehtaaz. “The KPMG Powered Enterprise framework appealed to them because it helped us come to them with a set of pre-built solutions based on leading practices. This in turn helped them to make decisions more quickly and make changes to their processes in a very structured way. Our client appreciated that our approach would work well for its people.”

He particularly enjoys working in a collaborative team. “Our industry expertise, our credentials with our Oracle alliance, and the KPMG Powered Enterprise framework were all crucial — but at the end of the day the strength of the team is what matters. We’ve worked so well from the start and built fantastic camaraderie along the way.”

 

Helping a leader in the beverage industry implement ServiceNow and improve their IT infrastructure

Juan Duran
Director
KPMG in Mexico

Juan Duran left a major technology company to join KPMG in early 2019 and quickly moved into the project team delivering alliance partner ServiceNow’s IT service platform to a leader in the beverages industry. This large project spanned operations in eight Latin American geographies.

“I was very happy with the results we delivered to our client — we moved three separate ticketing (IT service requests from users) systems into a single source of data that works across the region. This gives our client a single source of ticketing information which they can use to further improve their IT infrastructure and develop their overall IT strategy” Juan says.

“I like the methodology itself, as well as the enablement tools that come with it. It lets me move very quickly, helping my clients adapt easily to the ServiceNow features. We used KPMG Powered Enterprise, which is aligned with standard IT ticketing processes and with ServiceNow, we were able to deliver this work quickly and efficiently” Juan adds.

KPMG Powered Enterprise is our cloud-based digital transformation solution that’s designed to drive sustainable change, rising performance and lasting value.

Juan also praises how KPMG Powered Enterprise connects him to a global ServiceNow alliance community of people delivering similar engagements. “We share our learnings, support each other and make sure that our clients get real value from this approach. We can use all the knowledge from this community and this makes it real — we’re not just going in with PowerPoint decks. We can implement and deliver the changes our clients want.”

Looking at the demand for implementation support, Juan adds: “I think this is the future. This is a very good time to join KPMG and to work on projects like this.”

 

Helping Taisho Pharmaceutical expand into new markets

KPMG in France
Nicolas Viens, Partner
Ines Omri, Partner
Mathieu Schohn, Partner

KPMG in Japan
Masahiro Kotaka, Managing Director
Yuko Watase, Partner
Mariko Yamada, Manager
Hiroyuki Nishijima, Director

Taisho — one of Japan’s largest pharmaceutical companies and on a growth trajectory via ambitious global expansion plans — turned to KPMG to manage its acquisition of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s consumer-health business UPSA of France. Managing this acquisition required seamless collaboration to conquer the challenges of international borders, diverse cultures, complex industry regulations and exceptionally tight timelines. KPMG colleagues Hiroyuki Nishijima, Mariko Yamada, Yuko Watase and Masahiro Kotaka in Japan, and Ines Omri, Nicolas Viens and Mathieu Schohn in France worked together to deliver comprehensive deal advisory support from initial due diligence through to post-deal integration..

“The client needed the proven capabilities and speed of a fully integrated team to deliver and execute a strategic roadmap for their due diligence, governance, deal closing and the structuring of a new operating model in Europe’s highly regulated pharmaceutical industry,” says Hiroyuki. “Our close collaboration won the client’s complete confidence in KPMG. Taisho leaders felt that they were in good hands with KPMG and they’ve been very happy with the results we’ve delivered.”

“It was critical for Taisho leaders in Tokyo to feel fully confident in KPMG Japan’s expertise to co-ordinate the work in tandem with KPMG France, as Taisho had no previous experience with a European-based transaction similar to the massive UPSA deal,” says Ines.

The KPMG teams in Japan and France worked closely together to manage the engagement involving due diligence and completion of the transaction. They went on to help Taisho with their post-merger integration work, including creation of new subsidiaries in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland and the development of a new commercial model for Taisho operations in 10 countries and territories.

“Our agile approach,” Ines adds, “strongly demonstrated KPMG’s ability to deliver outstanding service, insights and guidance on a complex global project.”

“We worked really well as a unified KPMG team, managing lengthy daily communications and demands between Taisho leaders and their respective operations in France and Tokyo. We’re proud of the results and we’re continuing to work with the client,” says Mariko. “And we certainly welcome the opportunity for our diverse KPMG teams to unite in delivering exceptional results on the next challenging engagement,” says Hiroyuki.

 

Tax & Legal Services

Across KPMG, our professionals are rallying around their clients to deliver approaches that address today’s challenges and opportunities — from optimizing compliance to carving out ways to add value inside and outside of an organization. We have seen global alignment around priority areas including Tax Reimagined, Global Mobility Services and Global Tax Advisory, all backed by technology-forward solutions.

Consistency and collaboration at the international level are driving the growth of our business. Our teams are focused on helping to streamline processes, optimize compliance and help organizations transform their functions for the future. They provide invaluable advice to organizations in order to tackle their most-complex cross-border tax issues while seeking to add more value inside and outside of their organization.

Jane Mccormick
Jane McCormick's quote

We are further developing our Global Legal Services1 business to provide consistent and wider coverage of legal services that are aligned with our core service offerings such as deals, regulatory and compliance offerings. We are combining our deep legal expertise with the talent and skills in other areas of the organization, opening up new opportunities for  collaboration with our clients such as through legal managed services. Our legal services business, for example has grown significantly, with new offices opening in Hong Kong (SAR, China), France, Austria and other locations. 

As a result of our connectivity and unique offerings, we have won brand-defining engagements with major businesses across our capability areas. We are helping leaders to tap into the power of their tax department’s unique position as a data center within an organization by leveraging our investments in insight-driven, technology-led solutions.

We continue to take a leading role in Responsible Tax, recognizing that our clients and our communities want to address the role of tax within the context of a wider conversation concerning justice, fairness, globalization, digitization, inequality and trust. 

Given the global importance of this discussion, we are proud of the continued growth in engagement with the OECD, UN, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), EU Commission, EU Parliament and the World Economic Forum (WEF), through this program. We value highly our positive working relationships with a wide range of NGOs and development organizations, including Oxfam, Action Aid, Christian Aid, Tax Justice Network (TJN), Transparency International, Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), and Center for Global Development (CGD). In 2020, we will continue to explore the future of corporate taxation in an era of digitalization, the role of trust, and how Responsible Tax can be a force for good in business and in society. 

We are confident in our strategy and will continue to execute it in 2020 — focusing on the quality of our work and our responsibility as trusted advisors. Get more insights through KPMG's tax blog.

Helping a global banking client reimagine their US Tax function

Michele Donohue
Senior Manager
KPMG in the US

Michele Donohue works with the Tax Reimagined team for KPMG in the US, leading the national transition activities. These are designed to effectively establish tax outsourcing and co-sourcing programs, setting them up for success from the very start of the engagement.

She worked closely with her client when they approached KPMG for support for a major tax transformation program. They wanted to look beyond a standard outsourcing arrangement and take a more future-focused look at how their tax departments were functioning.

“This was a perfect fit for our Tax Reimagined approach,” says Michele. “The business had five separate departments and we worked with them to examine how each was functioning. We came up with an approach that supported their ambition for a single, stronger, business-focused tax function. With this project, we helped them reduce both time and cost, working with them to design the systems and processes that can add value.”

“We sat with each person that would be impacted by this transformation — all the way up to the C-suite — and helped assess their long-term goals. This is a more mindful way of creating a trusted co-sourcing relationship,” she adds.

“They were very interested in our technology, particularly the KPMG Business Tax Engine, our key tool for compliance, which enables stronger analytics and better oversight of their data. It was essential that the Business Tax Engine would meet their security requirements and work with their existing technology, so we invested in close customization to enhance information security,” Michele explains. KPMG’s Business Tax Engine is a centralized, intelligent automation-powered solution that is transforming tax compliance, reporting and planning processes.

Michele sees this investment in a proper transition as essential to kick starting an effective relationship with her client. “We were super flexible on technology and delivered a tailored model. We worked with them to build a center of excellence, with professionals that work together to establish processes and implement technology. We worked alongside our client, making sure that they were happy with our approach before the project kicked off, and setting them up for success.”

 

Helping a global asset manager deliver a comprehensive tax compliance service to their employees

Iris Umlauff
Manager
KPMG in Germany

Iris Umlauff is working in an international team, helping one of the world’s largest asset managers with their tax compliance work across Europe.

Iris, together with engagement partner Marcel Tschatsch and the KPMG team, worked with the client to establish an international service to efficiently deal with tax issues in the day-to-day businesses. They are focused on direct tax, indirect tax and transfer pricing. They help the client as they deliver a comprehensive service to its employees by coordinating KPMG tax teams across 10 European countries and territories. Their work is helping the client to build a good overview of their taxes across multiple jurisdictions.

Iris says: “It is a great experience to work with this client. We are working very closely with them and playing an important role as they deliver on their digital strategy. It is very exciting to work with such an impressive company on designing a technology path for their tax function.”

The team is working with Impero, a workflow management tool, which allows them to coordinate tax activities. Further, they implemented an SAP extractor which allows them to extract data from the client’s own systems and securely distribute it. Based on these data, the KPMG teams in the relevant geographies can perform monthly, quarterly and annual tax compliance activities much more efficiently.

While managing the transition to this new arrangement, Iris and her team agreed with the client to perform a VAT “health check” to analyze the status quo and assess where the client and KPMG could make further improvements to the compliance processes.

For Iris, working closely with the client is an essential part of this engagement. “It is very motivating to work so closely with an international group of people from KPMG and from the client to deliver this work. We are proving that this way of working delivers great results to our client.”

 

Global Legal Services

In 2019, Global Legal Services (GLS)1 became one of KPMG’s fastest-growing areas. Our lawyers work with other KPMG teams to help develop integrated and seamless client solutions, delivering local and multi-jurisdictional legal advisory services.

We believe that combining exceptional legal and consulting talent can deliver stronger results for our clients. While legal services are unique to local markets, we see increased demand from our multinational clients for global coverage. Our clients expect consistency across practices and they value our ability to bring legal services to bear on larger, multi-service engagements. It’s frequently more efficient and cost effective for our clients to get legal support from a KPMG team instead of a third-party legal firm. With the global compliance and regulatory environment changing at a tremendous pace, we see that a strong legal services practice, integrated with our other offerings, can deliver real value to our clients. 

We help General Counsels look at what they do, how they spend their time, and how they could structure themselves better, using legal technology to enhance efficiency. We can provide them with flexible legal resources, in conjunction with Management Consulting, to help ensure we bring them the best of what KPMG can offer. Our commitment is to continue building this multi-disciplinary global and regional legal services business, offering our clients a unique mix of skills and experience.

Working with a multinational telecommunications company to become their single global provider of immigration services

Annika Sandblom
Partner
KPMG in Finland

Annika Sandblom knows the importance of establishing and nurturing trusted relationships with clients. And she believes that KPMG in Finland’s current global engagement with a multinational telecommunications company — spanning more than 130 geographies and growing — reinforces the value of maintaining focus on trust and close collaboration.

“Operating around the globe makes it critical for this company to keep their workforce fully mobile and in compliance at all times with each country or territory’s diverse immigration regulations,” says Annika of her work with the client in overseeing immigration compliance for more than 100,000 employees.

Annika and her growing team assist their client with the full range of their employee-immigration demands and logistics needs. “We are working with them on everything involved in moving their employees abroad to build networks and grow the business. It’s crucial for us to move quickly and precisely to help ensure every employee meets immigration regulations and that the movement of staff internationally always goes as planned,” says Annika. “Mistakes with immigration documentation and requirements can cause very disruptive and costly delays, as well as restrictions on staff movement.”

“We are working with this client to build an immigration service that their employees will trust and value. Client trust is earned every day. You have to be worthy of that trust, earning and reinforcing it through the work we do daily — listening closely, collaborating seamlessly and responding with the informed insights and guidance that the client expects from us.”

Annika notes that the volatile global environment has placed increasingly complex demands on businesses with highly mobile international workforces. “Immigration is changing rapidly — in recent years it has become more difficult to enter a country or territory to do work amid increasingly restrictive laws that are intended, for example, to protect domestic workforces.”

Her advice to her team: “Keep the trust of your client. Be there at every stage when the client needs you. And don’t stay in your comfort zone — with a mega-sized engagement such as this, always think of where we can deliver improvements and new benefits that can drive client competitiveness and success.”

 

Developing a health-check tool for private equity clients

James Thomas
Head of Legal Technology and Innovation for Legal Services
KPMG in the UK

James Thomas worked with lawyers from KPMG in the UK Legal Services team to develop a new private equity portfolio lifecycle solution. This solution wraps together a set of products that have been developed over the last 12 months by the team, including a company health-check, an exit readiness and a buy-side assessment.

The first of the products allows companies to assess whether they are properly prepared prior to a sale process by identifying legal and regulatory issues and providing remedial actions. This was well received by clients, who were enthusiastic about early prototypes and provided feedback to the team to refine the specifications, design and content.

As development continued, the team built other offerings using the same technology. They developed a health-check tool which companies can use to check day-to-day compliance. Once this was deployed, they realized that they could combine the tools and let clients use them across multiple companies in a group or across a private equity portfolio. This means that clients can aggregate data and get access to better metrics on their porfolios.

“Combining data from these two tools and then coupling it with information extracted from transaction documents can provide a true end-to-end lifecycle platform for private equity houses,” says James. “They can assess portfolio compliance, check on 100-day plan progress, quickly see key data points from transaction documents, and ultimately make decisions on the back of all of that data. For the first time, the private equity house can see what terms they are achieving across their transactions and that’s something which we think will help our clients make better decisions in the future.”

Peter Workman, a Partner in the UK Legal Services team commented: “Clients aren’t always looking for a legal solution. They’re looking for a solution to a business problem or they want to better understand where the risks are and what they can do about them. Working with our cybersecurity teams, transaction services teams and deal advisory teams has meant we can add in content from other specialists from across the organization and provide a truly multi-disciplinary solution enabled by technology. We’ve had massive interest from private equity houses in this system.”

(We are very proud that James was recently named a “Top 10 Legal Business Technologist”,2 by the FT; this project was part of the submission for the award).

 

Using drones to help capture details for audits

Colin Li
Manager
KPMG Australia

Colin Li has three roles in KPMG Australia — Data & Analytics (D&A) champion, analyst and manager. He is the crucial link between the technology team and the audit business, always exploring new ways for IT to deliver better services to audit clients.

Three years ago, Colin entered a competition to win seed funding for his intriguing idea — using drones to gather evidence for audits. The Australian firm’s innovation team validated his concept and he won support to test it during the audit of a major construction client. The client owns multiple quarry sites and Colin designed a solution that uses a drone to take photographs from different angles to collect site information. Colin then used this data to build a 3D model of the quarry, calculate volumetric levels of each stock pile, compare those levels to the client’s calculations, tracking variances and movements — with an accuracy rate exceeding 95 percent.

The client was impressed. They are early adopters of new technology and wanted their auditor to share their passion for how technology could deepen their understanding of the business and drive more-informed decisions. They saw the drones idea as clearly adding value and requested it for future audits. The 3D model delivers virtual tours of quarry sites, zooms in and out and provides precise details on any stockpile to the client and to the audit team.

Colin is proud of the results and says he thoroughly enjoys his work: “There is nothing boring about this job.” He is excited about the possibilities offered by data and analytics and sees similar enthusiasm in his team. “KPMG is a great employer. I came in as an IT graduate and they gave me the training I needed to understand finance, auditing and accounting, and supported me to develop my D&A skills. I have access to the hardware and software I need to design and build data analytics solutions like this, and the Australian firm helps me to test new ideas in real-world situations.”

 
Bill O'Mara
Bill O'Mara's quote

Enterprise, family businesses and entrepreneurs

We are very proud of KPMG’s efforts to foster innovation and outstanding business ideas, and we maintain a firm commitment to entrepreneurs as drivers of economic growth. We work with them to help them grow their businesses, define and execute their strategies, sustain their success and protect their legacies.

Family businesses

Our family business clients have a unique dynamic that impacts how they run their business and manage their wealth. 

We work with these businesses as trusted advisors, guiding issues-led conversations about opportunities and challenges that are important to them. Our KPMG Enterprise Family Business Dynamics Assessment helps ensure that our professionals focused on this sector are equipped to support these clients — as families and as businesses. We provide a confidential online self-diagnostic assessment that allows business families to assess their capabilities and priorities. We measure these against key family business dynamics issues that our subject matter experts have identified.

We know that successful family businesses exhibit open, honest, forward-looking conversations between generations. We are advising these clients on their business operations but also on wealth, governance, succession and more — respecting the sensitive and confidential nature of these relationships while offering perspectives we’ve gained working globally with numerous family businesses. 

To give our professionals the skills they need for success, KPMG has invested in a relationship with STEP, a leading global training provider, to build an accredited online family business training program that advances our expertise in family business dynamics.

Jonathan Lavender
Jonathan Lavender's quote

Emerging Giants

Emerging Giants are our fastest-growing, high-potential clients and a special focus of our KPMG Enterprise business. These clients challenge us to bring the full gamut of our services to them while they are in start-up phase and to remain with them as they grow.

Emerging Giants aren’t just about technology — they are often technology-enabled disruptors in new sectors such as fintech, proptech and healthtech. Their business lifecycles are much faster than average — it used to take 30 years to float on the stock exchange and today it can be 30 months. 

Supporting businesses in their start-up phase brings tremendous advantages to KPMG. We are building strong relationships and trust with new businesses. Our insights into what makes established companies successful helps these start-ups grow. And our industry incumbent clients appreciate our timely insights into how new entrants are changing their market. The KPMG Enterprise Emerging Giants Network globally aggregates knowledge and develops tools and leading practices to help KPMG firms as they serve trailblazing early-stage companies. 

Emerging Giants are making their mark

Shivani Sopory
Partner
KPMG in the US

Last year was one of the busiest yet for the leader of our Emerging Giants practice in Silicon Valley, guiding start‑ups from their initial growth stages through the challenging initial public offering (IPO) process to become publicly traded organizations.

“It was a very, very big year for IPOs, particularly in the US. We saw the largest number of startups ever — especially ‘unicorns,’ companies with a value exceeding USD1 billion — going out to market to raise funds and become publicly traded businesses,” says Shivani Sopory. “The activity has been mostly marketplace driven, including a backlog of large private companies looking to go public.”

Beyond positive market conditions, Shivani credits the demand for KPMG’s support to the groundwork she and her colleagues did as far back as a decade ago.

“A big part of our team’s growth comes down to being in the right place at the right time,” she says. “Many of our current clients have been operating as startups for five to seven years or more and we have been focused on cultivating those relationships since the beginning. It has been very rewarding to see how our dedicated efforts to support them as they grow have led to trust and great relationships today.”

“When a company’s business is growing faster than its infrastructure, scaling up quickly is never easy. Helping clients gain the knowledge and expertise needed to get off the ground and reach the IPO finish line — and well beyond — is always very satisfying. This is a great sector to work in — the creativity, enthusiasm and vision of our clients inspires me.”

The Emerging Giants program is a significant initiative of KPMG Enterprise globally and substantial momentum is building around the program. “What Shivani and her team have accomplished in recent years is outstanding and we look forward to seeing more and more similar examples globally over the next 12 months,” say Conor Moore and Kevin Smith, Global Co-Leads of the Emerging Giants initiative.

 

Digitalizing our business and doing things differently

The common denominator in these stories is technology. We embed technology in everything we do. Our clients and stakeholders tell us that they want to take advantage of cloud computing, with its cost efficiencies and the opportunities it affords to build solutions in an agile fashion, incorporating the latest in data-driven technologies, security and speed of delivery. 

Providing this amount of computing power in traditional on‑premises hosting centers is prohibitively expensive and many of today’s technologies are too big to run on‑site. Moving to the cloud is rapidly becoming a business imperative, giving organizations the critical computing power to manage exploding volumes of data and new technology solutions. By accelerating the automation of new cloud services, we can improve the stability, consistency, security and speed of deployment for both internal and client-facing solutions.

Christian Rast's quote
Christian Rast

As trusted advisors to many of today’s leading companies, it is crucial that we’re at the forefront of technology trends, ensuring that we experience and understand every detail of successful digital transformation programs. As a result of KPMG’s Microsoft alliance, KPMG is moving towards a common cloud-based platform, Azure Cloud, to eliminate inconsistent and incompatible technologies, eradicate duplicate spending and deliver services to our clients more quickly and effectively. This is one of our most-critical strategic priorities as a global organization. 

This year, we signed a landmark 5-year enterprise agreement that strengthens our relationship with Microsoft and articulates how their suite of solutions and services, as well as those developed by our other alliance partners, will be part of our global multi-cloud architecture. This enables the consistent and continuous delivery of services to our clients, driving greater speed of deployment and helping ensure that industry-leading compliance and security standards are rigorously maintained.

KPMG’s team ‘prescribes’ an effective CRM solution

Sander Bockting
Senior Manager
KPMG in the Netherlands

For Sander Bockting, a recent project to implement the Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer relationship management (CRM) platform was a welcome case of “taking our own medicine.”

Having successfully completed similar projects for clients, Sander and his team were the obvious choice when our KPMG in the Cayman Islands office decided to take its CRM capabilities to the next level.

“Our Cayman Islands team wanted to improve its sales processes and we knew right away that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was the answer. So this project really was a case of taking our own medicine,” says Sander, Senior Manager and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution architect with KPMG in the Netherlands.

He credits his colleagues for quickly delivering a solution that now provides a complete view of the Cayman Islands office’s entire client engagement lifecycle on one simple dashboard.

“This project was a great success thanks to the collaboration and flexibility demonstrated by our teams from the Netherlands and India and the US-based global risk integration platform team — plus our interaction with the Cayman office. We launched the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform in a remarkably short timeframe of about six months. The entire group did an amazing job.”

Sander notes that the Cayman Islands is among a growing number of KPMG offices adopting MS Dynamics 365 to streamline sales processes and client interactions.

“We’re really excited to keep the momentum going in ways that help both our business and our clients.”

KPMG is a member of the prestigious 2019/2020 Inner Circle for Microsoft Business Applications — a recognition that provides KPMG with unique access to Microsoft senior leaders to share strategy and gain insights into the Microsoft Dynamics product roadmap to help prepare clients for the transformation changes of the future.

 

In the spotlight: Industry and analyst recognition

We are delighted with the recognition that KPMG received from the analyst community during 2019. Our teams worked hard to demonstrate how our investments are making a difference to the services and solutions we now bring to market — and the analyst community took note of our efforts, evaluating us as leaders in delivering key Advisory Services.

In addition to advancing understanding of the market and of technology developments, analysts also deliver independent evaluations of our services that help us gauge our progress as we continuously develop the services and capabilities needed to best serve our clients. We believe that’s important information for our clients too — helping them make buying decisions based on objective assessments from industry experts. In 2020, we will continue to work actively with this community, valuing their insightful assessments and observations as we advance the services we bring to clients. 

“. . . The unified message around the Connected Enterprise was a really smart way to brief analysts on what's new at KPMG. It added a level of coherence but, more than that, showed that KPMG is going to market with a powerful message backed by an end-to-end service. It's very competitive, at the same time that it reinforces your brand for being pragmatic, tech-oriented and evidence-based.”

Liz DeVito
Associate Director, Management Consulting Research
ALM Intelligence

Analyst day Recognition

1 Legal services may not be offered to SEC registrant audit clients or where otherwise prohibited by law.

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