KPMG UK appoints Claire Ighodaro CBE as Chair of its Audit Board

07/16/2021

KPMG UK has today announced the appointment of three independent audit non-executives to the firm's Audit Board.

LONDON, England, July 14 2021 (PRESS RELEASE) -- KPMG UK has today announced the appointment of three independent audit non-executives to the firm's Audit Board. The changes are the latest step in the firm's early adoption of operational separation.

The firm has appointed Claire Ighodaro CBE (pictured) as an independent audit non-executive and Chair of its Audit Board, together with Melanie Hind and Kathleen O'Donovan who join the firm's Audit Board as independent audit non-executives. They will take up their roles on 30 September 2021.

The appointments mean KPMG UK's Audit Board will consist predominantly of independent audit non-executives. Its members are Claire Ighodaro, Melanie Hind, Kathleen O'Donovan and KPMG Partners Michelle Hinchliffe and Anthony Lobo.

The firm first created its Audit Board in May 2019, with the aim to add additional transparency and independence to the governance of its audit practice. The Audit Board is currently chaired by Tony Cates, who will retire in September after 34 years with the firm. 

In line with the principles of operational separation, set out by the FRC, KPMG's Audit Board will oversee and monitor the firm's audit practice, its delivery of audit quality and the interaction of the audit practice with the rest of the firm. It will also continue to oversee the governance of auditor pay. 

Bina Mehta, Chair of KPMG UK, said in a statement:  

"As a firm we have made changes which demonstrate how serious we are about rebuilding trust in our profession. We were the first firm to announce the discontinuance of non-audit services to FTSE 350 companies we audit, introduce graduated findings in our audit reports and to change our governance to create a separate Audit Board, which is solely focused on the performance management of our audit business. The appointment of our new independent audit non-executives marks another significant milestone on our path to delivering operational separation."

Bina added:  

"We recognise the critical role our industry plays and will work with Government and regulators to help shape the future for a profession which delivers high quality audits, acts in the public interest and supports successful and attractive capital markets. We support the broad direction of the reforms outlined in the BEIS consultation and will play our role to implement and deliver the change needed." 

Claire Ighodaro CBE, independent audit non-executive and incoming Chair of KPMG UK's Audit Board, said:

"The audit profession is at a critical crossroads. There is an urgent need to rebuild trust in the role of audit and enhance corporate reporting for the benefit of all market participants. I have been impressed by KPMG's commitment to increasing the transparency of their audit governance and their work to instil a culture of constructive challenge in their audit practice. I look forward to taking on my new role as Chair." 

About KPMG's Independent Audit Non-Executives

Over the course of her career, Claire Ighodaro has held senior executive roles in finance. She is currently Chair of AXA XL - UK Entities, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at Pennon Group PLC and a Leadership Council Member of TheCityUK. She previously held the role of Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Flood Re. In addition, Claire has chaired a number of major audit committees, including Lloyd's of London and sat as Chair or Board Member on global accounting regulatory bodies, including as President of CIMA and as a Board Member of the international accounting ethics body, IESBA. Claire is a volunteer mentor on both executive and young people's development programmes and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University and a CBE, by Her Majesty the Queen, for services to business.

Melanie Hind is a former PwC audit and advisory partner, a former Chief Risk Officer and held the role of Executive Director at the FRC between 2012 and 2018. Since then, she has advised on accounting and audit regulation, and in 2020 acted as Head of Assurance Quality at BDO International. Melanie has also held non-executive roles associated with her role at the FRC; she was a board member of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, chairing its Global Audit Quality working group, and is a former member of the Advisory Council to the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation. Melanie has experience as an independent board member in the private and non-profit sectors in the UK and USA. She was a Board member and Chair of the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee for the UK Municipal Bonds Agency and is currently a Board Member of My Sister's Place.

Kathleen O'Donovan is a current independent non-executive at KPMG UK and a member of the firm's Public Interest Committee.