KPMG adds another independent director
KPMG has brought another independent director to its board, appointing Linda L. Addison, a former managing partner of the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
Last month, KPMG appointed its first independent director to its U.S. board of directors, retired Air Force General Janet C. Wolfenbarger, as the Big Four firm’s affiliates face mounting scrutiny over audits in the U.S., U.K., South Africa and other parts of the world (see KPMG adds independent director to U.S. board). KPMG U.S. chair and CEO Lynne Doughtie originally announced plans to add outside directors to KPMG back in May in an article she wrote for Accounting Today (see Building trust by adding outside directors at KPMG).
“This is an important change to our governance model, and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to quality, innovative thinking and a values-driven culture,” Doughtie said Monday. “We are very pleased to welcome Linda to our board, as she brings deep and robust global business experience and expertise to complement our already strong board of directors. In this complex business environment, it is critical for our firm to have the benefit of outside perspectives and diverse viewpoints as we continue to evolve our business to meet the needs of our clients and the capital markets well into the future.”
Addison is the immediate past U.S. managing partner (CEO equivalent) of Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the world’s biggest global law firms. For over 30 years, she has worked with CEOs, corporate boards and corporate executives, including some of the world’s biggest multinational companies. “I am honored to join the U.S. Board of KPMG, one of the most trusted and renowned audit, tax and advisory firms in the world with a rich 120-year history,” Addison stated. “I look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with the firm’s leadership to help shape the next 100 years of its history.”
Doughtie highlighted the importance of adding independent directors. “We firmly believe that our firm will benefit from taking this bold step to incorporate independent directors prominently into our governance, not merely as outside advisors, but placing them squarely in KPMG’s chain of command to work alongside our leadership team as we continue to build a stronger and better firm,” she stated.
KPMG’s firms in the U.S. and other countries has come under fire in the past year. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges in January against a group of former senior partners at KPMG and officials from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board after the firm used information about upcoming PCAOB inspections (see SEC charges former KPMG and PCAOB officials with ‘stealing’ inspection exam). In the U.K., problems with audits of clients such as Carillion prompted the firm to announce last week it would stop providing consulting services for London-listed audit clients (see KPMG’s U.K. firm ends consulting work for audit clients).