KPMG South Africa has appointed Ignatius Sehoole as its new chief executive officer.
Sehoole is expected to take up this role on 1 May 2019, replacing Nhlamulo Dlomu who will be taking up a new global role with KPMG, focusing on organisational culture change and ethical leadership.
Sehoole is an experienced leader in the accounting profession having served a successful two-term role from 2000-2009 as the Executive President of the South African. Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). He previously worked for MTN and PwC.
His start date is being coordinated to comply with the requirements of audit independence rules, KPMG said.
Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu will continue to serve as executive chairman in the interim, and will revert to his non-executive chairman role on 1 May.
KPMG South Africa has faced a disastrous year and a half, with several scandals implicating the group in the business of the Gupta family and, by extension, state capture.
Along with questionable audits of Gupta companies, the group’s report on the so-called ‘rogue SARS spy unit’ – which was used against Pravin Gordhan and other former SARS officials – had to have sections retracted.
A senior partner at KPMG was also involved with the VBS looting scandal.
The scandals saw a number of KPMG’s biggest clients in the country drop the firm, which also resulted in layoffs and a mass exodus of senior management.
The head of KPMG’s South African office and seven other senior executives quit in September 2017 after an internal investigation found work done for the Guptas fell “considerably short” of the firm’s standards.
In June 2018, KPMG’s South African unit said headcount slumped to 2,200 from 3,400 a year earlier, with consultations for further reductions under way. Its lost clients this year include Barclays Africa Group Ltd, South Africa’s Auditor-General, and most recently, Nedbank.
“While KPMG South Africa has changed substantially over the past year, the challenges facing both KPMG and the profession have intensified,” Nkuhlu said.
“With this in mind, the Board felt it was important to appoint an external candidate to the firm with strong industry credentials.”
Speaking on the changes at the group, Sehoole said that it is imperative that the profession rises to the challenges it is facing, and it is in the national interest that KPMG be part of the solution.
“My priority at KPMG will be to continue to restore client confidence and again make KPMG a firm where the best people wish to work. I look forward to the opportunity to accelerate this rehabilitation phase,” he said.