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Deloitte and KPMG chairs honoured in New Year Honours list

·2-min read

The Government has handed honours to the chair and former chair of two of the country’s biggest auditing giants.

Nick Owen, who left his position at the head of Deloitte UK’s board in May, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year Honours.

The honour was for “services to the professional services sector”.

He is joined on the list by Bina Mehta, KPMG UK’s chair, who was recognised “for services to trade and investments in the UK and female entrepreneurs”.

The skyline of Canary Wharf in London
Canary Wharf in London (Ian West/PA)

She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Ms Mehta took on her role earlier this year after KPMG’s former chair resigned after staff leaked what he had said in an internal meeting to the press.

Bill Michael told staff they should stop complaining about the pandemic.

During a call he also described discrimination caused by unconscious bias as “complete and utter crap”, the Financial Times revealed.

His comments sparked a shake-up at the top of the Big Four auditor, which elevated two women, Ms Mehta and Mary O’Connor, to take over Mr Michael’s positions as chair and senior partner respectively.

But after being passed over for the role of chief executive, Ms O’Connor left KPMG.

In an interview with the Sunday Times last week, Ms Mehta said that she wanted KPMG’s culture to be “inclusive, supportive and diverse”.

It would mean increasing the proportion of its senior staff from working-class backgrounds to 29%, from 20% today.

“This is important because I want us, as a leadership team, to inspire colleagues from all backgrounds to achieve,” she told the paper.

Mr Owen stepped down from his position with Deloitte in May after six years in the role. He sits on the board of Macmillan Cancer Support and is chair of the Professional & Business Services Council.

He was formerly a managing partner at Arthur Andersen Business Consulting, part of the US auditor that collapsed following the Enron scandal.

A KPMG UK spokesperson said: “We were thrilled to see our chair, Bina Mehta, recognised in the New Year Honours list for her long-standing services to driving trade and investment in the UK and supporting female entrepreneurs to thrive.

“Bina has been actively involved in the trade and investment agenda, supporting scale-up businesses to access finance and grow through international trade opportunities.

“Bina has long championed female entrepreneurs, providing mentoring and coaching to individuals to help them access finance and advice to grow and expand their business. She is also a member of the Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs and an Honorary Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School.”

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