KPMG’s UK chief Collins steps down to pursue global role
The UK boss of KPMG is to step down from the role next year to compete for the top global job at the big four accountancy firm.
It has also had to contend with a string of regulatory investigations such as a probe by banking and accountancy watchdogs into its auditing of HBOS, the mortgage lender which had to be rescued by taxpayers in 2008.
Like its peers - Deloitte, EY and PricewaterhouseCoopers - the firm has had to contend with a slew of new international regulations, including the mandatory tendering of audit contracts for large listed British companies.
Mr Collins has sought to diversify KPMG's services to clients by acquiring several cybersecurity firms and Makinson Cowell, an investor relations specialist.
It has also struck a technology partnership with McLaren, the British automotive group which owns the eponymous Formula One racing team.
Mr Collins has also played an important role in the ongoing drive to secure greater female representation in the upper echelons of British business.
In a statement issued in response to an enquiry from Sky News, a KPMG spokeswoman said:
"Our UK chairman Simon Collins reaches the end of his five-year term this financial year.
"At our annual conference [on Thursday] Simon told the partners that he will not be seeking re-election.
"In the new year we will begin the process of electing Simon's successor.
"We expect to conclude the election by the end of March, allowing for a sensible handover period."
The spokeswoman said that Mr Collins had established himself as an innovative leader, and had helped the firm regain its status as the leading auditor to UK-listed companies.
The investments made during his tenure had, she said, "set KPMG on the path to long-term profitable growth".
Mr Collins is now expected to put his name forward to take on the global chairmanship of KPMG from John Veihmeyer, who is expected to retire during the course of 2017.
Other candidates for that role are said to include Klaus Becker, chief executive of KPMG's German operations, and Elio Luongo, who holds the same role in Canada.
Mr Collins could not be reached for comment on Thursday.