KPMG India Begins Hunt for CEO’s Successor to Take over Next Year

With incumbent Arun Kumar’s term as Chairman and CEO coming to an end early next year, accounting firm KPMG has kick started the process of picking his successor, sources aware of the development said.

The new chief will take over at a time when the Big Four audit firms are trying to grow to grow their non-audit advisory businesses and gunning for market share in technology-related services.

A 10-member board at KPMG India under Kumar will run the selection process, and it has reached out to partners on the criteria used to evaluate the candidates.

The partners have also ratified the process, the sources added.

Like other professional services firms, KPMG India does not follow an election process for the top Job, and it is a self-nominated one. The board, over the next two months, will interview and assess each candidate and present one before its 400 partners for final ratification.

KPMG did not respond to ET’s questionnaire.

Some of the senior partners who could be in reckoning are Jamil Khari, Mritunjay Kapoor, Nitin Atroley, Yezdi Nagporewalla and Vikram Hosangady and Anindya Basu, the sources said.

Among the names that are being discussed informally, its powerful audit chief Jamil Khatri is the name to watch out for, multiple people at the audit firm said.

Insiders were however quick to point out that the competition is tough as all top candidates have solid track records.

Mritunjay Kapoor, a partner who led the risk business in India earlier and who now heads advisory at KPMG South Africa and TMT business in EMA, has played an important role in turning around the scandal-hit business, the people said.

Nitin Atroley, head of people, strategy and corporate affairs, has played a key role with Kumar in stabilizing the India operations after disruption during the last CEO election and some large-scale attrition.

Anindya Basu, who joined from Accenture and is national managing partner and head of advisory business, could be a dark horse given the big push advisory service is getting within the firm.

Vikram Hosangady led KPMG’s transactions team for a long time and oversaw a bunch of marquee M&A and PE deals, while Yezdi Nagporewalla is the global lead on Tata Group and an expert on the automotive sector. S-ET

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