KPMG South Africa appoints leaders Wiseman Nkuhlu and Ansie Ramalho

19 January 2018 4 min. read
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Continuing in its attempt to restructure its operations and recover its reputation in South Africa, Big Four professional services firm KPMG has announced two new appointments to its local outfit. Wiseman Nkuhlu will take over as Chairperson at the firm, while Ansie Ramalho starts as Independent Director.

Scandal hit global accounting and advisory giant KPMG last year when they were implicated, alongside management consultancy McKinsey & Company, in the Gupta family racket, whereby political ties were leveraged to illegally extract billions of Rand from local power company Eskom.

Both firms have since lost substantial business in the country. McKinsey lost its affiliation with three out of the big four banking corporations in the country; first with Standard Bank and Absa, and later with Nedbank. The firm has since been refused further business by firms outside of the financial sector as well, such as Coca Cola and Sasol.

Meanwhile, KPMG’s operations also came under substantial scrutiny after they admitted to having violated significant codes of conduct, although without malintent by their own declaration. However, the firm has taken decisive steps since then to ensure that their image and business in the country are preserved.

Towards the latter half of last year, the firm announced a complete restructuring of its team in the country, adding nine new executives, including their new CEO in the region: Nhlamu Dlomu. Now, the firm has announced two new additions to its country outfit, both of whom will join from 1st March this year.

New Appointments

Professor Wiseman Nkhulu, who will take over as Chairman at the firm, is a prominent name in the South African accounting sphere. In the past, Nkhulu has held the position of Chairman at a range of institutions, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Nkhulu was also the only representative from the continent of Africa on the Global Financial Crisis Advisory Panel, established by the International and Financial Accounting Standards Boards. At present, he serves as the Chancellor of the University of Pretoria.

Wiseman-Nkhulu, Ansie Ramalho

Ansie Ramalho, on the other hand, will join the firm as an independent director. She obtained a law degree from the University of South Africa in 1991, following which she worked for six years at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. She then joined KPMG for a six-year spell, during which time she ascended to the position of Associate Director.

Since 2010, Ramalho has been the Chief Executive at the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA), contributing to strategy formulation, execution, as well as implementation for the firm. Two years ago, she was the project lead for the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa, commissioned by the IoDSA. She will now return to KPMG in a more senior capacity.

Commenting on the new appointments, CEO of KPMG South Africa, Nhlamu Dlomu said, “I am delighted and humbled to announce these appointments. Prof Nkuhlu, as the first black Chartered Accountant in the country, has dedicated his life and his career to the role of the profession in supporting South Africa’s economic progress and transformation agenda. As an authority on corporate governance and the King IV Project Lead at IoDSA, Ramalho's expertise will also be invaluable to the Board. Prof Nkuhlu and Ramalho will add an external perspective and bring a huge amount of relevant experience, wisdom and challenge as we make the critical decisions required to rebuild the firm.”

Nkhulu shed light on his new challenge by saying, “I am honoured to become KPMG South Africa’s Chairman. This is a defining time for our country and I believe our profession has a unique and vital role to play. As the firm rebuilds, I am confident that the reforms the leadership team is driving will mean that KPMG once again plays a leading part in ensuring that our economy is well run. I am determined that we do this by always providing our clients with service to the highest professional standards.”

On her new role, Ramalho added, “I look forward to using my experience to help KPMG as it looks to become industry leaders on corporate governance. All professional services firms need to ensure they have governance in place that is able to deal with the growing complexity of oversight and management.”