Big Four

KPMG partner pay cut by 11% in 2020

Revenue fell by 4% in the year from £2.4bn to £2.3bn, driven in part by the sale of its pensions business, which completed in March 2020

KPMG has announced that its average partner distribution in 2020 fell by 11%, from £640k to £572k, amid the ongoing impact of the pandemic. 

In its latest annual report, KPMG also revealed reduced revenues and profits, though these were not as severely hit.

Revenue fell by only 4% from £2.4bn to £2.3bn, driven in part by the sale of its pensions business, which completed in March 2020.  Excluding the disposal of the business, like-for-like revenue fell by only 2%.

Meanwhile, underlying profit was down by 6% year on year, from £307m to £288m, as a result of the impact of the pandemic on the second half of the financial year. 

The firm’s tax and legal team saw a decrease in net sales of 6% to £373m, though its audit practice saw a 3% year-on-year growth in net sales to £606m. 

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Net sales in the consulting practice and deal advisory practice both saw a decrease of 2% to £574m and £400m respectively, as it saw clients pause discretionary projects while M&A activity slowed at the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, KPMG continued to invest in its workforce throughout the year, hiring over 900 graduates and apprentices, with 46% located outside of London. The firm also made 950 experienced hires during the period and recognised internal talent, promoting more than 1,800 colleagues across the business.

Looking ahead, the firm said it is now preparing for a future of hybrid working, and over the course of 2021 will roll out a £44m programme of investment to transform its offices and invest in new home working technology for staff.

Bill Michael, senior partner and chair of KPMG in the UK, said: “This has been an extraordinary year. Throughout the pandemic our priority has been to protect the wellbeing of our people and maintain the long-term resilience of our firm. We have achieved that. Over the past year, our people have risen to the challenge in the face of adversity to help clients. 

“We started the financial year strongly, recording high single digit growth prior to the onset of the pandemic. Like many businesses, our performance was then impacted by COVID-19. However, thanks to the hard work of our people, our business has remained resilient and our financial performance robust.”

He added: “As we look ahead, we have started our new financial year strongly. Our first quarter’s performance has been positive and our sales pipeline is strong. The M&A market has resurged, and clients are resuming discretionary projects as they adapt to the changes the pandemic has brought both to their business and market. 

“We have an important role to play to help our clients recover from the aftermath of this health crisis and rebuild their businesses for growth.”

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