Houlgate joins KPMG and begins full comms review

KPMG's newly-recruited UK corporate communications chief, Gavin

Houlgate, has confirmed he is carrying out a review of the firm's

internal and external PR needs.

Houlgate, who replaced Tim Roberts, remained tight-lipped as to whether

the review would lead to an agency repitch or a recruitment drive.

But he added that the review was launched this week with a view to

sharpening KPMG's communications.

'The aim is to make sure KPMG gets the best communications service it

can and part of the review is to ensure external agencies are supporting

the main lines of business and regional business units we have in the

company,' said Houlgate.

KPMG's current agency roster includes LLM for public affairs.

Houlgate becomes KPMG's first UK corporate communications head following

a recent restructure that saw the media relations and corporate

communications functions merged.

Former media relations head Roberts left KPMG after 15 years ahead of

the merger. It is thought he departed to set up his own consultancy.

On the restructure, Houlgate said: 'They're very keen to make sure

communications is fresh and sharp and felt this was the best way to do


Reporting to KPMG UK marketing head Nigel Mengham, Houlgate heads a team

of more than 20 in London and UK regions.

He joined KPMG last week from Weber Shandwick Worldwide, where he acted

as a director in the agency's broadcast and interactive division,

working for financial and corporate clients including The Independent


Previously, Houlgate worked for 25 years as a broadcast journalist, most

recently as an executive producer for Sky News. He also acted as launch

editor for Live! TV and has worked for the BBC, ITV and Reuters.

KPMG offers services including audit, accountancy, tax advice, corporate

finance, corporate recovery and management consulting.

Its recorded UK fee income stands at pounds 1.16bn in the year to

September 2000. The firm employs more than 11,000 staff in 25 offices

across the UK.

Last year, KPMG spun-off its KPMG Consulting arm. But the economic

slowdown in the IT sector has hit the Consulting business, as

demonstrated by the firm's announcement last month that it plans to make

between five and ten per cent of its UK-based Consulting staff


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