KPMG announces promotions at operations in Leeds

Professional services firm KPMG has announced 11 partner and director promotions at its Leeds office.

L-R Clare Partridge, Steve Blacker, Fran Simpson, Annette Barker of KPMG

Annette Barker, Steve Blacker, Clare Partridge and Fran Simpson have become partners, with a further seven promoted to the position of director across its audit, tax and advisory practices.

Ms Barker, who leads the firm’s 25-strong forensic team across the North of England, has more than 20 years’ experience and has worked within the forensic practice since 1997.

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She supports clients on a broad range of issues, including dispute advisory, fraud, bribery, corruption and financial crime.

With more than 15 years’ experience advising businesses on tax matters, including government sponsored R&D (research and development) related reliefs, Mr Blacker co-leads KPMG’s innovation reliefs and incentives practice in the UK.

Ms Partridge will lead KPMG’s public sector work in Yorkshire.

Fran Simpson has also been promoted to partner in the firm’s audit practice. Ms Simpson, who moved across the Pennines to KPMG’s Leeds office, works with PLCs and large privately-owned businesses. She also leads the firm’s wellbeing team in the region. KPMG’s seven new directors are David Allen and Matt Wilcox in audit, Chris Lloyd in debt advisory, Deborah Goldberg in internal risk, Andrew Akal in national markets consulting, Bradley Keast in M&A tax and Chris Cheng in investment advisory. These follow the promotion of Chris Butt, audit, to director earlier in the year.

Chris Hearld, Northern Chairman and office senior partner at KPMG in Leeds, said: “The talent within this group of senior appointments exemplifies the breadth and depth of skills and experience we offer to organisations across Yorkshire. Investing in and developing our people to ensure we offer the best when it comes to technical expertise and industry knowledge is a vital element of our support for clients who will be navigating their way through uncharted territory during the forthcoming period of significant change.”

Alex Hartley, who has been responsible for the development of KPMG’s private equity business in the North of England since 2009, has also been named as a partner.