KPMG’s Chief Digital Officer leaves firm to start Digital Asset Ventures

25 July 2018 Consultancy.com.au

The head of KPMG Australia’s digital business has left the consulting firm to start his own company called Digital Asset Ventures. Anthony Stevens departed the Big Four firm after nearly 6 years in two of the firms most critical roles; Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer.

Anthony Stevens founded his new market research, advisory and development start-up Digital Asset Ventures in June this year. Digital Asset Ventures is Stevens third start-up venture, coming off the back of two successful tech companies Qdos Technology and Devicedesk.

Qdos Technology was co-foudned by Stevens at the turn of the millennium and has since been sold to the founder of Computershare, Chris Morris. The company provides tailor-made cloud based business management software to retailers, wholesalers and franchises. Device Desk is cloud-based B2B commerce platform which integrates into a businesses existing software. Both companies are based out of Melbourne.

After starting his first business in 2001, Stevens has worked a number of executive and non-executive senior roles including at Dimension Data, SQL Server, BlueFire and Spotless Group. He worked for two years as KPMG’s Chief Information Office before moving into the freshly-created role of Chief Digital Officer.

Stevens has completed two bachelor degrees at the University of Melbourne in commerce, econometrics and corporate finance, and in information systems and distributed computing. He then went on to receive his masters of commercial law whilst setting up and acting as the director of Qdos Technology.

“Having founded two start-ups, and worked for businesses of different shapes and sizes, I have consistently seen the challenge faced by companies with digital transformation – understanding how to take risk, where to prioritise and, in many cases, just move from zero to one,” Stevens said.

Digital Asset Ventures will be headquartered in Flinders Lane, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. The company’s foundations are built on three of the most influential and disruptive Industry 4.0 technologies, distributed ledger technologies, artificial intelligence and big data/data networks.

KPMG’s Chief Digital Officer leaves firm to start Digital Asset Ventures

“Our goal is to provide strategic and execution capability to support corporate ventures underpinned by technology. There is a massive opportunity to support the shift many companies are undertaking as they move into the fourth industrial revolution.”

The team which Stevens has enlisted to help him in this endeavour includes other ex-KPMG professionals Louis Strauss, Gennevieve Stokes and Simon Overend. Strauss was formerly a digital consultant for KPMG’s software development and digital transformation practice.

Stokes has over 14 years experience with KPMG Australia and has served in a number of senior roles including Executive Manager of management consulting and COO of the firm’s advisory division.

Overend answered to Stevens when the two worked together at Spotless Group where he was in charge of the client payroll services, recruitment consultant and an operations manager. Overend then moved to KPMG at roughly the same time as Stevens where he grew into an Associate Directors role in 2016.

Speaking of his new staff and vision for the future, Stevens said: “I have a passion and strong belief in the merits of diversity – not of gender, race or religion, but the diversity of thought and opinion.”

“The culture of DAV will be built on this premise, encouraging a wide range of perspectives. Our agenda will be to operate and focus on opportunities as a team, bringing the diversity we have together to serve a shared objective.”

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Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K Consulting Australia

15 April 2019 Consultancy.com.au

Ian Watt has joined L.E.K Consulting’s as a partner and leader of the firm’s Australian Energy & Environment practice. Watt is based in Sydney.

“We are delighted to welcome Ian Watt to L.E.K Consulting,” said Nick Holder, who leads the firm’s operations in the Asia Pacific region and is country leader of the Australia business. “His experience working with utilities to successfully address waves of market disruption and regulatory complexity bolsters our ability to drive value creation for clients.” 

Watt joins from Strategy&, where he worked since 2010, initially with Booz & Company before transitioning to Strategy& through PwC's $1 billion acquisition of Booz in 2014. He brings over a decade of experience advising clients in the energy, utilities, mining and industrials sectors across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. His experiences span the utility value chain, and comprise a mix of growth strategy (strategic planning, go-to-market models), operational transformation (cost, business model, and performance optimisation) and innovation (design of new products and services). 

During his career at Strategy&, Watt worked from the firm’s offices in London, Sydney, and most recently Calgary – he relocated to Canada in 2016 to help launch and build the Strategy& firm in the country. Prior to his consulting spell, he held several technical an economic consulting roles in the engineering industry, having started his career in Mott MacDonald’s consultancy team in the UK.

Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K ConsultingAt L.E.K Consulting, which has over 1,400 professionals globally, Watt will lead the Australian Energy & Environment practice. His appointment comes at a time when the energy & utilities sector is facing major change, with market disruption and regulatory complexity taking hold. According to L.E.K. Consulting, “Primary energy suppliers, OEMs and utilities, among others, turn to L.E.K. to benefit from its experience gathered over decades of tackling major strategic and operational issues in the sector.”

The presence of large energy conglomerates and mining giants means Australia's energy & resources consulting industry is the 2nd largest globally, trailing just the massive market of the United States. Government data shows that the resources sector comprise 15% to 20% of the national economy and up to 60% of Australia’s exports. BHP Billiton (the fourth largest company by revenue in Australia) and Rio Tinto (revenue of $40 billion) are major players in the space, meanwhile beyond mining & resources, companies such as energy retailers (e.g. Alinta Energy, BlueNRG, Click Energy, etc) and energy generators (e.g. AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia) are ramping up their spending on external consultants in a bid to successfully position themselves for future sustainable growth. 

Watt’s move brings the total of new partners at L.E.K. in Australia to three this year. Previously, Joe Sponholtz joined the Sydney office from rival consultancy Partners In Performance, while Melbourne-based Philip Wheeler was promoted internally to partner.

Last week, Bain & Company named a new leader for its Australia and New Zealand division: company veteran Peter Stumbles.