KPMG partner Tim Thomas named CEO of Australia-India Centre

14 March 2023 3 min. read
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The Australian government has tapped KPMG partner Tim Thomas to be CEO of the newly-established Centre for Australia-India Relations, which aims to foster greater political and economic cooperation.

Tim Thomas, a Sydney-based partner in KPMG’s Strategy Group, has been appointed as the inaugural chief executive officer of the Centre for Australia-India Relations, which is due to open later in the year and will serve as conduit for supporting enhanced collaboration between the two nations.

The announcement coincided with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s recent bilateral summit with Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in India.

KPMG partner Tim Thomas named CEO of Australia-India Centre

“Thank you for your wishes,” Thomas said, responding to comments from colleagues and associates on LinkedIn. “I feel truly privileged to have been given this opportunity, and very grateful for the support from my KPMG colleagues. There is a lot that the Centre of Australia India Relations can do in uplifting the economic relationship between two countries that are modern day bastions of democracy, and two cultures at the heart of my identity.”

Announced early last year as part of the India Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, the $21 million centre (CAIR) has been described by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as a national platform bringing together all levels of government, industry and the broader community to drive Australia-India engagement.

Finance and business executive Swati Dave was last month appointed as inaugural CAIR chair.

Thomas has been with KPMG for the past five and half years and heads up the firm’s Australian Insurance & Wealth Strategy practice, supporting clients in navigating widespread industry disruption. Prior to KPMG, Thomas spent two decades in insurance and financial services across Australia and Asia, including approximately six and a half years each at AXA and Prudential, the latter where he served as regional Vice President for strategy and business development.

Commenting on Thomas’ appointment, Foreign Affairs minister Penny Wong stated: “Expanding our cooperation with India is crucial for us and crucial for our region. Tim has more than two decades of business experience across the Indo-Pacific working to support trade and investment in India and in Australia. I look forward to working with Tim, Swati and the Centre’s Advisory Board as we seek to deepen our engagement with India.”

A press release from the Prime Minister’s Office said the centre will work across government, industry, academia and the community to deepen cultural understanding between the two countries, and will focus on promoting policy dialogue, engaging diaspora communities, and building India business literacy and connections. It will also administer the flagship Maitri (friendship) program of scholarships, fellowships, cultural partnerships and grants.

In addition to leading KPMG’s Insurance & Wealth business, Thomas is further credited with helping to expand the firm’s India practice, working closely with Indian corporations and diaspora groups based in Australia and internationally. Thomas is also the founder of Her Village, a not-for-profit working to help settle young female refugees in Australia through initiatives such as last year’s community soccer event for Afghan schoolgirls.