Matthew Woods leads KPMG in Western Australia

30 January 2019 3 min. read
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KPMG has named restructuring partner Matthew Woods as the firm’s chair of Western Australia. He takes responsibility for around 500 staff, including 35 partners. 

Matthew Woods joined KPMG as a partner in 2009, having previously served Norvest Corporate and Australian professional services firm Pitcher Partners (currently part of Baker Tilly International). At the Big Four firm, Woods built the firm’s Restructuring division in Perth into a leading practice in the region. 

Woods brings over two decades of experience in the areas of financial restructuring, operational restructuring and insolvency services to his new role. He has successfully restructured companies across a range of industries, with his most high-profile clients in the mining, oil and gas, engineering, property and retail sectors. 

He now aims to leverage his experience to direct the firm toward faster growth, in a bid to close the gap with the other Big Four firms. “Restructuring experts see risk in a different way, reflecting on a lot of things that looked good at the time but were the wrong thing to do. It doesn’t make us bullet-proof but it gives us an extra lens,” he said in discussion with The West Australian.

Matthew Woods leads KPMG in Western Australia

Despite’s KPMG impressive growth in the past two years – fee income jumped by 27% from $1.37 billion in FY16 to the current $1.74 billion – the firm remains the smallest of the four market leaders in Australia, just behind EY but trailing PwC some $600 million. Rival Deloitte is however the fastest grower of the group, with a 32% increase noted in the period. “If we are to achieve the strong growth ambitions we have for the firm locally and nationally then we are going to have to continue to aggressively look to grow the firm…  clearly we don’t want to stay number four,” he said.

The new chair of Western Australia added that he is further keen to deploy his background deal-making in the new role. “As a deals person in the chairman’s role, I will naturally be quite inquisitive,” he said. “[On top of organic growth, we will continue to look in the market for opportunities to acquire businesses that will lead to sensible, sustainable growth for our business.”

Over the past years, KPMG has closed several deals in Australia, including that of customer experience consultancy UDKU (U Don't Know Us), Western Sydney-based YCG Accountants, engineering advisory firm Relken, FinTech company Markets IT, and the Migration Services arm of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Western Australia.

Woods succeeds Gary Smith, who will move into a special advisory role in KPMG’s Indigenous Services practice until he retires from the firm in June. Smith previously headed the accounting and consulting firm’s Perth office for seven years. KPMG has 14 offices in Australia, of which two are based in Western Australia: Perth and Karratha. 

Earlier this month, HR and risk consultancy Willis Towers Watson named Simon Weaver head of its Australasia region.