KPMG appoints Robyn Langsford as global leader of family business

12 June 2023 2 min. read
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The current boss of KPMG’s family business practice in Australia, Robyn Langsford, has ascended to a global leadership role.

Local partner Robyn Langsford has been appointed as the new global leader of the professional services firm’s family business practice, which sits within the Private Enterprise division.

Langsford succeeds Tom McGinness, a UK-based partner at the Big Four firm. “I am really excited about the opportunity to work with our global team to help support family businesses around the world, which make a significant contribution to GDP, employment and their communities,” Langsford stated.

KPMG appoints Robyn Langsford as global leader of family business

“KPMG has been committed to family businesses since its inception over a century ago, and I’m delighted to have a role that further emphasises KPMG Private Enterprise’s ongoing commitment to the segment,” he added.

Bringing her own small business ownership background in accounting and taxation services, Langsford joined KPMG in 2014, before being admitted to the firm’s partnership three years on. For the past four years she has served as head of KPMG’s local private clients and family business segment, based out of Sydney. Altogether she has amassed more than two and a half decades of experience advising clients on strategic financial and tax matters.

Langsford steps up to her new global responsibilities at the same time as current KPMG Australia Private Enterprise head Paul Howes prepares to take leadership of a newly restructured and super-charged local Consulting division, to be replaced by Naomi Mitchell, while former global family business boss and three-decade KPMG veteran Tom McGinness becomes the mid-market advisory practice’s new ESG leader after the past five and a half years.

No spoilers for anyone presently living under a rock, but that time-span roughly coincides with the airing of popular HBO drama Succession, as does Langsford succeeding McGinness within a week of its widely-discussed finale – with KPMG also not-so-coincidentally covering the show’s core subject in a recently published article on family business continuity. According to the firm, less than one third of such businesses have a succession plan in place.

“In working with many successful family business entrepreneurs in Australia and around the world, there is often an unfair assumption that their experience and knowledge automatically transfers to the world of succession,” Langsford states. “But as we’ve seen from the popular TV series, there can be competing agendas and priorities, with complex governance challenges and never-before-experienced dynamics regarding inter-generational needs coming into play.”