The firm we know today as KPMG Luxembourg was set up in 1988 following the global merger of KMG and Peat Marwick. The official establishment of the profession of “réviseurs d’entreprises” (statutory auditors) in Luxembourg had taken place just a few years before and was the initial driver of the newly named firm’s business.
Philippe Meyer, managing partner of KPMG Luxembourg, has been part of the firm for 27 of the last 30 years, during which time he has witnessed the headcount increase from 50 to more than 1,677 people--growth that parallels the evolution of Luxembourg. He discusses how business has changed and looks forward to the future.
“The emergence of Luxembourg as an investment funds and banking centre has been a key driver to our growth, especially with regards to regulation,” Meyer told Delano in an interview. “The regulatory environment has become so complex that our clients have increasingly come to rely on us to help them navigate it.”
In 2017, KPMG Luxembourg announced a growth rate of 6%, with net revenues increasing to €199 million. Indeed, it experienced an increase in all its activities. Audit remains the largest with net revenues of €91 million, followed by advisory at €55 million and tax at €53 million.
What have been the key drivers of this growth? “Today it is technology and the digital transformation that are crucial. Tracking the dramatic evolution in digitalisation and growing along with it has been part of our mode of operation. Technology is moving fast, and it is essential that we keep pace,” said Meyer.
To this end KPMG Luxembourg has invested heavily in fintech and blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. “We advised on the set up of the blockchain-based FundsDLT at the end of 2016, a platform on which asset managers can sell their funds digitally directly to their customers. We have also seen more and more people coming to us to find out how blockchain can be applied in other areas to create smarter, safer, more customer friendly ways of distributing goods and services.”
Going forward KMPG will continue its work to ensure that Luxembourg meets its digital potential, he said. “We are committed to walking to walk, not just talking the talk when it comes to playing a leading role in making Luxembourg a digital capital.”
Towards the end of his recent interview with Delano, Meyer wanted to say a word about the firm’s staff, evoking a message the company delivered during its annual results announcement last December: “In today’s competitive environment, it takes more than educated, qualified people to make a company like us successful. It takes people with curiosity and an entrepreneurial spirit. That we continue to recruit such people is critical, they are the architects of our company and Luxembourg’s future.”