Danny McCance 13 Aug 2019 12:29pm

KPMG fires financial services partner over misconduct

Tim Howarth, partner and head of financial services consulting at Big Four firm KPMG, has been dismissed following allegations of misconduct

A disciplinary panel was convened on Friday to investigate the behaviour of the former partner and subsequently Howarth was removed from the firm, according to a Financial Times report.

Howarth’s profile has also been removed from KPMG’s website.

According to the FT, two individuals briefed on the situation reported that the matter involved messages sent by Howarth on instant messaging service WhatsApp.

A KPMG spokesperson said, “We hold all of our people to a very high standard and take swift and appropriate action against any individual whose behaviour contravenes the firm’s values. As part of this commitment, we can confirm conduct issues have been raised related to a partner and following an internal investigation and disciplinary panel, that partner has left the firm. Under our process the partner has appealed.”

Howarth told the FT that he was surprised by the disciplinary panel’s decision, saying it was “bizarre” as this was still under appeal.

“I have not been given the reason for that decision,” said Howarth, adding that he had resigned from KPMG already.

“I did not believe that the process was fair or would lead to a just outcome.

“There is no complainant and there were no formal allegations pursued by anyone.”

In June, the head of KPMG’s deal advisory business Sanjay Thakkar stepped down following allegations of bullying made by two partners.

These partners, Maggie Brereton and Ina Kjaer, had themselves resigned in February over how the matter had been dealt with.

In January, the firm suspended Peter Meehan, the audit partner responsible for the audit of Carillion, over issues related to documentation provided to the Financial Reporting Council in its investigation into the collapse of the construction services company.