KPMG in Australia has launched a specialist professional services’ offering to support Indigenous-led enterprises across the country. While it may have been somewhat overlooked amid the deluge of coronavirus reporting, KPMG Australia has recently established a specialist business to support Indigenous entrepreneurs – some of who may be especially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The new KPMG Indigenous Services practice will be led by experienced financial services executive and new KPMG partner Glen Brennan.
“I’m passionate about growing Indigenous enterprise and delighted to be joining KPMG, a firm with a long history of working with Indigenous Australians with market-leading skills,” Brennan said. “Our new business will build on the substantial platform of engagement already established by KPMG, helping Indigenous Australians achieve their aspirations by growing their businesses.”
KPMG Indigenous Services will focus on providing the firm’s suite of professional services to Traditional Owners and the more than 10,000 Indigenous businesses and enterprises across Australia, underpinned by an ethos of driving economic development. According to KPMG, the most recent Census showed that the number of Indigenous businesses was growing 30 times faster than non-Indigenous ones.
“I’ve spent much of my life attempting to make a positive impact on the lives of my people and our vision is to harness the expertise and capability of KPMG’s professional services and deliver it to where it is most needed and can make the most difference,” added Brennan, who joins KPMG as a partner after close to 15 years with NAB – most recently as Managing Partner of its High Growth and Emerging Corporate business.
A Gomeroi man from Narrabri in northern NSW, Brennan previously served at NAB as Head of Indigenous Business Development, where he led the bank’s commercial and non-commercial Indigenous banking activities. Earlier, he spent ten years in various executive roles with the Australian Government, and also chairs the Indigenous-managed not-for-profit recruitment company Aboriginal Employment Strategy.
On launching the new practice, KPMG pointed to its strong track record of investment in Indigenous Australia and longstanding involvement in reconciliation and Indigenous social and economic development over the past decade and a half, including as a founding member of Supply Nation in 2009 (then AIMSC) – demonstrating a commitment to procuring from Indigenous businesses for the past ten years.
However, KPMG Australia CEO Gary Wingrove notes that business is behind the latest incentive; “While there is undoubtedly a social imperative for Indigenous Australia to participate in economic growth, the genesis of KPMG Indigenous Services is absolutely demand-driven. Indigenous enterprises and organisations face the same challenges as non-Indigenous businesses but are often lacking scale or are on much steeper growth trajectories.”
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Commonwealth Bank (CBA), one of Australia’s major banks, is looking to tap into the burgeoning financial technology (FinTech) market across the country through the launch of a FinTech startup incubator X15 Ventures. Growth and technical expertise for the new venture is being sourced from KPMG and Microsoft.
CBA’s start-up venture X15 partners with KPMG and Microsoft
On 4 February 2020 it was stated that Microsoft is playing a pivotal role as technology partner for Commonwealth Bank’s newly minted X15 Ventures which has been established to help the bank stay at the leading edge of Australia’s financial services sector. Over the next five years CBA plans to work with 25 start ups through the wholly owned X15 Venture, creating valuable new services which will be available to its retail and business customers as well as to the broader market. Through the partnership with Microsoft, the start-ups that X15 selects to work with, are assured access to leading edge technology and expertise.
Microsoft and Commonwealth Bank