Promoting the city on the world stage and helping the wider region win its fair share of international investors will be one of the main priorities for the new senior partner at KPMG’s Birmingham office.
Mike Steventon, who has been with the firm for more than a quarter of a century, said he hoped to use his experience as head of the firm’s automotive arm to push the city’s and KPMG’s global credentials.
“My client base includes a good deal of international businesses and my experience has been working with investors from around the world and this opportunity is for me to help bring the international agenda to Birmingham,” Mr Steventon said.
“To be successful we must create a region that is attractive to international investors.
“Birmingham is our fourth largest office in Europe and is right at the heart of KPMG’s international network and we have a great team here who understand the international agenda.
“In the Midlands, KPMG is a centre of excellence for a number of sectors, be it automotive, aerospace, property or healthcare, to name but a few, all of which are vibrant and thriving parts of the business.
“Many of our specialist areas are industrial in their heritage but others like healthcare are becoming increasingly interesting and important. There are also new opportunities such as shared services where the city could increasingly offer back office facilities for international organisations.”
Mr Steventon joined KPMG Birmingham in 1986 as a graduate trainee and, after qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1989, transferred to KPMG’s North American practice.
He returned to the UK in 1993 and was appointed a partner in 1998.
He became head of KPMG’s automotive practice in 2005 and has worked closely with automotive manufacturers, suppliers and retailers in the UK and overseas as part of that role.
He currently works with a number of listed Midland manufacturing groups and the UK operations of large international businesses and hopes to carry on some of that work in his new role.
“I will be formally handing over the automotive role but the automotive sector is centred around the Midlands and I want a Midland partner to take on the role,” he said.
‘‘However, I will keep some automotive clients because it is in the soul and I am not going to get rid of that but I will back away from some of the more managerial role.”
Steve Hollis, regional chairman at KPMG Midlands, described Mr Steventon’s appointment as “the final piece in the jigsaw” after appointing Wayne Cox to the senior partner role at the firm’s East Midlands headquarters in Nottingham.
“This region has big international credentials and we are trying to demonstrate our commitment to the future of Birmingham which we believe is going to be rosy but is going to be much more international,” he said.
“What we want to do is position ourselves much more closely with influencers from around the world.
“The Midlands practice has continued to grow in a difficult economic environment by providing a full range of services to meet the ever changing demands of our clients.
“Mike’s work with major manufacturers and inward investors made him a natural choice for this key role within our Midlands practice.
“The composition of the local economy has changed considerably over the past decade and it is essential that the Midlands remains a competitive and attractive location for international investors. Mike’s knowledge within this arena will not only provide benefits for our clients but will also benefit the wider business community.
‘‘I am delighted to welcome Mike to his new role.”