I wrote last week about the credibility of auditing, or the lack of it. As if on cue to prove my point on independence the FT reports this morning:
KPMG, the giant professional services company, will on Monday launch its first investment fund as it branches out into other areas in a sign of the big changes afoot in the financial services industry.
The move is significant as the fund will invest in data and analytics businesses, which are increasingly popular with investors as technology is considered a growth area that should benefit from economic recovery.
The group, one of the big four professional services companies employing 152,000 people around the world in 156 countries and with combined revenues of $23bn, is creating KPMG Capital, a new wholly owned fund.
There's a simple question to ask. How can KPMG be both an auditor and investment fund manager without major conflicts of interest arising? I just do not see how that is possible. In which case I think it's fair to question why they have an audit licence.