In one of the most-publicised gaffes before the Royal Commission, the former Colonial First State executive, Linda Elkins, agreed with counsel that the Commonwealth Bank would be “the gold medallist if ASIC was handing out medals for fees for no service”. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
But KPMG has now won gold for being the fastest to move on from the RoCo, offering Elkins a premium role leading – of all things, given the RoCo’s focus – its asset and wealth management division.
While most of the industry is still reeling from the Commission’s aftermath and heads continue to roll, KPMG is demonstrating that the past is the past and one must look to the future by not only hiring Elkins to fill the role substantially held by former union boss, Paul Howes, but promoting him to further greatness. One serves as one can, comrade.
Perhaps that promotion was owed to the fact that Howes was revealed as being intimately connected to many appearing before the Royal Commission when he helped some of the banks prepare their most senior executives for their appearances.
Westpac top dog, Brian Hartzer, was one to receive his guidance, and Howes must have done something right – Hartzer was one of the few banking executives to keep their title and at least some dignity intact in the aftermath of the Commission.
Outsider wonders why KPMG would want to move on from the Royal Commission, however – after all, it appears to be the gift that just keeps on giving and would seem guaranteed to keep the coffers of the big consulting firms full for some years yet.