Mr Kergon is responsible for a team of more than 1,300 across KPMG’s offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, with a remit to drive the firm’s growth in Scotland.
He joined KPMG as a graduate in Glasgow 23 years ago, qualifying in 2001 before moving from audit to transaction services in 2003. He became a partner in 2016 and took over as Glasgow office senior partner in June 2020.
He replaces Ms Burnet, who was heralded as the first female senior partner of a Big Four accountancy firm north of the Border when she was appointed to the role in 2016, and who became KPMG’s head of UK audit in May.
Mr Kergon will work closely with Aberdeen office senior partner Martin Findlay, and will continue in his role as the firm’s Scottish head of deal advisory.
KPMG provides professional services to Scotland’s business community and the public sector. It says it works with firms based both locally and overseas, offering audit, tax, and advisory services, including corporate finance, transaction services, pensions advisory, risk consulting, restructuring and management consulting. The firm earlier this year told its 1,000 Scottish staff to prepare for a “future of hybrid working”.
Mr Kergon said: “I am incredibly proud to have the opportunity to lead KPMG in Scotland. I have worked closely with and learnt a lot from my predecessors in the role and look forward to building on the firm’s strong heritage in Scotland, and empowering the exceptional people that underpin our success.
“It’s a truly remarkable time for businesses. We are supporting clients of every size against a backdrop of economic recovery and rapid change, advising on everything from new technology and [mergers and acquisitions] to the steps our clients need to take to become more sustainable. And our clients, like all of our own people, are adapting to new ways of working.”
Chris Hearld, head of regions at KPMG in the UK, said: “James’ leadership of our Glasgow office and Scottish deal advisory team make him perfectly suited to support our clients as the pace of Scotland’s economic recovery from Covid-19 accelerates.”