Avril Rae appointed as director and head of fintech for KPMG in China

24 May 2019 Consultancy.asia

KPMG has recruited Avril Rae as a director to lead its Fintech practice in China.

KPMG China has named Avril Rae as its new Head of Fintech, with Rae rising to director’s position after starting her IT career as a Helpdesk Analysts for TNT Express more than 20 years ago. Rae crosses from a Director of Client Technology role with financial software and risk solutions firm Refinitiv (formerly Thomson Reuters’ Financial & Risk unit), which she departed in October last year.

The new KPMG director has continually evolved across her 20-plus year career, moving from the TNT help-desk into network engineering and consultancy, then service management – including a decade with telcos BT and Telstra – and ultimately solution sales for the financial services industry, developing a passion for emerging technology and innovation along the way.

“We are increasingly seeing an overlap between financial and tech firms, particularly with the adoption of technology in financial services,” said Paul McSheaffrey, KPMG’s Head of Banking in Hong Kong. “Having someone with Avril’s knowledge to talk to our clients about fintech is crucial to our offering. Avril’s wealth of experience and insights on futuristic technology in finance are invaluable in positioning us as at the cutting edge of these developments.”Avril Rae appointed as director and head of fintech for KPMG in ChinaIn addition to her professional roles, Rae is an active member of the FIX Trading Community, serves as Vice Chair of the Innovation and Technology Committee for the British Chamber of Commerce, and is Co-Chair for the Big Data Committee for the FinTech Association Hong Kong, where she has been based for the past decade and will continue to be stationed with KPMG.

Since departing Refinitiv, Rae has also pursued an ongoing voluntary ambassador engagement for Moxie Future – a community platform which seeks to empower female investors in creating sustainable wealth growth, founded by ex-EY financial services advisor Jessica Robinson. A recent Oliver Wyman study notably demonstrated the extent of gender imbalance in the private equity sector of emerging markets, with China – in fact a leader – having just 15 percent of its senior investment roles held by women.

As a voice for female empowerment, as well as a vocal supporter of the LGBT+ community, Rae’s appointment continues an encouraging recent trend among the Big Four of not only women being appointed to senior leadership roles, but women with a strong background in diversity and equality advocacy – including Sharon Thorne as Deloitte Global Chair and EY’s incoming EMEIA head Julie Teigland.

Rae said of her appointment: “Financial technology is fundamentally changing the way businesses operate across the entire financial services ecosystem. I am pleased to be taking a key role to drive awareness of solutions and help clients to grow their business.” According to the firm, KPMG China has 21 offices in 19 cities across the Greater China region which are home to around 12,000 partners and staff.