Comms vets take up newly created global roles at KPMG and PwC

04 November 2019 3 min. read
More news on

Seasoned comms leaders Michael Stewart and Jane Lawrie have been appointed in newly created global corporate affairs roles at respectively PwC and KPMG.

Two Big Four rivals have within a fortnight made global appointments in almost identical newly created roles based out of London; Jane Lawrie as KPMG’s Global Head of Corporate Affairs, and Michael Stewart, as PwC’s Global Leader, Corporate Affairs and Communications. Lawrie joins KPMG from her most recent role as Group Communications Director at Tesco, while Stewart crosses to PwC from Edelman.

Previously, Stewart spent more than a dozen years until 2013 as a partner and Global Director of Communications for McKinsey, where, incidentally, he was replaced on his departure to Edelman by Steve Jon – who last month also vacated the role in a move to HSBC. At Edelman, Stewart held the roles of President and CEO for Europe and CIS, as well as serving as Global Vice Chairman and a Senior Advisor.

In addition to the newly created Global Leader, Corporate Affairs and Communications role, Stewart will also join PwC’s Global Markets Leadership team and serve as the chair of PwC’s Global Public Policy Board – bringing altogether more than 25 years of professional experience in strategic communications, public affairs, reputation risk management and stakeholder engagement to his new assignments.

Michael Stewart and Jane Lawrie

“Michael brings a wealth of expertise and experience and a truly global perspective which will be hugely beneficial for our organisation as we work together on building the PwC of tomorrow,” said Richard Oldfield, PwC Global Markets Leader, with Stewart responding; “I have always admired PwC’s brand, its people and its commitment to being an organisation led by a clear purpose and a strong set of values."

Meanwhile, announced less than two weeks prior, fellow Big Four firm KPMG has also welcomed a new Global Head of Corporate Affairs, in what is also a newly created role. Jane Lawrie joins the professional services firm after a two-and-a-half-year stint with Tesco to March, prior to which she spent almost a decade with Coca-Cola, latterly as its Public Affairs and Communications Director for Europe.

Like Stewart, Lawrie brings over 25 years of experience to her new role with KPMG, and will also sit on KPMG’s Global Management Team, reporting directly to Global Chairman and CEO Bill Thomas. “In helping organisations protect and grow their reputation, Jane brings with her a wealth of experience in corporate, digital and employee communications, public policy and sustainability,” Thomas stated.

As to the coincidence of the two newly created roles, Stewart told PR Weekly at least that the fusion of corporate affairs with comms and policy is a growing trend in large corporates. “Organisations can get very siloed, whether it’s different market segments, areas of business or stakeholder groups. The corporate affairs function is one of the few functions that is well positioned to see across all of those different groups.”