Sharad Somani takes over as KPMG Asia Pacific infrastructure head

21 April 2020 3 min. read
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In a regional reshuffle, Sharad Somani has taken over as KPMG Asia Pacific’s new Head of Infrastructure, replacing company veteran Julian Vella.

KPMG in the Asia Pacific has undertaken another executive reshuffle, with Singapore-based Sharad Somani appointed as regional Head of Infrastructure – replacing company veteran Julian Vella, who takes on the role of Co-Head of Infrastructure for KPMG China. The moves mirrors that of KPMG’s Asia Pacific Insurance division from earlier in the year, with Erik Bleekrode succeeding Simon Donowho, who now serves as Joint Head of Insurance at KPMG China.

“Delighted to take up the regional role as we all brace for a challenging future,” Somani said. “Infrastructure as a sector can lead the way for global economic recovery. KPMG is working with our clients to bring technology-led innovation for sustainable project delivery. As we stress our critical infrastructure in these difficult times, the future winners will be players who can incorporate robust resilience plans and digital solutions across the project lifecycle.”

Somani has been with KPMG for the past 15 years, until recently heading the infrastructure project finance advisory practice covering Southeast Asia. Prior to joining KPMG in Southeast Asia, Somani spent just under a year and a half as a principal consultant with PwC India’s infrastructure advisory practice, with a focus on power and industrial zone projects, before which he was with KPMG in India for two and half years. Earlier, he served at Enron India.

Sharad Somani, Julian Vella - KPMG

“I am delighted to announce the appointment from today of Sharad Somani as KPMG sector head for Infrastructure in Asia Pacific,” commented global Infrastructure head Richard Threlfall. “Sharad brings extensive expertise and experience across the infrastructure sector covering renewable energy, water, waste-to-energy, transport, infra-tech and smart cities. I would like to convey here my personal congratulations to Sharad, and my sincere thanks to Julian.”

Described by Threlfall as having provided outstanding leadership for over ten years, Vella, who has been with KPMG altogether for more than three decades, continues in the Infrastructure co-head role at KPMG China as well as serving as a member of the Global Infrastructure Board. “It’s been an exciting and rewarding journey,” said Vella. “Thank you to all who have contributed to our success over the last ten years. I hope we have made a difference.”

Vella, who also previously headed up the infrastructure practice of KPMG Australia, will now focus primarily on leading KPMG’s advice in respect to China’s outbound infrastructure activities, including the country’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – described by Vella as one of the largest and most influential development initiatives in the modern era. Previously, Singapore has been identified as one of the most attractive spots in Asia for BRI investment.

Citing education, healthcare, transport, energy and digital connectivity, Threlfall concluded; “Infrastructure is the foundation stone of our civilisation. Today, the sector faces more challenge and opportunity than ever, through continued growth in populations especially in cities, the need to decarbonise to fight climate change, the rapid adoption of technology, and the use of data to drive more efficient and effective planning, construction, operation and maintenance of assets.”