SA firms dropping KPMG like it’s hot but still no international news coverage

Monday was a big day for KPMG in South Africa. The R30 billion retail group TFG, which operates Foschini, became the second-largest company to officially drop KPMG as its auditor, following Friday’s decision by R34 billion consumer goods distributor AVI to part ways with the auditing firm. Other companies that have dropped KPMG include Munich Re, Sasfin, Sygnia, and Hulisani. KPMG is now scrambling to reassure clients that its management shakeout has cleared away the dead wood. But until an independent inquiry into KPMG’s behaviour is concluded and all the dirty Gupta laundry is aired, it may be wise for SA companies to be cautious in working with the firm. Unfortunately, the international media hasn't yet caught on to the KPMG SA scandal. Although Reuters pieces have been reprinted in major US newspapers, the topic hasn't been amplified by the kind of coverage the FT gave the Bell Pottinger scandal. Until that happens, KPMG global may escape the fallout unscathed. In happier news, it's time for another great interview with David Shapiro. In this week’s chat, he and Alec Hogg delve into topics ranging from EOH to Eskom. You can also learn more about the growing market for second passports. And in my Worldview, you can join me in puzzling out what Orania, Catalonia, and the Kurds have in common. Finally, don't forget that this Thursday Alec will be hosting the October SA Champions Porfolio update. Premium members can register here.