Lisa’s colleagues told us she leads by example – not just in her practice she leads, which has flourished – but also as an active, visible champion for diversity and inclusion. Lisa has established and leads a number of networks helping women, working parents and colleagues from ethnic minorities thrive.
LISA FERNIHOUGH
LISA FERNIHOUGH
KPMG

When she was put forward by KPMG to be its role model for Women in Banking & Finance to celebrate, her colleagues told us Lisa leads by example, day in and day out – not just in the practice she leads, which has flourished, but also as an active and visible champion for diversity and inclusion.

Lisa has worked with KPMG since 1988 (apart from an eight-year break when she ran her own training company) and lived and worked as a partner with KPMG in the US, Switzerland and the UK. Lisa has taken various leadership roles in the consulting and financial services teams and has managed to earn the respect of her colleagues and clients because of her considerable breadth and depth of client and commercial acumen, but also due to the way she builds and maintains collaborative and effective working relationships across the organisations.

Since August 2019, Lisa has led KPMG’s Financial Services Consulting (FSC) practice in the UK responsible for its business strategy and operational performance. The FSC practice is the largest commercial division within KPMG UK with 1,300 consultants, with an annual revenue of more than £300 million – figures that are growing.

Lisa’s leadership has not only stabilised the business and enabled it to continue to grow, outperforming expectations by delivering 22% growth from the 12 months in 2020 to those in 2021, but she also secured the top rating of gold among financial institutions and services consulting in the Financial Times’ consultancy rankings. And, rather than rest on her laurels, Lisa has continued to focus on developing an ambitious growth plan to help the FCS practice succeed in the market and as well a compelling place to work.

In order to deliver significant business results, Lisa has driven a significant transformation of the culture and sense of community among her FSC practice colleagues.

As part of her commitment to colleagues, Lisa writes weekly an authentic and gritty blog covering business performance, updates on strategy, while shining a light on the activities and topics that FSC colleagues are involved in. Making it real has helped to build that sense of purpose and belonging even with remote working and has positively changed the dialogue within the FSC community, its leadership team and more broadly.

Against this backdrop, it will come as no surprise that Lisa is an active and visible champion for diversity and social equality matters across the FSC practice and the broader financial services team at KPMG.

Some key achievements include:

  • Developing the strategic ambition to 2024 to improve gender and ethnic diversity within the FSC practice – setting the standard for other commercial divisions to follow.
  • Founding and sponsoring KPMG’s award-winning IT’s Her Future network, designed to change processes to increase the proportion of female talent joining and staying in KPMG’s technology practice.
  • Sponsoring the Superwoman Network for working mothers across the firm.
  • Sponsoring and actively supporting the RaiseYou Programme, designed to support the retention and promotion of female and black heritage talent.
  • Launching an inclusion, diversity and social equity (IDSE) ‘drumbeat’ – a constant stream of content, communications and learning experiences – involving all service line leaders within the FSC practice, with a specific focus on driving tangible tactical and strategic improvements.
  • Being an active member of KPMG’s Black Lives Allyship Programme, acting as an ally to a black heritage colleague and taking time to understand the issues faced by colleagues of colour and amplifying their voices in senior leadership forums.
  • Mentoring several colleagues from diverse backgrounds, providing career coaching and support, as well as taking an active sponsorship role for a female diverse colleague on her path to partnership.

When a group of newly promoted individuals were invited to think of a great leader and the qualities they exhibited. Lisa’s name was given along with the likes of Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and David Beckham. Authentic, warm, generous and honest were qualities listed for Lisa’s leadership. Lisa is a truly inspirational and enthusiastic leader, as one of her FSC practice colleagues stated: “As Head of Financial Services Consulting, she has been fantastic. She is always there to talk to, always sharing good advice and always radiating positivity. It has made a huge difference to me personally, and I’m sure I’m not the only person to think that.”