Home Retail Linda Ellet on how KPMG helps retail clients find opportunities

Linda Ellet on how KPMG helps retail clients find opportunities

by Ozva Admin

As a partner at KPMG, Linda Ellet is the leader of the company’s consumer, entertainment and retail industry wing, and market leader for the sectors. In a conversation with RDW’s Cat Callen, Ellet discusses the changing face of the retail industry and how KPMG is still finding growth opportunities for clients in difficult times.

Tell us about you.

In or around London is where I grew up, went to university and started my career; and although I now live in Cambridgeshire, the diversity and bustle of London is something I will always love. I come from a small but very close family. My parents always instilled in me and my sister the passion for creativity, constant learning and problem solving; qualities that I now strive not only to incorporate into my working life, but also to pass on to my children.

Outside of work, my two children keep me quite busy, and when I don’t see them running on a football field, I like to go for a run outside, I find it a great relief for my physical and mental well-being. I am also passionate about financial wellness and am looking to play a small role in this as a trustee of The Money Charity.

Linda Ellet, Partner, KPMG

What is your morning routine when you work from home?

Whether I’m in the office or working at home, I always try to start my day with some exercise; I think my morning run gives me time to refresh and rationalize my thoughts about the day ahead! Once home I will always try to hang out with the guys before work starts, if I can distract them from TikTok/FIFA/equivalent!

Honestly, I find working from home can be challenging; It’s hard to ignore chores when you’re walking between meetings. However, I enjoy the extra time with the boys that the absence of a long commute gives me, so I still work from home a couple of days a week.

What is most important to you in your role as Head of Consumer, Retail and Leisure at KPMG in the UK?

What we do and who we do it for. We work with companies whose products and services touch the lives of people across the country, whether it’s providing essential food, helping someone celebrate, supporting their health, or providing employment. We strive to secure the best talent at KPMG to enable us to strive to provide superior services to businesses that help them anticipate and navigate the ever-changing consumer landscape. I feel privileged to lead our retail and consumer work, and I am passionate about connecting clients, colleagues and ideas to continue to provide the best services for the industry.

What do you find challenging in your current projects, given the current economic climate?

The myriad of challenges and changes that businesses face at once is almost unprecedented. High inflation, supply chain disruption, geopolitical conflict, changes in immigration and trade agreements, the drive for net zero, and rapid technological advancement are just some of the issues unfolding in real time. And consumer-facing businesses have the added challenge of the impact these problems have on consumer demand and spending. Businesses have to try to prioritize and then adapt, first to survive and then to thrive!

With so many complex issues at play at once, I love how KPMG’s experience across multiple areas of expertise, multiple industries and also internationally can be really beneficial to companies that have to quickly resolve issues across functions and find growth opportunities. So, challenge yes, but a great opportunity to make a difference by helping customers.

You have been with KPMG for over 20 years, what is the secret to your success?

A great quote is that a good leader surrounds himself with people who are better than him, I believe 100% in this. I love achieving something myself, but I get much more out of watching others achieve – seeing the potential in people and then letting them realize that it’s something I’m very passionate about. And I think it ended up serving me very well, which is great!

Who in business has had the biggest effect on the way you lead?

There is not just one person, as I am lucky to have worked with and met so many great business leaders. For example, I co-founded the company’s C-Suite program with another partner, Sue Bonney. We had people from all the executive committees of FTSE100 companies from various sectors come together to help challenge and develop their leadership. One thing that I think is key to leadership is showing how human you are. While leaders are expected to inspire people and justify why they are where they are, it is also key that they show that they cannot do it all and that everyone needs, at times, to play on the strengths of others and strive to develop further.

When recruiting new talent to the team, what behaviors do you always look for?

Passion, drive, motivation and commitment are absolutely key. I also always focus on potential and what that person’s skills and experience could be used for and if they are transferable. For example, when I hired a marketing business partner recently, I could have focused on whether someone had professional services experience, but I named someone who had both start-up and big consumer brand marketing experience. That told me that he understood our current and potential customer base, whether it’s a large or small company. The professional services side can be learned from and can also be supported by our team.

You may also like

Leave a Comment