Managing Partner, KPMG
"KPMG Egypt was founded in 1943, and we have been in the country for almost 80 years. Our aim is to continue to build on our success and remain the most trusted and trustworthy audit, tax, and advisory firm in the country."
Ehab Abou Elmagd, Managing Partner of KPMG, about competition, challenges in the Egyptian market, and embracing new technology.
As managing partner of KPMG Egypt, what motivates you to lead the organization?
KPMG Egypt was founded in 1943, and we have been in the country for almost 80 years. Our aim is to continue to build on our success and remain the most trusted and trustworthy audit, tax, and advisory firm in the country. My goal for the company is to ensure KPMG is ready for the future in line with new talent, inspiration, and market expectations of our services. A large part of my vision is to ensure we maintain our heritage of being the strongest firm in the country and localize all of KPMG’s expertise and know-how for the Egyptian market, providing a wide range of services to help the country face the challenges of the future such as digital transformation, cybersecurity, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG).
Which sectors are of interest to KPMG at the moment?
Cost optimization is an increasingly important issue and it applies to every company, from cement producers to retailers, and at every level, such as operations and marketing. With the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, cost optimization is at the top of everyone’s list. There is no one focus on any sector since our product is applicable to almost every single business.
What sets KPMG apart from its competitors?
The cutting-edge technology that we employ in our service delivery is a key differentiator. We have the best teams working with our clients and maintain a great balance between the professional standards that are required and the close client service aspect that we provide. Providing high-quality service is important to us. It is uncommon in Egypt for advisors to have industry specialization, and our customers know that when they work with KPMG, they are dealing with a partner that truly understands all their problems and challenges.
What is the biggest challenge in terms of leading KPMG Egypt?
The biggest challenge is the scale of resources. The Egyptian market is still growing, and there are amazing opportunities; however, given the issues of the Egyptian devaluation and the growth of GCC countries and Saudi Arabia specifically, we will continue to build up resources and develop a talent pool to expand more into Saudi Arabia and the GCC. We welcome this challenge, though the pace is becoming extremely demanding. We are confident and optimistic about the future, though retaining our talented people remains a key challenge.
What is KPMG’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
We uphold KPMG values in every aspect, though it comes very easy in Egypt. Culturally, there is no gender or religious discrimination. We are all Egyptians and it has been easy to uphold these values in the country. We are not trying to transform into a company that was not in our DNA.
What are your main goals and priorities in the short and long term, and what is on your agenda?
We have three main pillars. From our perspective, as the largest audit firm in Egypt, the regulation that mandates audit firm rotation for all listed companies puts us at a disadvantage. This will come into effect in 2026, and working through this challenge is our chief priority. Second, we aim to develop a more flexible model for our talent in terms of giving them options to work from home or implement a hybrid model. The newer generations are the real assets of the company, and they require more effective communication and greater work flexibility, which we are able to support with our IT capabilities. This will take some time because of existing habits, and change management will be crucial there. We are also focused on ensuring greater technology enablement in all of our work, from service delivery to internal management information systems. At this stage, we plan to embrace all of the technological advances made available for KPMG worldwide and will apply them in Egypt; in the future, we even plan to contribute to this technology enhancement. We want to ensure we embrace all advancements in technology, including the use of AI and data analytics.