South African brokerage house Sasfin, disclosed that it has dropped KPMG as its JSE sponsor as well as its auditor after 18 years following recent publicized concerns stemming from the Gupta saga and the SARS “rogue unit” report.
The company confirmed in a statement that the partnership has ended. See full statement below:
Sasfin will be changing its Independent Sponsor from KPMG Services (Pty) Ltd to Deloitte & Touche Sponsor Services (Pty) Ltd, effective as of Tuesday, 19 September 2017. This decision was made to ensure a separation of the role of external joint auditor to the Sasfin Holdings Limited Group with that of Independent Sponsor.
KPMG Inc. and Grant Thornton Johannesburg Partnership have been joint auditors of Sasfin Holdings Limited Group for 18 and 30 years respectively.
In view of the well-publicised concerns recently raised with regard to KPMG as well as Sasfin’s commitment to good governance in respect of auditor independence and auditor tenure, Sasfin has decided to put its audit out to tender.
The saga had seen KPMG CEO Trevor Hoole, chief operating officer Steven Louw, chairperson Ahmed Jaffer and five senior executives resigned. The action follows an investigation by KPMG International, which was launched after pressure mounted on the auditor as a result of the #GuptaLeaks.
The investigation looked into its work on behalf of the Guptas as well as for SARS. Its SARS report was used by the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority in launching an investigation into the unit, with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan being implicated in the report.
KPMG is a professional service company and one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Seated in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, KPMG employs 189,000 people and has three lines of services: financial audit, tax, and advisory.