Vice Chair of KPMG Melanie Richards speaks about trust in business in our latest Distinguished Leaders lecture

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Melanie Richards, Vice Chair and partner at KPMG UK joined us on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 as part of our Distinguished Leaders Series, to deliver a lecture on Trust in Business.

Prior to the lecture, Melanie hosted an intimate roundtable discussion with selected UG, MSc and MBA students. Rafael Salas Perez, FT MBA Student who was in attendance at the roundtable said:

“I felt privileged for making part of the cohort that shared time with her prior to the lecture. She is smart, fresh and inspiring. The way in which she addressed every question was well structured, succinct and enthusiastic” 

During her lecture Melanie touched on Brexit and how the current economic and political climate impacts consumers and their trust in businesses. She went on to say the how, as consumers, we have selected standards when it comes to business. Despite companies like Google and Apple, famously avoiding tax bills and Trump boasting about the fact he had managed to avoid paying his taxes, “there is no wide scale boycott of these companies or products.”

The impact all this has on business is actually pretty complex and this is further illustrated by the disrupters. You take Airbnb and Uber, they are classic disrupters of very established businesses”. Melanie said that, despite there being some safety and reputational issues, because it is convenient to us, we continue to use those services.

The traditional idea that brand trust and enable of performance and purpose, that’s been overridden a bit by our desire for convenience and speed.” 

Listen to Melanie's full lecture below:

When asked what makes a good leader, Melanie said:

 “Resilience would come number one, particularly now the world’s changing so rapidly, I think your ability to continue to stay on course, not be discouraged by lack of achievement”

She went on to further say “when those opportunities arise, take a bit of a risk, because some of the best moments for me, in terms of when I’ve moved on have been when I’ve taken much more risk”

Our next Distinguished Leaders Series lecture will be on Wednesday 15th February and further information will be listed on our website shortly.

Listen to Melanie talk about her career, her lecture and offer some advice to students in business in our video promo below: