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Ex-Northern Ireland civil service chief joining KPMG board

By Staff Reporter

A former chief of the Northern Ireland Civil Service is among three external business leaders on a new advisory board at accountants KPMG.

Rotha Johnston, a director of Belfast Harbour Commissioners and Northern Ireland Electricity, and chairman of Northern Ireland Screen, joins former IDB and civil service boss Sir Bruce Robinson on the panel.

The trio is made up by Dr David Dobbin, outgoing chief executive of Dale Farm.

Shaun Kelly, the New York-based chief global operating officer of KPMG International, is chairing the board, while Ireland managing partner Shaun Murphy is also a member.

Mr Murphy said: "The new Northern Ireland Advisory Board will be of tremendous assistance to the firm and I am delighted that Ms Rotha Johnson DBE, Sir Bruce Robinson and Dr David Dobbin CBE have joined.

"They bring tremendous experience and depth to the board."

Mr Dobbin is also chairman of three bodies - Dairy UK, Ulster Rugby management committee, and Belfast Harbour Commissioners.

Ms Johnston is a former pro vice-chancellor at Queen's University.

Shaun Kelly recently received an honorary doctorate from Queen's for services to business in Northern Ireland.

He is also one of two representatives on a US advisory council appointed by the Executive to advise on securing investment. Sir Bruce Robinson is a former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and former Permanent Secretary to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

KPMG announced it would be setting up a Northern Ireland advisory board earlier this year to strengthen its management team in the province.

Four members of its old management team - Jon D'Arcy, Eamonn Donaghy, Paul Hollway and Arthur O'Brien - retired from the practice earlier this year after they were questioned over their private tax affairs by HMRC.

Now the four are seeking a judicial review of how HMRC conducted its investigation, which related to a property company JEAP Ltd.

KPMG has said that the advisory board will help improve its links with Northern Ireland business and the community.

It is also set to identify additional investment and growth opportunities.

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