The newly-created post forms part of the firm’s wider Brexit team, offering guidance to clients and staff. Middleton takes over from Margot Cowhig, who moves to KPMG’s public affairs department, and Richard Warwick, who returns to corporate internal communications.
Middleton will report to Sorelle Cooper, UK head of communications at KPMG, and will work with Karen Briggs, head of Brexit, as part of the firm’s executive committee leadership team. Middleton will help KPMG to deliver its Brexit response, and will be based in Canary Wharf.
Prior to joining KPMG, Middleton held a media relations strategy and issues management role at global PR agency, Ketchum. He has worked in PR for more than 15 years, leading communications initiatives for both private and public sector organisations. Before Ketchum, Paul worked at Westminster City Council under Alex Aiken, who is now the executive director for government communication.
Sorrelle Cooper, UK head of communications at KPMG, said: “Brexit is a major issue for KPMG and its clients. Some 20% of our staff are international workers and our ability to offer them the chance to move around Europe with their work is one of our greatest strengths.
“In addition, our clients across every sector – from retail, to automotive, to banking and finance – are seeking to understand their likely exposure and how to optimise their response. Paul joins our team via an external recruitment process where we met candidates from a variety of different backgrounds. He was selected because of his track-record of creative campaigns with proven results.”
Paul Middleton, corporate communications senior manager (Brexit) at KPMG, added: “The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union presents both substantial risks and extraordinary business opportunities. 2017 will be a defining year for Brexit so I’m delighted to be joining the advisory firm with the largest and most well established network of experts specialising in this area. I’m looking forward to helping KPMG and its clients make the most of the changes ahead.”
At the same time, Mark Walters, former director of comms for the global chairman of KPMG, is leaving the firm as he accepts a global comms role at Dentons.
Brian Bannister, head of global communications, said: “In the four years he has been with KPMG – initially based in Hong Kong and for the past two years in New York – Mark has made an enormous contribution to building a market leading profile for our global chairman. He has also played a leading role in the wider global communications team, leading a number of international projects.
“We’re sorry to lose Mark as a colleague, but wish him every success in the next stage of his career.”