THE Motor Industry Services (MIS) Group at KPMG has activated its succession plan with the appointment of Steve Bragg as national leader of the group from October 1.
Mr Bragg, 40, replaces Wayne Pearson who is remaining with KPMG MIS as a director. In this new role Mr Pearson will be working more closely with the group’s clients and will continue his role as a mentor to Mr Bragg and the KPMG MIS team.
Mr Pearson started the MIS division at KPMG in 2016 after four years running dealerships for the Dominelli Group.
Mr Bragg joined KPMG Motor Industry Services as Mr Pearson’s 2IC in November 2016.
Mr Bragg started his 17-year career in 2001 in the motor industry division of Crowe Chizek in Columbus, Ohio. Crowe Chizek was the US affiliate of Horwath Motor Industry Services in Australia/NZ. As part of this affiliation Mr Bragg came to Australia for several secondments working with Mr Pearson and the Horwath MIS team.
Mr Bragg eventually decided to stay. He moved to Australia permanently in 2005 and became part of the Horwath MIS team.
When Horwath MIS merged with Deloitte in 2007, Mr Bragg moved across with the team in a senior director role and was a key leader in building the MIS audit, tax and compliance practice in the newly-merged firm.
As the managing partner of Deloitte MIS, Mr Pearson asked Mr Bragg to establish the Deloitte MIS Brisbane office in 2009 and Mr Bragg spent several years building the firm’s client base in Queensland. Many of these clients and contacts have followed Mr Bragg to KPMG.
Mr Bragg left Deloitte in 2013 seeking some retail experience and became the head of finance of Iveco and CNH Industrial’s retail operations in Australia and NZ. He was responsible for the local manufacturing, distribution and retail operations for Iveco.
Under his watch, Mr Bragg was given operational responsibility for the five factory-owned Iveco truck and CNHI Construction & Ag equipment dealership locations in Australia and NZ. During this time Mr Bragg and his team undertook the restructure of these operations and helped to restore them to profitability.
In 2016, after Mr Pearson started the KPMG MIS business, he offered Mr Bragg the opportunity to become an integral part of the new start-up business as his 2IC and eventually take over the leadership.
Mr Pearson’s beginnings in the industry date back to 1981 as a junior accountant at Forge and Partners (which became Horwath and Horwath in 1983).
Mr Pearson was placed under leadership of two industry icons, John Flynn and David Cowper. Working with clients like Peter Warren Group, Tynan Group, Suttons Group and Col Crawfords, he was given a thorough grounding in the dealership business.
He went on to become a partner at Horwath and worked on taking the firm’s motor industry business national. The operations were expanded into New Zealand and eventually to South-East Asia and China as the client base became more global.
During this time, Mr Pearson moved from the firm’s traditional compliance-based business (tax, audit and accounting) and created the Profit Focus benchmarks and benchmarking tool.
With a focus more around dealer profitability, and with access to the industry’s data, Mr Pearson built a training and consulting business at Horwath, developing a dealer group business with Scott Parker, and creating an industry-based training business.
As the MD of Horwath Motor Industry Services in Asia-Pacific and a member of the Horwath Board, Mr Pearson was heavily involved in the merger of the firm with Deloitte in 2007.
Mr Pearson remained as a Deloitte partner and the MD of Deloitte Motor Industry Services until 2010, when he stepped down to focus 100 per cent on China and became the MD of Deloitte Profit Focus China.
In 2012 Mr Pearson left Deloitte to get a better understanding of car retailing and became the CEO and part owner of the Dominelli Group in Sydney.
After a few years of complete retail immersion, Mr Pearson decided to apply his newly acquired car retailing knowledge to potential dealer clients.
He left the Dominelli group and joined KPMG in 2016 with the goal of building a business where all of the senior members of the team had dealership retail experience and they would use that experience to work closely with dealers to deliver greater profitability through best practice.
Mr Pearson said his choice of Mr Bragg was no coincidence.
“Steve is a proven leader, business and relationship builder with that all-important retail experience,” he said.
He said Mr Bragg was committed to the group’s philosophy of “making all our dealer clients successful”
KPMG MIS said Mr Bragg’s leadership and his team would focus on:
Improving dealer profitability:
- Achieved through proven practices and process improvements from motor industry-trained professionals with in-dealership retail experience. We will focus on the actions and activities that can change the financial result outcomes for our dealer clients affecting positive changes with tangible results.
Helping our dealers with succession plans:
- We achieve this with clear and thought-out succession planning to ensure the best outcomes for all parties. Succession plans that are properly planned, documented and executed well are an art. If left to inaction or chance, succession could spell the end of the enterprise the owners have spent their lifetime building.
Working with the OEMs and financiers to help their dealers:
- The dealer network’s success ensures the success of OEMs and financiers. The relationship between the OEM, their dealer network and the financiers needs to be seamless and a true partnership to ensure the entire value chain is successful with happy customers.
Working to coach and develop dealership teams:
- We coach these teams to achieve best practice results. Nothing is more pleasing for the KPMG MIS team than guiding and coaching our client’s management teams. We take pride in witnessing the personal and professional growth of our motor client’s teams.
Providing dealers tax, audit and compliance experiences that add value:
- We care about our clients and want to add value in everything we do. While tax and audit are not sexy they do provide the best opportunities to add value to our dealership clients. When you’re dealing with motor industry experienced experts we can add value by asking the right questions and be the most efficient with a dealer’s compliance spend.
To achieve this Mr Bragg has been working with the team to build and develop a unique set of offerings:
Automotive Intelligence Portal (AIP)
- The AIP measures and compares key drivers as and when they occur as well as the resultant outcomes by measuring and reporting the data that customer monitoring tools produce and integrating that with financial outcomes.
- The AIP will change the way dealers manage their operations, allowing them to focus making good decisions by deciphering the plethora of data collected daily into one single portal … creating a transparent and accountable culture in the dealership group.
University Connect (the industry’s only tertiary qualification)
- University Connect gives dealership employees the key next level of development that is sorely missing in our industry that needs to professionalise in a very short period of time to keep up with regulatory changes and external disruption.
Profit driven one-day workshops
- We have created a range of dealership profitability workshops and in-dealership mentoring to help drive dealership’s success. Whether your focus is on improving your sales potential, maximising your service model or increasing your overall profitability, each workshop is individually tailored to the specific dealerships needs.
A success-driven transactions services team
- We have the most capable and most experienced transaction services team and have achieved significant results for our clients in a short period of time.
Executive coaching and mentoring
- Coaching and mentoring is the most rewarding service we offer. We often see the most impactful tangible results at dealerships that we offer mentoring to. It’s truly a game changer for dealership’s emerging talent and a must if you want to keep your best performers.
By John Mellor