203. Melanie Richards CBE – Former Deputy Chair KPMG
I was fortunate to meet Melanie in 2016 on the BBC Radio 4 programme Lonely at the Top hosted by Evan Davis. With Gavin Patterson then CEO at BT Group the three of us discussed Leadership and Coaching and was inspired by her then as I am today. We also met in KPMG where she was a wise coach and mentor to so many in their frantically busy lives. Melanie lives the values she espouses.
Melanie Richards holds a range of board roles. She is a Non-executive Director of Morgan Stanley International, a member of the boards of the Royal National Theatre and The Invictus Games Foundation and Chair of The Eve Appeal (which funds research and raises awareness of the five gynae cancers). She sits on the advisory boards for both the Centre on AI Technology for Humankind at the National University of Singapore Business School and the UK Government’s National Leadership Centre (supporting cross sector leadership and collaboration).
With large-scale general management, board and advisory experience, Melanie was until September 2020 the Deputy Chair of KPMG UK, with a period as Acting Chair during the pandemic. Melanie was heavily involved in its continuing transformation in areas such as risk, culture, diversity and inclusion, reputation and ESG. Melanie was awarded a CBE for her contribution to business and to the diversity and inclusion agenda in 2019. She is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, sat on the Steering Group of the Hampton Alexander Review and won the Outstanding Contribution to Social Mobility Award in 2018. She is an Honorary Member of the ICAEW and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Administration from Oxford Brookes University.
Melanie’s Top Tip: “Calibrate don’t catastrophise” – keep things in perspective and avoid extrapolating to the extreme (and often unlikely) scenarios.