KPMG has promoted 102 new directors, a third of them women, bringing its total number to 871, a 13% increase on last year’s figures.

KPMG UK head of people Colm Coffey described the move as part of a wider strategy of business growth "at the top and bottom line".

The largest number of promotions occurred in the firm’s audit service line, following the firm’s success in securing several high profile contracts in the UK, including Unilever and Royal Mail. "Accordingly, a fifth of our newly promoted directors are audit specialists," added Coffey.

A third of those promoted were women, bringing KPMG UK’s total number of female directors to "around 25% of the group", according to Coffey, who added the figures market a positive sign for the future make-up of the firm’s partnership.

KPMG UK currently employs 11,500 members of staff, including 600 partners of which only 15% are women. In September KPMG UK added 52 new partners, including 29 internal promotions and 23 external recruits, but admitted it was disappointed with the number of female appointments.

Commenting on the partner addition figures earlier this year, UK chairman Simon Collins said: "This is not where we want to be."

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