RSM appoints Robert Coles as chief culture and transformation officer

03 August 2022 2 min. read
More news on

RSM International has hired Robert Coles, PhD, as chief culture and transformation officer.

Based in London, Coles will report to RSM International CEO Jean Stephens. In his new role, Coles will lead a number of transformation initiatives, working with managing partners to foster greater cross-border collaboration, align local and global people activities, and nurture the firm’s diverse and client-focused culture.

The global network of mid-market accountancies recorded 15.8% growth in 2021 to reach $7.6 billion in revenues – making it the sixth-largest accounting and consulting network. RSM says its strategy to 2030 prioritizes embracing future-focused technologies and a highly-tailored people and client strategy.

Coles brings four decades of experience with a focus on organizational leadership and cross-cultural workforce development. He rejoins RSM from Roffey Park Institute, an executive education provider, where he spent the last four years as CEO. Before that, Coles spent five years as European region leader at RSM, overseeing a team of 8,000 people.

RSM appoints Robert Coles as chief culture and transformation officer

Earlier his career, he was director of research and client solutions at Optima Human Resource Consultants and managing director of OrchiD Organisational Development.

Coles has a PhD in collaborative and Confucian leadership and management as well as a master’s degree in training and human resource development from the University of Leicester, UK.

“Robert brings significant depth of experience in delivering change projects for multi-national, complex organisations,” Stephens said. “As a valuable addition to our global leadership team, his expertise will help us to move at greater pace to achieve our objectives, and his deep understanding of RSM positions him ideally for this important new role.”

Coles added, “Professionalism and excellence are the backbone of RSM’s long-standing success, but it is the Network’s purpose-led, high-performance culture which has always defined it. RSM’s commitment to putting human relationships and culture at the heart of everything it does is a key differentiator. Working with RSM’s leadership team and Member Firms to help deepen those foundational values across such a diverse Network will be a remarkable and rewarding challenge. I relish the prospect of helping RSM to remain a market leader through transformative people-focused strategies and initiatives.”