Ross and KPMG to help entrepreneurs shift outside the box with new program


As the business world has become increasingly entrepreneurial, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and KPMG LLP (KPMG) the audit, tax, and advisory firm, are taking the lead to support this growing sector.

KPMG has made a significant gift to Michigan Ross to help launch and support QuantumShift, an exclusive, rigorous five-day course for 40 of America’s most promising and accomplished entrepreneurial leaders of high-growth companies. Over the next three years, the gift will be used to fund this executive development program for leaders eager to change the way they look at their business and develop new perspectives that accelerate business growth.  

The program is a result of a collaboration between  KPMG, Ross Executive Education, and the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (ZLI). It takes place May 1-6, 2016; however applications are currently being accepted until Dec. 8. Participants are nominated by KPMG and will come from a diverse set of industries, geographic locations, and backgrounds. Applicants must be “owner-leaders,” meaning they must have significant ownership as well as see the day-to-day operations of their company. KPMG’s gift will help fund QuantumShift, making it more affordable for participants.

“KPMG’s gift makes it much easier to attend the program and invest in entrepreneurship and these companies,” says Stewart Thornhill, managing director of ZLI. “It gives participants an opportunity to learn from each other. It’s good for the economy, Ross, and KPMG.”

Brian Hughes, National Private Markets Group Leader and QuantumShift Program Champion, KPMG LLP, agrees but says their gift to Michigan Ross isn’t just about funding. “KPMG is dedicated to supporting QuantumShift in many ways. We want to ensure that QuantumShift becomes a sustainable development program that will help highly successful CEOs, owners and founders of high-growth companies lead their businesses to the next level of success. We believe in this program and its potential for success.”

Thornhill was part of a similar program in Ontario, Canada. That program, also a KPMG-supported initiative, launched 12 years ago and is still in operation. He added that it was the most successful program of its kind in the Canadian market and there was a need to launch in the U.S. market.

“There’s nothing like it here and so we saw an opportunity to do something that’s been proven to work,” he says.

Through KPMG’s contribution to Ross, the goal is to take these leaders to the next level. QuantumShift will provide them with an executive development program, where some of the world’s top faculty will offer new and innovative ideas to expand business growth. Michigan Ross professors Kim Cameron, Jeff DeGraff, and Robert Quinn will share their expertise on topics including culture, innovation, and strategy. With their insights and interactive learning activities, participants can utilize this experience to develop successful methods for their companies.

Michigan Ross is the only business school in the U.S. and one of a select group of institutions globally to offer such a program. Another unique element of the program is the QuantumShift Fellows Network, which offers graduates of the program additional opportunities for peer-to-peer networking after its conclusion. Through this network, Fellows will be invited to participate in follow-up courses through Executive Education, an annual National Fellows conference, and other sessions across the country.

“Through QuantumShift, KPMG and Michigan Ross provide an opportunity for leading entrepreneurs that challenges them to hone their leadership skills, inspire their people, maximize growth opportunities, and take their business – and themselves – to the next level,” says Hughes.



KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 162,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.

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