In the last three centuries, the organization's history was marked by the names of its principal founding members, whose initials form the name "KPMG."
Piet Klynveld in 1917 founded the accounting firm Klynveld Kraayenhof & Co in Amsterdam.
William Barclay Peat founded the accounting firm Peat & Co. in London.
James Marwick in 1897 established the accounting firm Marwick, Mitchell & Co in New York City.
Dr. Reinhard Goerdeler was the first president of the International Federation of Accountants and a chairman of KPMG. He is credited with laying the foundations for the merger of Klynveld Main Goerdeler.