Deloitte names Houston as next CEO

Richard Houston is to be the next senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte North West Europe (NWE) and UK, succeeding David Sproul who has served two four-year terms, the maximum possible at the firm

Houston is currently managing partner for Deloitte’s NWE and UK consulting businesses, and has over 20 years’ experience in the professional services industry.

He was elected to the top post by the firm’s partners and will take over on 1 June 2019.

Houston started his career in the financial services industry, spending eight years at HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland in the risk, regulatory and finance functions. He joined Arthur Andersen in 1996 and became a partner in 1998, before transitioning to Deloitte in 2002.

At Deloitte, Houston has grown the firm’s consulting practice significantly through a greater emphasis on digital technologies and has led a number of acquisitions to extend capabilities, including Kaisen, a leadership consultancy of business psychologists, and Market Gravity and Acne, the digital and creative agencies.

As well as leading Deloitte’s NWE consulting business, Houston has sat on the UK executive since 2015 and is a member of Deloitte’s global consulting executive.

Nick Owen, NWE chairman at Deloitte, said: ‘With the overwhelming support of our partners from all our businesses across North West Europe, we firmly believe that Richard is the right candidate to lead our firm over the next four years.

‘Not only has Richard transformed our consulting practice during his time as managing partner, he is also a highly respected leader known for his collaborative approach across the firm’s businesses and borders.

‘His passion to help our clients, people and society succeed in the digital age provides us with confidence that he is in a strong position to lead Deloitte in the years ahead.’

Houston said: ‘Deloitte brings an unrivalled depth and breadth of skills and industry knowledge to help clients solve their most complex challenges, with a commitment to the highest levels of quality and integrity. It will be an enormous privilege to lead the firm as its next senior partner and chief executive, building on Deloitte’s established pre-eminent market position.

‘Our clients and Deloitte’s own profession face an era of substantial change and challenge, and we’re committed to anticipating, managing and leading the response to this. I believe such change presents huge opportunities for Deloitte to make a positive impact on our clients, people and society as a whole.’

Deloitte NWE is the second largest member firm in the Deloitte network, combining operations in Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Switzerland and the UK. It brings together over 35,000 people and 2,000 partners.

Deloitte in the UK saw revenue increase by 5.9% in the financial year ended 31 May 2018, up from £3.38bn to £3.58bn, making it the second largest firm just behind PwC who has revenue of £3.76bn.

Report by Pat Sweet

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