EY board improves gender split with Belton appointment

Changes to EY’s senior leadership team mean that the firm’s board is now majority female, with six of the 10 positions held by women

Justine Belton joins the EY UK LLP board, replacing Robert Overend who is stepping down. She will also take over as EY’s UK professional practice director and UK audit compliance principal. Her role includes ensuring the delivery of high quality audits, ensuring compliance with EY’s audit responsibilities and providing technical and learning support to the UK audit practice.

Belton has been at EY for 27 years and an assurance partner for 16 years, during which time she has been an audit partner on large private and FTSE 100 listed companies, and has held a variety of roles in EY’s professional practice group. She is also a member of the ICAEW’s audit and assurance faculty committee.

In her board capacity, she will work with board member Hywel Ball who is UK managing partner of assurance and UK head of audit.

At the same time, Tonia Lovell has been appointed as a UK independent non-executive and will sit on EY’s UK independent non-executive oversight committee - a governance body responsible for overseeing compliance and public interest matters in relation to EY in the UK.

Lovell replaces Rosemary Martin, who retired last year and will attend board meetings alongside EY’s two other non-executives, David Thorburn and Sir Peter Westmacott.

Lovell joins the firm following a 20-year career at Unilever where she held a number of senior global roles, including chief legal officer (and advisory member of the Unilever leadership executive), company secretary to the Unilever Group and general counsel for corporate governance. She is also currently a member of the Royal London Asset Management external advisory committee.

Steve Varley, EY’s UK chairman, said: ‘Justine and Tonia take on their new roles at a significant time for the profession. They are both hugely experienced and I’m confident that they will bring the challenge and insight needed to further strengthen our UK leadership, governance and how we run our business.

‘I am also proud that we are further strengthening the diversity of our senior leadership. Justine’s appointment will mean that six of the 10 positions on EY’s UK board will now be held by women.’

Pat Sweet

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