Hywel Ball named as EY's new UK chair

EY has appointed Hywel Ball to succeed Steve Varley in the firm’s top role, as EY UK & Ireland regional managing partner and UK chair, taking over on 1 July

There had been speculation EY would be the first of the Big Four in the UK to appoint a female chair.  While this is not the case, Alison Kay has been appointed into a newly created role as UK&I managing partner – client service, also effective 1 July.

She will be responsible for leading the overall market activity and service line delivery for EY in the UK and Ireland.

Ball is currently the EY UK&I managing partner of assurance and UK head of audit and has been with the firm for over 35 years and a partner for more than 20 years.

As well as serving as a member of the Auditors’ Advisory Group for Sir Donald Brydon’s independent review into the quality and effectiveness of the UK audit market, Ball is also on the advisory board for the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) work on the future of corporate reporting.

Kay is currently EY global accounts committee chair and a member of the EY global executive and has shaped and led the growth strategy for the largest EY global accounts.

She has held a range of regional, sector and global leadership roles throughout her 15 years with EY, including EY global vice chair of industry and EY global sector leader for power and utilities.

Prior to joining EY, Kay was a managing director at Accenture having started her career at United Utilities.

Julie Teigland, EY EMEIA area managing partner, said: ‘This is an important time for the UK firm, given the regulatory changes around the audit profession and the need to support our clients through Brexit.

‘Hywel brings the depth and breadth of experience we need right now. I have every confidence that, under Hywel and Alison’s leadership, the EY UK and Ireland business will continue to serve EY people, clients and the communities in which we operate.’

Ball, UK&I regional managing partner and UK chair elect, said: ‘I am extremely proud to be leading the firm that I originally joined as an audit trainee.

‘During my time here, I have seen EY change significantly and I am passionate about ensuring that we continue to develop to meet the needs of businesses and stakeholders and nurture the diverse talent needed to help our own business grow and thrive.

‘The next few years will bring a period of unprecedented change in our market. I will take an active and constructive role in shaping the future of our profession and I am delighted that Alison Kay will work with me to support our clients as they navigate uncertain economic conditions, digital disruption and increasing demands from their stakeholders.’

Kay, EY UK&I managing partner – client service - elect, said: ‘I look forward to taking on this new role to accelerate the growth and success of EY in UK and Ireland, working with a great team of people and clients at a time of change and disruption.’

Successors for the EY UK&I managing partner of assurance, UK head of audit and EY global accounts committee chair will be appointed in the coming months.

From 1 July, EY’s former chair Steve Varley will take up his new role as global vice chair – sustainability. In light of the growing importance of this agenda and the EY commitment to becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2020, he will focus full time on his global role.

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