EY has for the first time appointed someone who is not a chartered accountant to head its Scottish operation, and flagged major hiring plans.
Ally Scott, who joined the accountancy firm’s Scottish operation from banking giant Barclays in autumn 2016 as head of transaction advisory services, will succeed Mark Harvey as EY’s managing partner for Scotland on July 1. Mr Harvey will remain a partner of EY until next April, before joining car retailing giant Arnold Clark as chief financial officer in the summer of 2020.
A spokeswoman for EY confirmed that Mr Scott would be the first leader of the Scottish business who was not a chartered accountant.
EY highlighted its ambitions to increase its current Scottish workforce of about 1,000 by 25 per cent over the next 12 months.
The spokeswoman said: “We are going to be recruiting at all levels of seniority but also across all service lines. It is in all geographies as well. It is across the office network.”
EY has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen.
The accountancy firm noted Mr Scott had led the firm’s Scottish transaction advisory services practice to 15% and 21% growth in its last two financial years, “helping secure deals for prominent Scottish clients such as Simon Howie Group, QTS Group and Weir Group”.
EY noted Mr Harvey had, since taking on the Scotland managing partner role in 2015, raised the annual revenues of the accountancy firm’s Scottish business from about £100 million to £170m.
Mr Scott, who joined Royal Bank of Scotland as a 16-year-old trainee and worked for the Edinburgh-based institution from 1985 to 2005 before joining Barclays, said: “It’s a real honour to take up the role of managing partner. Under Mark’s leadership, EY has enjoyed significant growth in Scotland, securing notable client wins across all service lines and investing in our product offering to support a broader range of businesses.”
He added: “Our ambition to increase headcount to 1,250 staff across all levels in the next 12 months is a strong signal of our intent to build on that momentum. It’s an exciting time to be part of our business. Our continued investment in technology and automation has resulted in our Edinburgh office becoming EY’s UK centre of excellence in data analytics and provides our clients with an exceptional level of strategic insight and clarity in decision-making.”
The EY spokeswoman noted some of the new jobs would be in the data analytics, automation and digital area, but emphasised hiring would be broadly based, citing a ramping up of activity across assurance, advisory and tax operations.