Deloitte announces new Audit & Assurance leadership

Deloitte today announces the appointment of Paul Stephenson and Nikki Mitchell to the roles of UK and North and South Europe (NSE) Managing Partner for Audit & Assurance respectively.

Paul is a member of the firm’s UK and NSE Audit & Assurance executives and is a statutory audit partner to a number of entities in the financial services industry. With over 30 years’ of experience, he has held numerous management positions within the firm’s UK Audit & Assurance business, including as Chief Operating Officer, as well as leading the financial services audit and the graduate recruitment team. He also played an instrumental role in the launch of the firm’s school leaver programme in 2011. Paul has provided assurance services to multiple large, complex entities, and has a deep understanding of UK and international accounting and regulatory requirements, including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).

Nikki is also a statutory audit partner, as well as a vice chair, and has held a range of UK and NSE leadership roles. This includes setting up the firm’s pursuit team following mandatory audit rotation in 2015, and Audit & Assurance and firmwide client leader positions. Nikki is one of Deloitte’s most senior partners, with over 32 years’ of experience, including 21 as a partner. She specialises in leading large, global public company audits and transaction engagements across consumer, retail, manufacturing and support services businesses, and has led some of the firm’s most significant FTSE100 audit engagements. Nikki also provides development support for other partners, and plays a key role in Deloitte’s women in leadership programme.

Paul and Nikki succeed Stephen Griggs, who was appointed Managing Partner for Deloitte UK last month.

Richard Houston, Senior Partner and Chief Executive of Deloitte UK and NSE, said: “I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Paul and Nikki as leaders of our UK and NSE Audit & Assurance businesses. These two senior leaders have extensive industry and client experience, and are well respected by colleagues across the firm. With Stephen moving into our Managing Partner role, I have no doubt they are the right people to lead our Audit & Assurance business as it transforms in the months and years ahead. I would like to thank Stephen for his leadership of the business over the past five years.”

Last month Deloitte announced a number of key changes to the firm’s UK audit governance structures, in line with the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) principles for operational separation. This includes the establishment of an independent Audit Governance Board (AGB), with Margaret, Baroness Ford of Cunninghame OBE, to be appointed as independent non-executive chair, and with a majority of independent non-executive directors, including Jim Coyle, Almira Delibegovic-Broome QC and Shirley Garrood. Effective from 1 January 2021, the AGB will have responsibility for providing independent oversight of the UK audit practice.

Stephen Griggs, Managing Partner at Deloitte UK, added: “Paul and Nikki’s appointments come at a pivotal time for Deloitte, as we look towards the future of Audit & Assurance. We remain committed to audit reform and playing our role in delivering change that embraces audit quality, improves choice and restores trust. We believe that widespread change of our industry is important if we are to better meet society’s needs and expectations of the audit profession in the years ahead. I look forward to working with Paul and Nikki through this.”

The Audit & Assurance appointments coincide with several other key leadership changes at Deloitte, including Pauline Biddle as UK Client & Industries lead, Daniel Barlow as UK Head of Regions, and Nico Kleyn as NSE Healthcare and Life Sciences lead.