EY boosts Yorkshire offices as it focuses on regional growth

EY grew its Yorkshire offices by seven per cent during the last financial year as it strengthened its regional leadership.

Suzanne Robinson, Yorkshires senior partner at EY.

The accountancy giant, which employs 394 people in Leeds and Hull, said a rise in UK fee income enabled the company to invest in its people with a number of high level strategic hires or relocations from London.

In January, EY appointed Mark Allcroft as partner and head of transaction support for Yorkshire and the North East to build its deals business in the region. Allcroft has relocated back to Sheffield with his family, having lived in London for the last 13 years.

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Meanwhile, Rob Jones and James Moore also recently relocated to lead and build out EY’s debt advisory and transactions tax businesses in the North and earlier in the year Hilary Heap and Mark Clephan were made partners in the firm’s valuations and business modelling and corporate finance teams respectively.

EY has also set up a new global trade team in the North, with the appointment of Onelia Angelosanto as director of the team, in response to growing demand for support from businesses involved in international trade.

During the period to the end of June, in Yorkshire the firm made five senior manager or director promotions.

Suzanne Robinson, Yorkshire’s senior partner, said: “EY sees a large part of its future growth coming from the regions and that’s why we are investing in our regional teams across all levels. In Yorkshire that means recruiting talent from the local market but also attracting people who choose to relocate, recognising that they are able to build their career at EY here, without having to be based in the capital.

“The increasing seniority of some of the appointments and investment decisions being made in the North demonstrates EY’s recognition that its leadership structure needs to include those who can give insight and perspective on what’s happening across regional markets to ensure EY remains responsive to the business landscape across the whole of the UK.”

She added: “When it comes to recruiting talent we are really benefitting from the fact that Yorkshire is seen as an attractive place to live – Leeds’ vibrant arts scene is just one example of that.

“Our Hull office of course remains an important part of the Yorkshire team, led by assurance associate partner Richard Frostick, and that city is continuing to benefit from the afterglow of being the Capital of Culture last year.”

EY grew UK fee income by 2.7 per cent to £2.41bn in the year ending June 30, up from £2.35bn in the previous year, with a five year compound annual growth rate of seven per cent.

Tax grew by 7.3 per cent, advisory grew by 3.8 per cent and transaction advisory services was up by 1.5 per cent. Assurance fell slightly by 1.7 per cent whilst audit grew by four per cent. Financial Services, the UK’s largest sector, grew by more than seven per cent this year.

Distributable profits before tax increased by 1.7 per cent from £464m in 2017 to £472m in 2018.

The firm, which employs more than 14,500 people and has 681 partners in the UK, saw average distributable profit per partner increase by 2.4 per cent to £693,000, compared to £677,000 in 2017.

EY continued its expansion outside of London with 42 per cent of all new hires in offices outside of London.

The Yorkshire practice took on 42 graduates during the year, a 61 per cent increase on the previous year, and it welcomed 12 apprentices to EY’s Business Apprenticeship programme, which offers young people an alternative to university.

Ms Robinson added: “This route provides the students with practical and theoretical experience without the burden of academic fees whilst also paying a salary.”