EY Partners Overwhelmingly Approve the Creation of EMEIA
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ernst & Young today announces that its partners across Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa have overwhelmingly approved the proposed integration of its country practices into a single EMEIA Area.
The new Area will be a US$11 billion organization with more than 60,000 people and 3,300 partners. It will operate as a single unit, led by Mark Otty as Area Managing Partner, and a single executive team. EMEIA will be effective from 1 July 2008.
Chairman and CEO Jim Turley said, “I am of course delighted by the tremendous response from our partners in favor of this significant step change in the globalization of our business. I have also been greatly encouraged by the level of feedback I have received from many of our clients across the globe, our young people and our regulators. The feedback is that this is a groundbreaking and positive step both for our own organization, and the profession as a whole.”
“Our clients tell me this move is important because it is going to enable us to better meet their needs to deliver seamless, consistent high-quality service, not just across EMEIA, but right across the world. Our people want to be in an organization where their opportunities are without boundaries. They want and expect mobility, challenging international assignments and a diverse and teaming culture on a truly global scale,” Turley said.
The move, to be announced on Monday, is the boldest shift by a Big Four firm to overcome the country-level legal and regulatory restrictions that have limited the national partnerships andfrustrated their efforts fully to mirror the global reach of their multinational clients.
The new unit includes 87 countries – coveringEurope, the Middle East, India and Africa – and will be led by a single management team, headed by Mark Otty, the UK chairman. The firms in the region already work closely but this will mark a new step by integrating them financially with a single profit-sharing scheme and region-wide investment decisions.The Big Four networks face a perennial struggle between the desire to meet clients’ worldwide needs, the strict national regulations governing audit firms and the desire to limit the risk of a catastrophic lawsuit against one partnership bringing down the entire network.
John Ferraro, E&Y’s global chief operating officer, said: “We’ve looked at the risk and we don’t believe we’ve taken on appreciably more risk by doing what we’re doing. In terms of operating across the 87 countries in a more connected and integrated way, we think there are a lot of benefits to that.”