Press release

12 Mar 2020 London, GB

EY announces appointment of Hywel Ball as UK & Ireland Regional Managing Partner and UK Chair

Alison Kay appointed to a newly created role as UK&I Managing Partner – Client Service

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Rosanna Lander

UK&I Head of Public Relations and External Affairs, Ernst & Young LLP

Leads external communications activity for EY in the UK. Passionate about travel and culture.

  • Alison Kay appointed to a newly created role as UK&I Managing Partner – Client Service

EY has today announced the appointment of Hywel Ball as EY UK & Ireland Regional Managing Partner and UK Chair, effective 1 July. Hywel will be responsible for leading the business in the UK and Ireland, succeeding Steve Varley, who has been appointed as the first EY Global Vice Chair - Sustainability.

In addition, Alison Kay has been appointed into a newly created role as UK&I Managing Partner – Client Service, also effective 1 July. Alison will be responsible for leading the overall market activity and service line delivery for EY in the UK and Ireland.

Hywel is currently the EY UK&I Managing Partner of Assurance and UK Head of Audit. He has over 35 years of experience with EY and has been a Partner for over 20 years, giving him an unparalleled understanding of EY and the profession.

During his tenure, Hywel has driven an unrelenting focus on audit quality and has also taken a leading role in the debate on the future of the profession, 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. Hywel is also on the advisory board for the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) work on the Future of Corporate Reporting.

A leading voice on the importance of long-term value creation, Hywel co-authored the EY Long-Term Value framework, which is designed to help companies measure and communicate the value they create for all stakeholders. He also led a proof of concept of this framework with the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism and over 30 global participants, in an initiative called The Embankment Project. Additionally, Hywel is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on long term investing.

Alison 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. Alison 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, Alison was a Managing Director at Accenture having started her career at United Utilities. Alison is also a passionate advocate of diversity and inclusiveness.

Julie Teigland, EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner, comments: “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.”

Hywel Ball, UK&I Regional Managing Partner and UK Chair elect, comments: “I am extremely proud to be leading the firm that I originally joined as an audit trainee. During my time here, I’ve 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.”

Alison Kay, EY UK&I Managing Partner – Client Service - elect, comments: “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.”

Hywel has an engineering degree from Imperial College, London. He is married to Liz and has three sons, Morgan, Lewys and Evan. Hywel splits his time between London and his home in Scotland.

Alison is a graduate from the University of Sheffield and holds an MBA from the Manchester Business School. She is married to Andy with two children, Natasha and Oliver, and lives in London.

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, 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, Steve will focus full time on his global role.