Press release

18 May 2020 London, GB

EY announces four senior appointments

New Managing Partners announced for Consulting, Tax, Assurance and Audit in the UK and Ireland (UK&I)

Press contact

Rosanna Lander

EY UK&I Head of Public Relations and External Affairs

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

Related topics Growth Tax Assurance
  • New Managing Partners announced for Consulting, Tax, Assurance and Audit in the UK and Ireland (UK&I)
  • Assurance and Audit roles split to ensure dedicated focus on audit quality
  • EY’s UK LLP Board remains 60% women and 40% men

London, 18 May 2020 – EY has today announced four senior appointments in the UK. Benoit Laclau has been named as the EY UK&I Managing Partner for Consulting; Jeff Soar as UK&I Managing Partner for Tax; Kath Barrow as UK&I Managing Partner for Assurance; and Andrew Walton as UK Head of Audit. The appointments are effective from 1 July.

Benoit and Jeff succeed Stephen Lambert and Jason Lester respectively who have stood down due to ongoing health challenges but remain as Partners in EY. Andrew and Kath take over from Hywel Ball, who has been appointed as UK Chairman and UK&I Regional Managing Partner. The roles of UK&I Managing Partner of Assurance and UK Head of Audit have been split in recognition of the societal importance of these functions and to ensure that audit quality continues to receive dedicated focus.

As UK Head of Audit, Andrew will sit on the EY UK LLP Board. The Board remains 60% women and 40% men.

Hywel Ball, EY UK Chairman and UK&I Regional Managing Partner elect, comments: “COVID-19 and an uncertain economic environment will create new challenges for many businesses across the UK and globally. I’m confident these new appointments will equip EY to navigate these conditions and best advise our clients over the months and years ahead.

"Benoit, Jeff and Kath will provide the depth and breadth of experience needed to guide and develop our people, serve our clients and stakeholders, and position us for long-term sustainable growth. Audit quality is a key priority for EY and Andrew brings 29 years of audit experience which will ensure this this continues to be a key area of focus for us.”

About the new appointments

Benoit Laclau joined EY in 2012 and is currently the Global Energy Leader, leading a team of over 20,000 people globally. Prior to joining EY, Benoit was Managing Director for Business Improvement, Technology and Transformation at EDF. During his career, Benoit has gained significant experience in advising companies on market reforms, business strategy, tech disruption, cyber security and structural reorganisations.

Jeff Soar originally joined EY in 1998 and, after four years at a law firm, re-joined EY in 2005. Jeff became a Partner in 2009 and has subsequently held a number of senior positions at EY. Jeff ran the UK FSO Tax practice for over four years and has been the Global Insurance Tax Sector Leader since 2017. Jeff is a member of the EMEIA Tax Leadership team as the EMEIA Tax Talent leader. Jeff has worked across the EY tax practice, gaining significant experience in international and transaction tax services.

Kath Barrow joined EY as an audit graduate in 1992 and has spent the last 14 years as an audit Partner. Kath is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the EY UK&I Assurance Practice and leads the audits of three FTSE 100 listed companies. During her career, Kath has worked in Birmingham, London and the US and has worked across many sectors including consumer, industrial products and transport. She took a leading role in the Embankment Project for EY with the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism – a proof of concept that brought together over 30 global companies to look at how companies should measure and report on the long-term value they create for their stakeholders.

Andrew Walton has been at EY for 29 years, the last 15 of which as a Partner. He has held a number of senior roles at EY and is currently the UK&I Deputy Head of Audit. Andrew has extensive experience of working with large listed companies, notably in the consumer products sector, and has also worked in overseas markets in Toronto. In addition, Andrew is an Investment Committee member for the Social Business Trust.

Alison Kay, EY UK&I Managing Partner – Client Service - elect, comments: “I’m delighted to be welcoming Benoit, Jeff and Kath to our leadership team. They will play a key role in ensuring that we are able to respond to this period of unprecedented change and accelerate our growth in the years ahead.”