Woodley has been with Grant Thornton for over 15 years in the M&A practice, having joined from 3i Group Plc in 2005. She most recently led the firm’s Human Capital and Business Support Services M&A practice in London.
The firm said she has a “particular focus” on the recruitment, education and skills sectors and specialises in advising private equity, large corporates and founder led businesses in these areas.
In her new role, she will focus on expanding the already 100 strong sector focused M&A team, as well as building on the firm’s “significant presence” in the UK and internationally.
Woodley’s appointment follows a number of other promotions in the team, including Victoria Giles, Samantha Harrison, Adam Bunch, and Andrew Frame being promoted to director this year.
Woodley said: “I have been part of the firm’s Corporate Finance team for over 15 years and am thrilled to be taking on the leadership role. I’m excited to build on the dedication and skills of our people who are committed to going the extra mile for our clients in order to achieve exceptional results.
“Our team is made up of dynamic and experienced professionals and I’m excited by the challenge and opportunity ahead, as we look to build on the strong and active presence we have already established across the UK.”
She added: “The economic impact of Covid-19 has been felt across the market this year, as M&A activity unsurprisingly slowed. But we have seen momentum return as businesses begin to look for the opportunities that M&A can provide, to those in need of support, those looking to scale-up and grow and those looking to exit.
“As the first female to lead the Corporate Finance practice for the firm, I’m passionate about supporting the diverse, exciting talent that we have in our business. It’s so important that the diversity and backgrounds of the people in our firm reflect the clients that we work with, and that we’re able to provide the right support for any business, wherever they may be on their journey.”