The Forensic Risk Alliance (FRA), a forensic accounting and data governance consultancy specialising in international and complex investigations, compliance and disputes, has announced that Stuart Ells has been appointed as the firm’s first ever CEO.
His appointment will support the sustainable growth of FRA, now in its 21st year, to build a “scalable and effective” operational infrastructure while broadening its client-based capabilities.
In his role, he will ensure that FRA is best-positioned to successfully capitalise on the innumerable opportunities that are expected to arise out of the global pandemic and economic downturn.
He will be responsible for all of FRA’s day-to-day global operations, with the aim of driving effectiveness and efficiency and establishing a strong scalable structure for future growth.
With his appointment, FRA founding partners, Toby Duthie, Frances McLeod, and Greg Mason, will continue to be “leading voices in the market” as they focus on delivering value for key clients, pursuing complex multinational opportunities, and reinforcing and growing the firm’s core strategic offerings.
Ells was formerly a managing director and chief administrative officer for Alvarez and Marsal Europe and Middle East. A UK chartered accountant, he started his career with EY and has more than 30 years of corporate experience, having served as CFO, COO and CEO in a range of companies across the media and entertainment sector.
Most recently, he served as Interim COO of the Global English division of Pearson Plc while working as a client-facing partner at Alvarez & Marsal, in which he assisted Pearson Plc in the formation of a new management organisation, generating growth and the transition to digital products and platforms.
He is also an experienced mergers and acquisitions advisor and has been involved in the acquisition or sale of companies such as Motown Records, TVT Records, the Epic film library, ITC Entertainment, the Sundance Channel and the Stoll Moss Theatres Group.
Frances McLeod, co-founding partner, said: “We are delighted to welcome Stuart to FRA. He brings a wealth of exceptional leadership experience that will complement our collaborative one-firm culture.
“Stuart’s appointment will help us to provide a best-in class working environment to attract and retain top talent, expand our core service offerings, and develop new opportunities in areas such as ESG, to ensure our capabilities and operations are nimble and able to better serve client needs across all our global markets.”
Stuart Ells, CEO of FRA, added: “I am very excited to be leading FRA through the next stage of its growth and evolution, particularly given its outstanding reputation for delivering world-class services across a broad portfolio of international investigatory work.
“I am particularly looking forward to working with FRA’s extraordinary pool of talent to optimise the firm’s operations and build upon its culture of collaboration and innovative thinking. With an abundance of opportunities expected in white-collar investigations and FRA’s already stellar reputation in the field, it is a great time to join the firm.”