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Ernst & Young (EY)

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Background Summary

Ernst and Young (EY) is a multinational professional services group born out of the merger of Ernst and Whinney and Arthur Young and Co.

Founded in 1989, the global network’s oldest component dates back to 1849 through the English firm Harding and Pullein. An accountant named Frederick Whinney joined the group, later becoming a partner whose son named the company Whinney, Smith and Whinney in 1894.

Meanwhile, in 1903 two Ohio brothers, Alwin and Theodore Ernst, had set up Ernst and Ernst. Elsewhere, in Chicago, Arthur Young and Co had been established in the same decade and since formed with British accountancy group Broads Paterson and Co.

Ernst mirrored the path to Britain, merging with Whinney Smith and Whinney to form Ernst and Whinney in 1979. Ten years later the two firms combined to form the company in its current form, which was only officially rebranded to its initialised EY name in 2013. 

While the group is based in London, EY’s global structure is split into its EMEIA, Americas, and Asia-Pacific operations. 

EY operates with over 30,000 employees across more than 700 offices and 150 countries around the globe

Led by Carmine Di Sibio, global chairman and CEO, the firm’s global executive team is completed by Andy Baldwin, global managing partner of client service, and Steve Krouskos, global managing partner of business enablement.

In the UK and Ireland, where the group is based, Hywel Ball is chair and regional managing partner, leading 21,136 staff members in the process.

EY offers four integrated service lines: assurance, consulting, strategy and transactions, and tax.

Through these lines, the group says it supports its clients to “capitalise on new opportunities and assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth”.

It adds that EY’s “high performing, multidisciplinary teams” are also key in helping the company’s clients fulfil regulatory requirements, keep investors informed, and meet stakeholder needs.

Financials

The group reported combined global revenues of $49.4bn (£39.5bn) for the financial year ended June 2023, a year-on-year climb of 14.2%.

During FY23, the Big Four firm invested $3.6bn (£2.8bn) in its audit quality, innovation, technology and people. A further $1.4bn (£1.1bn) investment enabled the launch of EY.ai, a unifying platform which helps organisations adopt artificial intelligence.

EY also reduced its emissions globally by 43%, while growing its EY global revenue by over 40% since 2019. 

As for the company’s UK operations, it saw a fee income increase of 16% to £3.8bn for the 53 weeks ended 31 October 2023.

Recent Coverage

Big Four firms PwC and EY have been fined by the FRC over their audits of collapsed minibonds firm London Capital and Finance (LC&F).

LC&F collapsed into administration on 30 January 2019, owing about £237m to 11,625 individual bondholders. 

EY and partner Neil Parker admitted six breaches, all relating to the same breaches made by PwC.

The FRC said EY’s failures included “multiple” breaches of fundamental requirements in several key areas, adding that there was again a “significant failure to gain a proper understanding of LCF’s business and internal controls, and to apply adequate professional skepticism”.

EY has also reportedly warned 1,700 of its UK partners that its profit-per-partner could drop by as much as 15% in its financial year to the end of June amid a market slowdown, according to Sky News

The outlet said the warning was made by Stuart Gregory, a senior figure in EY’s finance and transformation team during a presentation given last week.  

Last year, EY reported average distributable profit per partner of £761,000 – down from a record £803,000 the year before.

EY declined to comment on the points raised about UK partner pay. However, on the topic of CVC, EY told Retail Sector: “Like other high-performing businesses, we frequently receive inquiries from private equity firms and other investors expressing interest in parts of EY businesses. The CVC approach was a preliminary expression of interest. 

“As part of our global strategy we continue to evaluate our strategic opportunities and will only entertain transactions at the right time and after careful consideration. There are no plans to sell any part of our business at this time.” 

Ernst and Young (EY) has announced the renewal of a five-year agreement with Kyndryl, an IT infrastructure services provider, to continue managing its SAP environment, as well as provide modernisation and security services for the mission-critical systems that support its auditing and consulting operations.

 The work builds on a nearly decade-long collaboration under which Kyndryl has run and managed EY SAP workloads. 

EY will also leverage the experience of Kyndryl Consult to help analyse and optimise its SAP processes.

The Bank of England has appointed Ernst and Young LLP (EY) as its external auditor from the financial year ending 28 February 2025. 

This follows the completion of a competitive tender process, overseen by the Bank’s Audit and Risk Committee, which resulted in a recommendation which has been approved by the Court of Directors. 

EY has appointed John Divers, a partner with over 20 years of experience in the deals market, as the firm’s new Manchester-based transaction diligence leader for the North of England. 

Divers joined EY in 2019 as a partner based in Edinburgh after spending 18 years working for Deloitte. 

As part of his new role, he has ambitions to grow EY’s transaction diligence team in the North, and expand its capabilities and market offering.

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