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19 December, 2020 - 23:39 By Tony Quested

EY grows fee income and parades diversity in bullish growth strategy

Following a strong performance over the first nine months of its financial year, pre COVID-19, EY has reported five per cent UK revenue growth and hired over 3,000 people as it continues to invest in talent, technology and audit quality. 

EY’s UK fee income grew to £2.6 billion in the financial year ending July 3, 2020 – up from £2.5bn the previous year. 

Revenues in Strategy and Transactions grew 9.4 per cent, Tax grew 8.1 per cent and Assurance 7.8 per cent. Growth in EY’s UK Consulting practice declined on previous years by 4.7 per cent. 

Thirty per cent of the new hires in the year are based outside of London. Over 1,000 graduates and apprentices joined EY in September, with 45 per cent based in the regions. 

In Cambridge, EY grew staff numbers by 13 per cent. Over FY20, EY made several strategic appointments, including Adrian Bennett, who joined the business as a partner in the Assurance team, to help support growth in the Cambridge office and across the wider region.

Lee Morrissey joined the business as a senior manager and Natasha Brunlehner, Hamza Khna and Zehra Raza, all joined EY in Cambridge as managers. James Turner also returned to EY Cambridge as a director. 

This year the Cambridge office has been further strengthened by the appointment of Carolyn Norfolk, as an associate partner in the Indirect Tax team, to lead growth in the function across the city and wider region. 

The Cambridge office also recruited 18 new graduates and apprentices in FY20. EY recruited the same number in this years’ graduate and apprenticeship intake in September, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Stuart Wilkinson, office managing partner for EY in Cambridge, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the team in Cambridge and the way they have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, to support our clients and people through challenging times.  

“In addition to making several strategic hires to focus on expanding our support to clients across the region’s business community, our recruitment of graduates and apprentices is testament to our commitment to investing in the next generation at EY. 

“The health and wellbeing of our staff has always been key focus for EY in the East of England, even more so during the global pandemic. Supporting our staff to transition to work in a virtual world, maintaining a proper work life balance and staying motivated to deliver the best audit quality to our clients has been absolutely critical to our continued success.” 

As of October 3, EY’s UK partnership stands at 23 per cent female and 12 per cent ethnic minority (three per cent are black partners). Sixty-four per cent of positions on EY’s UK LLP board are also held by women.

In addition, 43 per cent of EY’s student intake in September 2020 were female and 41 per cent were from a Black or ethnic minority background, up from 39 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively, last year.

As part of a commitment to environmental sustainability, EY announced a 10-year zero carbon Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in the UK this month. EY’s long-term commitment significantly contributes to a new solar power station project, based in Norfolk, being realised and commercially viable by providing certainty of revenue at a fixed price for 10 years. 

Over the term of the PPA, the renewable energy delivered by the utility scale solar power station will mean that nearly 100% of all electricity the firm purchases direct from energy providers will be counted as zero-carbon solar power. 

By the end of this calendar year, in both the UK and globally, EY will be carbon neutral.

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