Accountant of the year: Joe O’Connor

At the incredibly young age of 30, Joe O’Connor of Ernst & Young has
already earned the reputation of being the man you parachute in to bring order
out of near chaos.

One of the events that caught our judges’ attention was O’Connor’s
involvement in the administration on the international technology business
Nortel Networks.

Faced with a need to strengthen the team, global restructuring leader Alan
Bloom called on O’Connor to move to London. His job? Manage a team of more than
200 people from six E&Y service lines across 19 countries.

As Bloom said: “This is one of the most complicated global restructurings I
have ever been involved in and Joe’s ability to create order and structure as
lead project senior manager has been extremely impressive.”

But then O’Connor was already impressive. At 29 he was chief operating
for the firm in the North West and last year he won the Young Accountant
category in the Manchester Young Professionals Awards.

His portfolio of projects also includes being seconded to the iSOFT Group to
work on performance reporting and impressed the management so much that he won
the mandate for the group’s disposal.

Brendon Banner, who was then group financial controller, said of O’Connor
that he always made sure he drew on the right expertise and described him as a
“model professional”.

“It is no wonder that Ernst & Young should choose to recognise his
contributions by putting him forward for this award.”

O’Connor also worked on restructuring for Associated British Foods, heading
up a project to wind down the Littlewoods chain of stores.


Simon Allport, Ernst & Young’s North West senior partner, said:
“Joe’s presence in front of the region’s most senior business people, his energy
for driving change and the respect he earned from both the market and within
Ernst & Young has without doubt improved our position.”

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