PwC’s Powell mulls over new management appointments

Advisory experience: Ian Powell

Advisory experience: Ian Powell

Ian Powell, the senior partner-elect at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the UK’s
largest audit firm, has said that advisory work is providing ‘opportunities for
new growth areas’ at the firm.

Powell takes over from current senior partner Kieran Poynter on 1 July, and
is shortly set to outline his key management team as he looks to freshen up the
firm’s leadership.

Speaking to Accountancy Age, Powell said that the ‘advisory’ service
line at the firm would be a ‘significant’ driver of revenues in the short term.

‘This economic cycle, advisory seems to be significant. If you look across
the firm, assurance and tax is still key, but advisory is providing
opportunities for new growth areas in all parts of the firm, and particularly
around consultancy,’ he said.

Powell was formerly head of advisory, having been an administrator of MG
Rover, and the firms are expecting a lot of work as the credit crunch bites.

He said the campaign for senior partners was ‘really good’. All the
candidates were very good. I think [I won] because of the balance of my
experience, coming from advisory. I’ve worked in many parts, so I think the
partners were looking for an overall balance,’ Powell said.

As board chairman, Powell will now look to appoint eight partners to take
over from the current board. However, it is thought unlikely that he will select
an entirely new board given the depth and breadth of experience, and knowledge,
the current members offer.

The board comprises the roles of managing partners for operations and
finance, clients and markets, head of marketing, head of advisory general
counsel, head of tax, head of human capital and head of assurance.

An insider said although Powell’s tenure was expected to mark ‘significant
change and regeneration… it would be inconceivable that some of the board
wouldn’t be kept on ‘despite bringing in new blood.’

Poynter is set to stay on as a partner for between six and 12 months, after
which it is likely he will retire.

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