EY has announced plans to more than triple the size of its financial services (FS) practice in the Midlands, as it continues its UK regional growth strategy.
The current 30-strong Midlands FS team has plans to grow to 100 people by 2020, recruiting both locally and from across the UK.
EY currently employs nearly 1,000 people in its Birmingham office and is the firm’s largest regional practice outside of London.
EY’s growth plan in the Midlands includes a clear focus on growing its dedicated FS industry teams to provide specialist support and to better service the needs of the growing FS sector.
EY has appointed a local leadership team of Amit Thaker, Ben Morphet, John Saxton and Louise Starr to lead the firm’s FS Tax, Assurance and Advisory services in the Midlands.
Amit Thaker will also act as the Head of EY’s FS practice in the Midlands. Originally from Coventry, he has relocated from London to take on this role.
Amit said: “Birmingham and the wider Midlands region has a rich financial services heritage and is seeing a resurgence; both in terms of the growing number of global FS organisations with operations in this region, as well as those already headquartered here.
“I will be focused on building our local team to ensure EY in the Midlands is best placed to support, and grow alongside, the needs of the regional FS market.”
Simon O’Neill, EY’s managing partner in the Midlands, said: “This investment recognises the scale of the financial services sector in the region and EY’s commitment to the Midlands with a dedicated FS centre to support the next phase of our growth.
“We have set an impressive growth target to more than triple our FS headcount in this region and this is an exciting time to invest further in our Midlands practice when the region’s FS sector is rapidly expanding.”
EY’s research has shown that 100,000 people are employed in financial services in the Midlands and the sector is expected to see annual GVA growth of 2% until to 2020 – ahead of the UK’s average economic performance of 1.8%.
Sue Dawe, head of EY’s UK FS practice in the regions, added: “EY’s UK FS practice continues to experience huge growth in the regions, with the Midlands joining a team of nearly 1,000 FS specialists from across established practices in Scotland, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Bristol.
“Our regional FS business has seen significant growth; Bristol grew from 20 to 120 people in three years and we have just invested in new offices in Manchester and Edinburgh.
“The continued expansion of the UK’s financial services sector outside of London and importance of the sector to regional economic growth underpins our confidence in the investment we are making in the Midlands.”