Ed Warner has been appointed as the independent Chair of Grant Thornton UK’s Partnership Oversight Board. Warner has extensive experience in the financial services industry as well as many years of board and non-executive director experience, including as a non-executive director at Grant Thornton UK. In his new role, he will provide oversight to the governance of the firm, as well as support its ambition to create lasting value for its clients, people and the communities in which it serves.
Ed Warner currently serves as the Chairman of investment bank Panmure Gordon, derivatives exchange LMAX, the Standard Life European Private Equity Trust and the Blackrock Commodities Income Investment Trust. He also serves as an independent non-executive director at Clarksons; an international shipbroker, and SafeCharge International Group; an electronic payments provider. He further serves as a chairman to UK Athletics, the sport’s national governing body, and the organising committee of the World Athletics Championships to be held in London in 2017. He was awarded the OBE for services to British athletics in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours List. Warner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Worcester College, Oxford.
The announcement from Grant Thornton UK sees Warner take on the role of independent Chair of the firm’s Partnership Oversight Board. The Board has, as its remit, the oversight of the governance of the firm as a whole, in a structure similar to that of a public company. Warner is the first to be appointed as independent chair of any major accountancy firm in the UK. Following ratification by the firm’s partners, Warner will take up the position at the start of April.
Warner already has significant experience at Grant Thornton UK, as one of the firm’s first independent non-executives appointed in 2010. Through the appointment, Warner will be better able to leverage his extensive commercial experience and help the company break new ground in the profession, which has included: becoming the first to adopt a shared enterprise model, furthering the vision of the firm to become ‘the go to firm for growth', helping to shape a vibrant economy and creating lasting value for its clients, people and the communities in which it serves.
Sacha Romanovitch, CEO of Grant Thornton UK, says: "The appointment of an independent chair at this stage in the firm's evolution is a further example of us leading the way in modernising the profession. On a personal level, I've found Ed's external market perspective, ability to cut through to the heart of the matter and practical approach to dealing with issues most valuable. I've seen Ed working closely with our Elected Members, and feel this dynamic means we have the best of both worlds as we work to fulfill our ambition of becoming the go-to firm for growth."
Commenting on his new role Ed says: "Working with Grant Thornton over the last five years, I have seen the firm really carving out a unique place for itself within the market and a step-change in the way the business thinks and works with its clients to deliver value. I am looking forward to working with the strong leadership that is already in place to help accelerate this."