EY has named Mona Bitar head of its UK Strategy Practice. In her role as a Partner, based in London, she will leverage her more than 20 years of experience within the consulting industry to lead the practices’ team and help companies overcome their most complex strategic challenges.
Prior to joining EY, Mona Bitar was on sabbatical for nine months, following more than 8 years at KPMG. At KPMG she served as a Partner, and held several key roles at the firm, including Global Advisory Lead for Consumer Markets, Strategy Lead for Consumer Markets in the UK and the UK Head of National Charities. Previously she worked at Hitachi Consulting (at the time Celerant Consulting), where she started her career in 1998. Bitar holds a PhD in Politics and History from the University of Nottingham.
Her new role as head of the UK Strategy Practice sees her lead a cross-sector team that help clients deal with today’s most complex business challenges. The addition boosts EY’s strategy consultancy unit with Bitar’s more than 20 years of experience in issues related to strategy, sales and marketing, net revenue management, innovation, digital strategy, resource allocation, and cost reduction.
Bitar will also be responsible for executing the firm’s ambitious growth agenda in the strategy consulting space. Late 2014 the Big Four firm unveiled bold plans for the unit, with a target of growing its strategic consultancy practice to over 2,500 professionals globally by 2020, as part of the EY Advisory’s goal to transform into a $15 billion business line by 2020. The growth will be realised through a combination of organic expansion, with the UK a key market, as well as targeted acquisitions, says the firm. Over the past 12 months a number of deals in the space have been concluded, however, the purchase of The Parthenon Group (a US-origin strategy consultancy) in 2014 still stands out as the most high impact transaction.
The acquisition helped EY run away from KPMG in the strategy consulting segment, and close the gap with Deloitte and PwC, although the two latter firms, according to analysts, still lead by a wide margin. In the case of Deloitte Consulting the firm builds on a strong consulting fundament (whilst the Big Four spun off their advisory units back in 2002, Deloitte kept its consultants on board) and pickup of Monitor, while PwC received a massive boost through its acquisition of Booz & Company in 2013 – the consultancy currently operates as Strategy&.
Commenting on the appointment of Bitar, Steve Wilkinson, Advisory Managing Partner for EY UK and Ireland, says: “Mona brings a wealth of experience to our strategy practice, where we expect to see significant growth over the coming years. Organisations are increasingly struggling with driving their growth agenda whilst expanding their margins, meanwhile threats are increasingly coming from non-traditional players and disruptive change and uncertainly is increasing volatility.”
Mona remarks that the new role is an “exciting opportunity for me to join a dynamic team.” She adds that she hopes to “bring the skills and experience that I have gained throughout my career, to help clients drive their agendas forward whilst continuing to serve the benefit of society as a whole.”