Accenture Federal hires cybersecurity expert Ira Hunt from CIA

09 November 2016

Ira “Gus” Hunt, who most recently worked for the US Central Intelligence Agency as Chief Technology Officer, has joined Accenture Federal Services as its new Managing Director and lead of its Cybersecurity practice. Hunt brings considerable cyber security experience to the firm, in a time of increasing concern surrounding information access and privacy.

As more and more information is digitalised, and leveraged for value, cyber security risks to businesses continue to rise. Last year, according to one report, total costs from cyber security events hit an estimated $400 billion as more than 500,000 events per day were recorded. Consultancy firms have been quick to launch new business lines and buy up expertise to profit from growing numbers of businesses seeking solutions.

Accenture’s announcement sees Ira “Gus” Hunt, one of the top cyber security experts from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), join the its public sector arm ('Accenture Federal Services’) as its new Managing Director and lead of its Cybersecurity practice. Hunt retired in 2013 from the role of Chief Technology Officer at the Agency, to run his own business Hunt Technology. Hunt’s career spans more than 28 years at the CIA, most recently, since 2009, as the Chief Technology Officer for the Chief Information Officer at the CIA – responsible for setting the strategy and implementation of new technologies to assist the agency’s mission.

Earlier, from 2005, he was a Director of Applications Services for CIA. Hunt joined the government body in 1985 as an Analyst, after seven years in the private sector as an Aerospace Engineer, rising through the ranks in the intervening period in technology and strategy related positions. Hunt holds a Master of Engineering in Civil and Structural Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Gus Hunt - Accenture

In the new high level role, Hunt will be responsible for the practice’s support of the firm’s clients, by offering a range of portfolio services, from strategic consulting and data-centric security technologies to operational security and incident response.

Kelly Bissell, Head of Security at Accenture, says, “Gus is a forward-thinking executive with vast knowledge and experience identifying up-and-coming technology innovations. Tapping into our industry-specific security solutions and global resources, he will help our federal clients build resilience from the inside-out so they can operate confidently in a rapidly evolving threat landscape. We welcome Gus to Accenture and look forward to his valuable contributions.”

David Moskovitz, Chief Executive for Accenture Federal Services, says, “We are excited that Gus has joined our team, as his expertise can help our federal clients identify new approaches to better safeguard their agencies. He brings the experience, vision and passion to help our clients better understand their highest-value assets, address their threats and vulnerabilities, and effectively protect themselves within their budget and technology constraints.”

Hunt himself says he is “looking forward” to helping federal agencies meet their cyber needs, adding that Accenture is “uniquely positioned to help federal agencies plan, design, deliver and operate their systems more securely.”

Last month Accenture Federal Services boosted its cybersecurity capabilities with the acquisition of Virginia-based Defense Point Security (DPS) for an undisclosed sum.


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Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of partners

18 April 2019

Three senior level consultants have been boosted to the rank of Partner at Quantum Advisory, as the firm works to meet heightened levels of client demand. Aled Edwards, Amanda Burdge and Chris Heirene become Partners as long-time Quantum member Rob Davies retires in May after 15 years as a Partner at the firm.

Founded in 2000, Quantum Advisory provides pension and employee benefits services to employers, scheme trustees and members, with five offices across the UK. The firm has enjoyed exponential growth in recent years, following a number of major client wins and booming demand for its services. It opened a new office in Bristol in 2016 to service the South West and in 2017 relocated its Cardiff office to a larger site within the Welsh capital to house the increased workforce. More recently, Quantum relocated its Amersham, Birmingham and London offices to more spacious premises in the centre of both cities to cope with demand.

The financial services consultancy, which employs 115 people across the UK, has promoted three senior team members to Partner, as part of its wider growth plans. The firm has moved Aled Edwards from Principal Consultant & Actuary, while Amanda Burdge has ascended from Principal Investment Consultant. Chris Heirene, former IT Manager, has also joined the ten current Partners at Quantum.

Aled Edwards most recently managed the actuarial team within Quantum’s Cardiff office as well as providing technical training for all staff. He boasts more than 17 years of pensions experience. He started his career as an Actuary at Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s Bristol wing, before joining Quantum in 2011. Edwards is also the President of the Welsh Actuarial Society (WAS), which supports actuaries and actuarial students living or working in Wales.

Rapid growth sees Quantum Advisory promote trio of Partners

Amanda Burdge joined Quantum’s team in 2001, as one of the fledgling firm’s first employees. Most recently she was a Principal Investment Consultant with the firm, and with more than a quarter of a century’s experience in the sector, she is responsible for providing investment advice to many of Quantum’s key clients with both defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. Prior to her time with Quantum, Burdge spent two years as a consultant with SBJ Benefit Consultants (now Capita), and three years with Tesco Pension Trustees. She currently sits on the Regulation Committee for the Pensions Management Institute.

Chris Heirene initially worked with Quantum as an IT Consultant with Teamwork Technology Services and then UES for over five years, before finally joining the firm itself in 2011. He is now responsible for Quantum’s IT systems across all of its offices, including the network and core server infrastructure which supports the business. Heirene is heavily involved in utilising IT to improve and build upon the processes in place throughout Quantum.

David Deidun, Partner at Quantum Advisory, said of the promotions, “This is a very exciting time for Quantum. The recent round of promotions fully recognise the hard work and dedication shown by the three, all of whom go above and beyond for the company. I’ve no doubt that Aled, Amanda and Chris will settle into their new roles with ease and look forward to working together to grow Quantum even further.”

The news comes as Rob Davies retires in May, after spending fifteen years as a Partner at Quantum. A qualified actuary, Davies was instrumental in setting up Quantum’s Investment Division, specialising in aiding clients with their investment strategies. He will remain with the company on a part-time consultancy basis, while working with several clients in the Fiduciary Manager area.