EY looks to grow Midlands financial services headcount threefold

14 March 2018 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read

Global professional services firm EY has announced plans to triple its financial services team in the Midlands by 2020. EY currently employs 30 professionals in the industry groep, but hopes to push that over the 100 mark in the next two years, as it bids to keep up with growing financial services demand in the region.

The East and West Midlands generate around 12.5% of the UK’s GVA, with large stakes in both the manufacturing and services sector. The region hosts a large array of large global UK and international firms, but despite high levels of productivity, the region remain in a period of uncertainty, largely brought on by Brexit.

As EY works to accommodate the changing needs of clients in the region, which may still encounter major hurdles over the coming years due to the UK’s divorce from the EU, the firm has announced plans to more than triple the size of its financial services practice in the Midlands. The plan also comes as part of the Big Four firm’s UK regional growth strategy, aimed at building on strong growth across the UK and Ireland in 2017

EY looks to grow Midlands financial services headcount threefold

Research from EY suggests that as many as 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%. EY’s growth plan in the Midlands therefore includes a focus on growing its dedicated financial services industry teams, in order to provide specialist support and to better service the needs of the region’s growing financial services sector. EY currently employs nearly 1,000 people in its Birmingham office and is the firm’s largest regional practice outside of London, but beyond this, the current 30-strong Midlands financial services team is anticipated grow to 100 people by 2020, recruiting both locally and from across the UK.

The firm joins the likes of Ramboll and Big Four rivals PwC as one of a number of professional services firms looking to expand in the Midlands. PwC in particular looks keen to focus its efforts on Birmingham’s growth potential, recently announcing that it will occupy the whole first building of the multimillion Paradise redevelopment scheme in Birmingham – shortly after news emerged that the firm was planning to close six other regional presences, elsewhere in the UK.


EY has appointed a local leadership team of Amit Thaker, Ben Morphet, John Saxton and Louise Starr to lead the firm’s Midlands financial services wing, consisting of Tax, Assurance and Advisory services. Amit Thaker will also act as the Head of EY’s Financial Services (FS) practice in the Midlands, relocating from London to take on the role.

Thaker, a Midlands native originating from Coventry, said of EY’s new plans, “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 financial services market.”

Simon O’Neill, who was recently promoted to become 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 financial services centre to support the next phase of our growth.”

Sue Dawe, head of EY’s UK financial services 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 specialists from across established practices in Scotland, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Bristol. 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.”