RSM appoints Robert Ross new Chief Operating Officer

17 April 2018 4 min. read
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Global professional services firm RSM has appointed Robert Ross as the firm’s new Chief Operating Officer. Ross’ appointment follows the promotion of his predecessor, David Gwilliam, to Chief Executive Officer.

International mid-market professional services network RSM has been undergoing a period of solid growth over the past 12 months. The firm, which boast 35 offices across the UK, had already witnessed its presence in the country expand significantly in recent years, through the acquisition of Northern Irish counterpart RSM McClure Watters, and backed its inorganic growth last year with with revenues increasing by 9% to £319 million, in the financial year ending 31 March 2017.

Looking to the future, as the firm looks to further boost its bullish economic outlook, RSM has recently completed an extensive reshuffle of its upper echelons. Following the announcement from Laurence Longe – RSM’s Chief Executive for some 22 years – that he would be relinquishing his role in order to become Chairman, David Gwilliam was elevated to the CEO office in early 2018. Gwilliam had been working at RSM as a Chief Operating Officer since 2014, joining the firm as Baker Tilly – a firm he had spent 17 years at – became part of RSM’s network.

Robert Ross, David Gwilliam and Laurence Longe - RSM

In turn, Gwilliam’s promotion left his previous role vacant. In order to fill the COO position, RSM turned to its Regional Managing Partner for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Robert Ross. Ross, who was also the region’s Head of Consulting, oversaw a near quadrupling of the regional department’s revenues. He will now relocate from Scotland to RSM’s London headquarters, to take up his new position.

Ross has more than 20 years worth of experience in the professional services industry at his command, having plied his trade with RSM for 15 of them. Prior to his career in professional services, Ross also accrued six years of experience working in the financial services sector, primarily in project management and system implementation roles.

Commenting on his new position at RSM, Ross said, “I’m delighted to be appointed as Chief Operating Officer for RSM. This period is a really exciting one for the firm as it looks to develop and grow its position as the first-choice adviser to middle market leaders in the UK, and globally. RSM has service and sector line capabilities that are among the most varied in the UK; it has the strongest regional network within the middle market, and; most importantly, it has great people.”

Newly promoted CEO David Gwilliam meanwhile remarked on the appointment, “I am absolutely delighted to appoint Robert as our new COO. Having worked closely with Robert since 2003, Gwilliam added: “His credentials speak for themselves.”

Reshuffle triggered

Completing the reshuffle, Ross’ old position has in turn been filled, with the appointment of a new Regional Managing Partner for its Scotland & Northern Ireland region. Alex Tait previously headed up RSM’s assurance practice for Scotland and North East England and had responsibility for the growth and quality of that practice.

The new Regional Managing Partner for RSM’s Scotland & Northern Ireland region said he was delighted to take on the role. Tait added, “Our local knowledge and presence in Scotland and Northern Ireland, together with our global outlook and expertise, gives us a leading market position which we look forward to strengthening further.”

Gwilliam said, “This is a hugely exciting period for the development and growth of the firm. With our breadth and depth of service and sector capabilities we enjoy the strongest regional presence in the middle market, and both John and Alex will work to strengthen and grow our market position in their regions.”

Elsewhere, John Taylor was named as Regional Managing Partner for RSM’s Southern region, taking over from Elfed Jarvis. Taylor, who has been with the firm since 2007, was formerly dual Office Managing Partner for the firm’s Southampton and Guildford offices.