Claire Reid named PwC Scotland's first female leader

08 August 2019 3 min. read
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PwC has named Claire Reid as the head of its Scotland wing, replacing the outgoing Lindsay Gardiner. Reid is the firm's first female regional leader north of the border, having joined PwC's Glasgow office 20 years ago.

Amid heightened scrutiny from the UK’s accounting watchdog, PwC has been moving to shake up its audit practice in the UK. The firm has pledged a £30 million funding injection on an annual basis to ensure better audit quality and restore trust of investors, companies and stakeholders. Amid this, Lindsay Gardiner has announced he will step down from his role as Regional Chair for Scotland, in order to pursue his roles as Audit Partner and UK Audit Executive member.

Gardiner became a Partner at PwC in 1999, and was appointed its regional leader for Scotland in 2012. In his role as Chair, he had ultimate responsibility for the firm’s more than 900 staff in Scotland, as well as all services and client relationships in the Scottish market. Following seven years in the role, Gardiner has been succeeded by the first woman to hold the position.

Claire Reid named PwC Scotland's first female leader

Claire Reid, who led assurance at PwC in Scotland until the end of June, has become Chair, having first joined the Big Four firm in Glasgow in 1998. Following this, she spent six years in London, first as a Senior Manager and later Director before being made Partner in 2012. Recently, she had also led the technology risk practice across the UK. She will now oversee PwC’s offices across Scotland, including its recently opened locales in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Commenting on her promotion, Reid said, “I am really excited to build on our recent success and on our investment in Scotland. With my background in technology and digital change, I look forward to bringing continued energy and focus to this topic for our region.”

The move comes as Big Four rival EY has also appointed a new Scottish leader. Ally Scott, who joined the accountancy firm’s Scottish operation from banking giant Barclays in autumn 2016 as head of transaction advisory services, succeeded Mark Harvey as EY’s managing partner for Scotland at the start of July. He became the first head of EY Scotland who was not a chartered accountant, further hinting at the pressure currently being placed upon the accounting wings of the country’s four largest professional services firms.

KPMG is also led by a woman in Scotland. Catherine Burnet is the Senior Partner for KPMG in Scotland and in its Edinburgh office. She currently also leads the Financial Services team in Scotland. Elsewhere, Deloitte’s Regions Managing Partner, Richard Bell, leads all of Deloitte’s regional practice senior partners outside of London, including Scotland.