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Ernst & Young LLP Announces Jeremy Vaughan as Cincinnati OMP

Jeremy Vaughan

Big 4 firm Ernst & Young announced that Jeremy Vaughan has been named the new OMP for Cincinnati, effective April 1.

Vaughan, who will succeed Julia Poston upon her upcoming retirement, will lead approximately 400 professionals in the Cincinnati office.

“With Julia at the helm, the firm established itself as a go-to resource in the Ohio Valley to address today’s business challenges. As Jeremy steps into his new role, we have full confidence he will continue to lead our clients and people through today’s transformative age,” says Julie Boland, EY vice chair and MP for the U.S. Central region. “Jeremy has a long history with our firm and is passionate about not only growing our local markets and industry sectors, but also the professional development of our people.”

Poston, who started her career in 1982 as a staff auditor, retires in June with a legacy that includes numerous leadership positions, including the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, OMP, assurance leader for the firm’s Ohio Valley region and the Central Region Center for Board Matters leader, as well as being a member of the firm’s partners advisory council and other committees.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Cincinnati office and hope to further the significant and impactful initiatives Julia led,” Vaughan says. “Fostering a strong environment for professional development is extremely important to me and for the EY organization. It gives our employees the chance to continuously learn and grow in order to better serve our clients.”

Vaughan, based in Cincinnati since 2010, has deep experience in business transformation, restructuring and process improvement projects in the consumer sector. Vaughan is a leader in the EY organization’s U.S. and global consumer sector teams.

More news from Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young Aims to Become Carbon Neutral

Big 4 firm Ernst & Young (FY18 net revenue of $14 billion) plans to reach carbon neutrality globally by the end of the year.

Ernst & Young says the firm will focus on reducing travel emissions, following sustainable procurement practices, and buying more energy from wind and solar sources. In addition, the firm anticipates purchasing carbon credits, and investing in projects such as reforestation that can help address emissions, according to environmentalleader.com.

Previous steps to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint include:

  • Designing an environmental strategy that aligns with the United Nations Global Compact
  • Working with hotel suppliers to lower emissions from Ernst & Young employees
  • Introducing global supplier code of conduct and procurement environmental criteria

Between FY17 and FY19, Ernst & Young says the firm decreased office energy emissions by more than 11%, resulting in a 25% reduction in energy emissions per full-time employee.

The firm has agreed to finance and construct two large-scale wind farms in Texas to become 100% powered by renewables this year. In the UK, the firm says it is pursuing a solar agreement for its power demands there.

Ernst & Young Names New MP in Detroit

Angie Kelly

Angie Kelly is the new OMP for New York-based Ernst & Young (FY17 net revenue of $13 billion) in Detroit.

Kelly, the first female OMP for Detroit, is a 20-year EY veteran. She takes charge of the 700-employee office at a time when it has seen enormous growth, the firm announced.

Her predecessor, George Lenyo, increased the office’s headcount 40% and will continue in Detroit as a global coordinating partner for the automotive industry.

Kelly said she plans to build on Lenyo’s growth through mentorship and amplifying EY’s brand in the market, even as she continues to work with her clients. “I’m so proud of the culture that we have created within our office and proud of the clients we serve and the community we serve.”

Her appointment comes at a time when EY says it is working to increase diversity and inclusion in its workforce. It says it plans to create 100,000 professional job opportunities for women around the world by 2020.

Kelly, who started with the firm as an intern in 1998, said EY will provide advisory, audit, tax and transaction services to small private businesses, companies looking to go public, and 90% percent of the Fortune 1000 companies in Michigan.

Ernst & Young Names Kelly Grier as Next MP for the U.S.

Kelly Grier

Kelly Grier

New York-based EY (FY16 gross revenue of $11.2 billion) named Kelly Grier as U.S. chairman and MP, and EY Americas area MP, effective July 1, 2018.

In her new role, Grier will lead the EY U.S. firm and the EY Americas geographic area. She will succeed Steve Howe, who has served as U.S. chairman and MP, and EY Americas area MP since 2006.

Mark Weinberger, EY Global chairman and CEO, says, “Kelly has demonstrated uncompromised integrity and an ability to manage high-performing teams, while delivering exceptional results for EY clients.”

During her tenure with EY, Grier served many of the largest EY audit and advisory clients and has global experience, working in Germany and Switzerland. She has held a variety of roles including EY Americas vice chair (talent) and Chicago OMP.

“Kelly is an extraordinary leader who has skillfully run one of our largest regions, and brings a depth of experience across client service, the boardroom and our talent function. She is passionate about EY’s values and culture, has developed high-performance teams and has proven to be an agile and effective leader who is well-suited to lead in this time of unprecedented change and opportunity,” says Howe.

“EY people come to work every day excited to solve clients’ challenges and to make a difference. We will seize the opportunities of our changing world, realizing our bright future and building on our purpose and the great strength of the EY culture,” says Grier.

Jeanneret Becomes Ernst & Young Northeast Region MP

Jeanneret_Rich_Ernst & Young 2016

Richard Jeanneret

New York-based Ernst & Young (FY16 net revenue of $11.2 billion) has appointed Richard Jeanneret vice chair – Northeast region MP. William “Bill” Casey will succeed Jeanneret as the Americas vice chair of transaction advisory services (TAS).

“For the last seven years, Rich has led the transformation of TAS around the C-suite’s capital agenda and his efforts have been instrumental in driving our market-leading results,” says U.S. chairman and EY Americas MP Steve Howe. “In his new role, Rich’s inclusive leadership and connectivity across our businesses and regions will enable us to harness our power to deliver exceptional client service across channels and sectors.”

Jeanneret says, “The Northeast is the firm’s largest market and a critical source of growth and opportunity. As companies in this region look to EY for sophisticated guidance in a rapidly changing economic environment, I look forward to collaborating with our diverse teams of professionals as they work with organizations to address their most pressing business issues, capitalize on opportunities and further contribute to the momentum of the region’s growth and vitality.”

In his new role, Jeanneret will lead more than 8,000 professionals across all EY’s business lines in assurance, tax, advisory and transaction services in 16 offices. Based in New York, he will continue to serve as a member of the EY Americas operating executive and Ernst & Young’s executive board.

Jeanneret brings more than 30 years of experience to the position.

Based in New York City, Casey will lead more than 3,600 EY professionals in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Israel. He will be responsible for delivering high-quality transaction advisory services.

“Helping organizations with strategies to raise, invest, optimize and preserve capital has always been a cornerstone of TAS,” Casey said. “In an environment of increased volatility and tempered macro growth, I am delighted to have the opportunity to assist companies with their capital strategies to more efficiently allocate resources and drive results.”

Casey brings more than 30 years of consulting and client service experience to his new role. He most recently served as Americas deputy leader of TAS. Prior to that, he served as TAS chief operating officer for Ernst & Young LLP.

During his tenure in these two operational leadership roles, the U.S. practice roughly doubled in size, both in terms of talent and revenue.

Ernst & Young Names Gootee as MP for Akron Office

Jerry Gootee

Jerry Gootee

New York-based Ernst & Young LLP (FY15 gross revenue of $9.9 billion) announced that Jerry Gootee, a veteran of the firm’s Ohio market, will serve as the next MP of the firm’s Akron, Ohio, office.

Gootee will succeed Ed Eliopoulos, who will retire June 30 at EY’s fiscal year-end after 35 years with the firm. Gootee said his goals for the Akron office are to continue the firm’s growth trajectory in Northeast Ohio and to continue expanding market share.

“We’ve been investing significantly in those additional capabilities in Northeast Ohio,” says Gootee. “As we add capabilities and look to continue to grow market share, we need to ensure we’re taking our full suite of services to clients.”

In addition to growing market share, Gootee will oversee the development of talent and the creation of high-performing teams in addition to amplifying branding and engagement efforts in the community, according to a news release.

While taking on a new leadership role, Gootee will still remain a global client services partner and senior advisory partner on several Northeast Ohio accounts.

“We thank Ed (Eliopoulos) for his leadership and the tremendous impact he has had on our people and in the market,” says Kelly Grier, vice chair and central region MP for EY, in a news release. “I am confident that Jerry’s global and inclusive mindset, technical experience across both our audit and advisory platforms and commitment to exceptional client service and talent development will fuel our continued growth and develop high-performing professionals and teams to serve our clients and the market.”

Gootee has more than 25 years of experience serving clients in both the audit and advisory platforms. He started his career in the firm’s Louisville, Ky., office and spent his first 12 years in its audit practice, according to EY. He became a partner in 2002 and relocated to the Cleveland office in 2003.

Investors Looking to Ernst & Young to Recoup Madoff Losses

Nearly seven years after Bernie Madoff’s investment empire was revealed to be a $17.5 billion fraud, the battle by investors to recover their losses ramps up in a case that goes to trial this week in Seattle, the Associated Press reported.

A Washington state investment company is seeking to pin about $100 million of its losses from Madoff’s crimes on New York-based auditor Ernst & Young (FY15 gross revenue of $9.9 billion).

FutureSelect Portfolio Management of Redmond and some related firms, headed by hedge fund manager Ronald Ward, lost a total of about $129 million in the pyramid scheme. In court papers, the company alleges that Ernst & Young would have uncovered the scheme if it had taken even the most basic steps to verify Madoff’s assets – something the auditing firm denies it had any obligation to do.

“This case is about the Madoff fraud and how it got to Washington state and how it’s impacting real people in Washington state,” FutureSelect lawyer Steven Thomas told the AP. “Because Ernst & Young said the numbers were good, FutureSelect invested. Ernst & Young said over $4.2 billion in assets were real; they were fake.”

FutureSelect invested on behalf of other funds, retirees, a New York church and others, Thomas said. The investments were made in a collection of funds managed by Tremont Partners, which were invested with Madoff. Ernst & Young was the certified public accounting firm that audited Tremont’s funds from 2000 to 2003.

In a trial brief filed this month, Ernst & Young argued that it had a very limited role: to audit the financial statements for four of the 10 years FutureSelect invested in Madoff’s funds. Its audits, for which it was paid $40,000 apiece, were simply to provide “reasonable assurance” that Tremont’s financial statements were free of misstatements. Tremont’s financial statements said its funds owned securities in Madoff’s custody, which Ernst & Young said it confirmed by checking with Madoff.

Ernst & Young said its approach was consistent with that taken by every other auditor of every Madoff-advised fund.

And in contrast with the modest fees it received, the auditing firm said, Ward and Future Select received tens of millions of dollars in management fees.

Madoff revealed his fraud in December 2008, admitting that account statements showing clients held nearly $68 billion were a sham. The roughly $17.5 billion in principal invested by retirees, charities and other clients over decades was mostly gone – paid out as fake profits or raided by Madoff’s family and cronies.

Madoff, now 77, pleaded guilty to fraud charges a few months later and was sentenced to 150 years in prison. A federal trustee based in New York has recovered or made agreements to recover about $11 billion of the lost principal.

Mitchell & Titus Leaves Ernst & Young Network

New York based-Mitchell & Titus, the largest minority-owned accounting firm in the U.S., has decided to end its membership in the Ernst & Young Global network, Accounting Today reported.

M&T will return to being an independent, non-network firm as of Oct. 30, 2015, giving the firm new opportunities to service clients, attract prospective clients and develop its people, M&T chair and CEO Anthony Kendall told Accounting Today.

He says the split was agreed upon mutually. “We decided that it was in the best interest of both firms, not just M&T but also Ernst & Young, that we transition from the membership,” says Kendall. “The primary driver and factor behind that was the constraints that we face. Both firms face constraints from an independence point of view. Even though M&T and EY were separately owned entities from the regulator’s point of view, we were viewed as one.”

Kendall believes the move will allow his firm to develop new service areas. “We are making some large differential investments in people and technology so that we can offer additional services to our current clients, and also services that we think prospective new clients may want,” he said.

He does not expect the change to have a major financial impact on either firm or their clients. M&T earns between $25 million and $50 million in annual revenue, Accounting Today reported.

“We have this rich legacy and history of 40 years. We’re an organization where people from all different backgrounds and ethnic groups can come and they can be their authentic selves and they can feel comfortable working in an environment. We love to have the opportunity to develop our people and to nurture them. We think this is going to afford us many more opportunities for our clients and for our people, and we’re looking forward.”

Ventas Dismisses Ernst & Young as Auditor

Ventas, Inc. announced that they have dismissed New York-based Ernst & Young (E&Y) (FY13 gross revenue of $9.1 billion) as its public accounting firm, effective July 5, due to E&Y’s determination that it was not independent solely as a result of an inappropriate personal relationship between an E&Y partner and Ventas’s former chief accounting officer and controller.

E&Y’s decision to withdraw such audit reports and review was made exclusively due to the personal relationship.

Ventas also announced that, following the dismissal, its audit committee engaged KPMG LLP as the company’s independent public accounting firm. KPMG will complete a re-audit and re-review of the relevant periods. There can be no assurance that KPMG will reach the same conclusions as E&Y regarding the application of accounting standards, management estimates or other factors affecting the company’s financial statements.

Ventras also announced today the separation of Robert Brehl from his position as Ventas’s chief accounting officer and controller in relation to these matters.

“Ventas stands for integrity, reliability and transparency with investors, lenders, employees and other stakeholders,” says Ventas chairman and CEO Debra Cafaro. “When we learned of this isolated situation, we investigated the facts immediately, notified E&Y promptly and took swift and decisive action.”

Former Ernst & Young LLP Partner Grasher Joins Whitley Penn

Fort Worth, Texas-based Whitley Penn (FY13 net revenue of $58.7 million) announced that Chris Grasher has joined the firm as a tax partner based in the firm’s Fort Worth office.

Chris Grasher

Chris Grasher

Grasher joins Whitley Penn after a 38-year career with Ernst & Young LLP. He most recently served as coordinating partner and tax account leader of multinational accounts. Grasher also served Ernst & Young LLP as OMP of the Charlotte office and director of tax for the Carolinas area, where he managed 150 tax professionals in four geographical locations.

“We are very excited to have Chris as part of our team. His wealth of tax experience and positions of leadership are true assets to the firm. He will further the depth of experience in our tax practice that will allow us to service clients on a global scale,” says MP Larry Autrey.