16 Dec 2014 09:05am

Sacha Romanovitch new Grant Thornton CEO

Sacha Romanovitch has been appointed CEO of Grant Thornton UK LLP

Romanovitch will replace Scott Barnes the departing CEO and become the first woman to lead a major firm in the UK.

Barnes has been elected unanimously to take on the role of chairman of the Grant Thornton International Board once his tenure as the UK CEO comes to an end. 

I firmly believe our firm, our clients and the wider success of the UK economy will depend on our ability to unleash talent and ideas from every section of society

Sacha Romanovitch

Romanovitch joined Grant Thornton in 1994 before moving to the London office in 1996 where she gained significant experience working with larger listed companies both on audit and public reporting. After a sabbatical for 1998 she returned to London in 1999 and was appointed partner in 2001. Shortly after she became office managing partner of the London audit and tax practice.

An advocate for increased social mobility within both the profession and wider business, she is chair of the Patron Group for Access Accountancy, the profession-wide initiative to increase diversity. Romanovitch is also a member of the National Leadership Board responsible for People and Culture. She was previously head of Large Corporate and Regulated Industries group nationally. She specialises in advising professional service firms and people related businesses.

Scott Barnes said, "I'm delighted to confirm that Sacha will be leading the firm from next summer. We set out a clearly defined strategy for growth, Ambition 2015, three years ago and she is the right person to take this forward. She led the work we undertook with stakeholders to imagine how the future environment in which we will operate will look, which has informed the shape of our strategy into the future. I'm looking forward to seeing the bold moves that Sacha will no doubt make, to continue our status as a 'category of one'. As for myself, I am pleased to stay involved in the wider Grant Thornton organisation, and delighted to be confirmed Chair of the Grant Thornton International Board."

Sacha Romanovitch said, "I have worked closely with Scott on his board for the last seven years, and am exhilarated to be taking over the great work he has already achieved. Embedding a strong brand and an empowered culture is critical to our on-going success. I firmly believe our firm, our clients and the wider success of the UK economy will depend on our ability to unleash talent and ideas from every section of society. From my experience one needs to do that intentionally - and when you do it makes a big difference."

GT recently announced strong results, with profits up by 9% over the 12 months to June, the fifth successive year of strong growth the firm has experienced. Although the rise is slightly down on the past two years (13% in 2013 and 10.6% in 2012), it is still impressive when compared to the recent results of the Big Four. Star performer was advisory which grew by 15%. Audit was up by 4% and tax was “broadly flat”.

Profits rose by 7.7% in absolute terms and pre-tax profit per partner (on a like for like basis) was up by 15% to £402,000. Distributable profit increased by 10% to £385,000 after accounting for the changes in taxation of employee services companies which were implemented in April. Its total tax contribution to the exchequer was £169.4m and that each partner paid an average rate of tax of 42.5%.

In 1995 Barnes had been promoted to national head of the firm’s restructuring and reorganisation division, and in 2001 to managing partner for specialist financial services. After a three-year stint leading the international organisation advisory practice, he got the top job.

Raymond Doherty


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