Industry Trends

Alison Kay, EY

Alison Kay

Editors’ Note

On December 7, 2017, Alison Kay was appointed Chair-elect of the EY Global Accounts Committee, a three-year rotating role, in addition to her current role as EY Global Vice Chair – Industry. In her EY Global Accounts Committee role, Kay is responsible for optimizing growth across EY’s most global and most complex accounts. Kay will continue to help EY remain at the forefront of industry disruption and convergence issues as well as helping EY to develop innovative, sector-specific solutions.

Company Brief

The global EY organization (ey.com) is a leader in assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services. In the Americas – EY’s largest area – member firms employ more than 70,000 people across 30 countries and generate $14.5 billion in revenues. Globally, EY member firms employ nearly 250,000 people and generate $31.4 billion in revenues.

Will you discuss your role and key areas of focus?

I lead industries globally, which range from banking to consumer products, energy, health and life sciences. Our goal is to help our clients to grow by helping them to understand and anticipate market trends. I’ve also been recently appointed Chair-elect to lead growth across EY’s most global and most complex accounts. My roles require being forward looking in terms of understanding market dynamics and the impact of the technology revolution on business models. Where is the future going to be? How do our clients need to evolve, and how do we at EY need to evolve as well?

How is disruption impacting your clients?

As industries converge, all of our clients have to think differently about the businesses they’re in and how they execute within changing markets. The lines that used to create industry silos and the established rules and ways of doing business are all being fractured by disruption. Organizations that are ready and willing to step outside these silos and think creatively about the impact of disruption on business models will reap the rewards. EY is at the forefront of helping organizations understand these developments.

What impact is the technology revolution having on EY?

The technology revolution is affecting us as much as it is affecting our clients. Here at EY we are already using 1,100 robots, which means that EY professionals spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on developing the skills that our clients value – the ability to provide deeper technical expertise and insights on the specific industry within which our clients sit.

How critical is it to coordinate region to region in order to provide seamless service?

EY is truly one of the most globally integrated organizations. For example, our Global Industry Centers around the world serve as virtual hubs connecting all of our regions and making it easier to share our vast industry-focused knowledge and experience. For our clients, this means we can bring the best of EY to them no matter where they are based.

Will you discuss EY’s commitment to diversity and inclusion?

We know the value that a diverse workforce provides, both to EY as an organization and to our clients. For example, we have a strong commitment to closing the gender gap within and outside EY. Research from the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY shows that an organization with 30 percent female leaders could add up to six percentage points to its net margin. Creating diverse and high performing teams is critical to what we do. I’m a passionate advocate of diversity, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it drives better business performance.