Driving Value Creation
and Inclusive Growth

Julie Hood, EY

Julie Hood

Editors’ Note

Straight out of school, Julie Hood was a cadet architect in Auckland for a global architectural firm. She worked for 10 years at Deakin University and also started her own design consulting and construction business in New Zealand and Australia. She then went to London in 2001 to lead a consulting division of EY U.K. before heading back to Australia for a senior leadership role in EY Oceania. She moved back to London in 2016 for her current role.

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 provide an overview of EY’s TAS business?

What we call TAS – Transaction Advisory Services – is very different from what it was even five years ago. We advise on capital and transaction strategy through to operational execution. We enable fast-track value creation and we put that in the context of inclusive growth, which in today’s environment is vital.

Ultimately, we enable our clients’ capital allocation strategies, which is board-level critical to not get wrong. That runs all the way through from buying and integrating businesses to selling and separating them out. We’re also about reshaping results for our clients, from operational improvements, insolvency and corporate restructuring to debt structuring. Then there is pure corporate finance, which we were best known for several years ago.

This business has evolved and the people have grown with it, which is an incredible story to be part of. I’ve been able to experience this via many positions across different geographies, which has given me a broad perspective.

How critical is it to be able to seamlessly provide services backed by EY’s collaborative culture?

It’s critical. Most of our clients don’t work in silos from a geographic perspective. Today, with demographic shifts and some of the material trends happening in the world, growth can only be achieved if our corporate clients think across borders. Even governments are looking for private capital, which requires a cross border mentality.

We don’t play a geographic silo game at EY, as it would not reflect our clients outlook or the broader market. The value of connectedness via personal relationships within that global construct is great – there is an inherent trust by default.

How valuable is it that EY made a commitment early on to supporting entrepreneurs?

Working with entrepreneurs is an incredibly exciting part of the market to play in. By making commitments, we have been able to attract and retain incredible talent worldwide. I’m surrounded by some of the most passionate and innovative people around the globe which keeps me inspired.

What do you tell women interested in entering the industry about the opportunities to grow and lead?

The M&A market has historically been seen as a male-dominated world. We have to break down some of the myths. This business is very diverse from core strategy talent to core operations to commercial and financial acumen. This is not a capability issue so much as a choice issue. We’re making sure we’re helping our associates find balance no matter what life throws at them. We can still advise our clients while having technology enable flexibility in how we work, which creates more opportunities.

We have to make sure we showcase successful leaders in our business with diverse backgrounds.

What advice do you give people about the need to persist?

I define my next opportunities by experiences. It’s about considering the experiences one wants to achieve and working towards those thoughtfully. Then it’s about making them happen. One should never be scared of failing and falling – that is usually good learning to help drive on.