The financial services business of the big four accounting firm EY expects to grow an additional 3,000 new jobs in the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa region over the next three years, the new head of the department said.
“[The new roles] are all in areas where we see a lot of market dislocation and customers often ask big questions about their future, ”Omar Ali, the new head of EMEIA’s 14,000-strong financial services business, told Financial News. Of the 3,000 new positions, around 150 will be roles at partner level.
Ali added that EY will focus on building talent in the areas of climate change and sustainability, technology, data and artificial intelligence, as well as expanding its legal offering.
Ali, currently EMEIA Financial Services Client Services Leader at EY, will take over from Marcel Van Loo on July 1st. Prior to his last position, Ali led the accounting firm’s UK financial services business from 2015 to 2020. He joined the firm in 2001 and became a partner in 2006.
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The challenges for the financial services sector in the region, which in his new role will be high on Ali’s agenda, are diverse. In addition to the pandemic, climate change, sustainability and the Sustainable Finance Agenda also offer “a massive opportunity” for the industry.
There is also a risk of increasing fragmentation in European financial services. He said: “After Brexit, we have seen a large number of financial services companies create EU hubs, but there is no city, no jurisdiction in which one wins before everyone else.”
This fragmentation could increase friction, costs and risks, he said, adding that it could move jobs to the US or Asia.
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Last month, an EY survey of around 70 financial services executives found that cost management was a top priority for 52% of respondents over the next three years.
In addition to his work at EY, Ali leads TheCityUK’s long-term competitiveness group, of which he is also a board member.
To contact the authors of this story with feedback or news, email Bérengère Sim and James Booth