MinterEllison snags senior EY executive Annette Kimmitt for new CEO

20 August 2018 4 min. read
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International law firm MinterEllison has recruited Annette Kimmitt as the international law and consulting firm’s new CEO. 

An EY veteran of 16 years, Annette Kimmitt has left the global profession services outfit to join upcoming law and consulting firm MinterEllison. The firm, which is known in the law industry as one of Asia-Pacific’s most prestigious firms, has been on the move into the consulting world as of late.  

The move solidifies MinterEllison transition into the consulting world which it has been encroaching on with the recent acquisition of boutique consulting firm ITNewcom. Earlier in 2016, the firm announced that it would build its non-legal services to $600 million amid a stagnant law market and embrace a multi-disciplinary approach. 

“We're in a heavily disrupted market in which clients are rethinking the way they are engaging their service providers, including lawyers,” said MinterEllison Head of Innovation Andrew Cunningham upon acquiring the boutique last year.

The move comes as the Big Four – which were traditionally seen as accounting firms – have taken strides into consulting and then both the law and creative domain in a successful attempt to diversify their revenues.

“Together with the Partners and staff of MinterEllison, I am very much looking forward to welcoming Kimmitt to the firm upon her commencement and to working with her on the next phase of the firm’s growth,” said Bruce Cowley, Chairman of MinterEllison.

“Our firm was seeking a leader with strong strategic skills coupled with extensive client service experience in Australian and international markets," said Cowley. “Annette certainly meets our requirements with an outstanding track record in the professional services sector, working both with clients and in senior leadership roles in Australia, throughout the Asia-Pacific and globally.”

MinterEllison snags senior EY executive Annette Kimmitt for new CEO

Kimmitt joined EY as a Partner in 2005 when she returned from a three-year stint at the International Accounting Standards Board in London. Jumping straight into a management role, Kimmitt climbed the ranks at the Big Four consulting firm to Managing Partner, Assurance in 2007 and became a managing partner in the firm’s Melbourne branch in 2009.  

She has held a number of non-executive roles including as a senior board member of Airservices Australia andVictorian Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, and has also served as a Director on the Committee for Melbourne for a number of years. She is currently on the board of both the Melbourne Business School and the Scale Investors. 

Most recently, Kimmitt held the position of Asia Pacific Accounts Leader and Global Growth Markets Leader. During her time in these roles, she lead EY's global efforts aimed at helping entrepreneurs, family businesses, start-ups and mid-market companies seize the upside of disruption and accelerate growth. 

Cowley said that he was delighted to bring in a leader with such a wealth of experience to the firm. “Annette is a strong and consultative leader who values the power of collaborative thinking and decision making,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that Kimmitt “is supportive of MinterEllison’s 2020 strategy, and, having vast international experience in the latest developments in professional services, will bring much richness and depth as we continue to pursue our strategy and start to look beyond 2020”.

Kimmitt commented on her new appointment by saying that she was proud to have served EY for more than a decade in both client facing and leadership roles.“I feel I have made a significant and positive leadership contribution at EY. It has been a great firm to be part of. For the future, I am looking forward to being able to utilise my skills and expertise as MinterEllison’s new CEO and to joining a professional services firm of the highest calibre in the legal and consulting sector,” she said.

Patrick Winter, EY’s Asia-Pacific Managing Partner said, “Annette leaves EY with an outstanding leadership track record and a strong legacy of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. We’re always proud of our people who go on and build their careers with other businesses, government and the broader community. We are confident that Annette will do exactly that with MinterEllison. We sincerely wish her all the best with this next exciting chapter for her career.”