EY hires Joanne Masters and promotes Milan Milosevic

25 January 2019 Consultancy.com.au

Professional services giant EY has made two senior appointments in its Australian leadership ranks. Joanne Masters, ANZ’s senior economist, has been recruited as the firm’s chief economist for Oceania, while long-serving senior Milan Milosevic has been handed the top role in the firm’s Private Equity practice. 

Joanne Masters

“I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone and getting my feet under the desk,” commented Joanne Masters on her move to EY. The University of Sydney graduate spent the past four years at ANZ, where she served as a senior economist in the bank’s economy and financial markets team. In the role, she oversaw significant parts of the bank’s domestic forecasting research, including on developments in the retail industry, the property market, and macroeconomic trends.

“I’m excited to be joining EY which has the expertise, reputation and resources to make a meaningful contribution to the economic debate,” Masters said to Business Insider Australia. “I truly believe EY’s people and clients that can help to build a better working world [EY’s mission statement globally].”

Before her tenure in banking, Masters worked as a freelancer, advising and providing research on financial and economic topics, and before that, over thirteen years for Macquarie, a Sydney headquartered financial group with offices in 25+ countries. After joining the group as a graduate, she held roles of growing responsibility in the company’s Economics Group – in her latter role of Currency Strategist, Master was a regular expert on several domestic and offshore news channels including CNBC, Sky News, Reuters, Dow Jones, AFR and Radio National.

EY hires Joanne Masters and promotes Milan Milosevic

Milan Milosevic

Elsewhere in EY’s organisation, Milan Milosevic has been handed a vote of confidence by the firm’s leadership team with his appointment to leader of the Private Equity practice. Milosevic succeeds Bryan Zekulich, who will mid-2019 exit the partnership to pursue new opportunities. Zekulich also led EY’s Australia’s Entrepreneur of the Year programme in the country – who will succeed him in this role is yet to be announced. 

New industry group leader Milosevic joined the accounting and consulting firm straight out of his university in 1998, and has since been on a fast-track at the firm. He has risen within EY’s private equity practice, having spent the past 15 years advising a number of Australian and global private equity houses. He now leads a multi-disciplinary team ofprivate equity experts from across all disciplines of the firm – audit, accounting, financial advisory and consulting.

David Larocca, who leads EY’s Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) arm in Australia, said that Milosevic has been given three main tasks: continuing growth, broadening the offering and accelerating the development of digital tools to better serve the growing demand for M&A insights. In doing so, Milosevic will work closely with other partners in the Private Equity practice, including partners Steve Clark, Andrew Ettridge, Andrew Sharp, Sean Keegan, Ben Holland and Adam Woodward.

Commenting on the sector’s outlook this year, Milosevic said: “We are optimistic on the outlook for private equity in 2019. The ASX is increasingly exhibiting a greater degree of volatility which in turn is driving opportunities for our private equity clients. We are also seeing sustained inbound interest from overseas investors looking for quality Australian and New Zealand private equity assets with strong management teams. Further, we expect exits of high quality assets over the next 18 months.”

Earlier this month, rival Deloitte added two senior professionals to its partner team: Kris Funston and Sandra James – they joined from AEMC and EY respectively. 

Related: EY revenue rises to $1.8 billion due to near double digit growth.

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Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K Consulting Australia

15 April 2019 Consultancy.com.au

Ian Watt has joined L.E.K Consulting’s as a partner and leader of the firm’s Australian Energy & Environment practice. Watt is based in Sydney.

“We are delighted to welcome Ian Watt to L.E.K Consulting,” said Nick Holder, who leads the firm’s operations in the Asia Pacific region and is country leader of the Australia business. “His experience working with utilities to successfully address waves of market disruption and regulatory complexity bolsters our ability to drive value creation for clients.” 

Watt joins from Strategy&, where he worked since 2010, initially with Booz & Company before transitioning to Strategy& through PwC's $1 billion acquisition of Booz in 2014. He brings over a decade of experience advising clients in the energy, utilities, mining and industrials sectors across Asia Pacific, Europe, and North America. His experiences span the utility value chain, and comprise a mix of growth strategy (strategic planning, go-to-market models), operational transformation (cost, business model, and performance optimisation) and innovation (design of new products and services). 

During his career at Strategy&, Watt worked from the firm’s offices in London, Sydney, and most recently Calgary – he relocated to Canada in 2016 to help launch and build the Strategy& firm in the country. Prior to his consulting spell, he held several technical an economic consulting roles in the engineering industry, having started his career in Mott MacDonald’s consultancy team in the UK.

Ian Watt leads Energy & Environment arm of L.E.K ConsultingAt L.E.K Consulting, which has over 1,400 professionals globally, Watt will lead the Australian Energy & Environment practice. His appointment comes at a time when the energy & utilities sector is facing major change, with market disruption and regulatory complexity taking hold. According to L.E.K. Consulting, “Primary energy suppliers, OEMs and utilities, among others, turn to L.E.K. to benefit from its experience gathered over decades of tackling major strategic and operational issues in the sector.”

The presence of large energy conglomerates and mining giants means Australia's energy & resources consulting industry is the 2nd largest globally, trailing just the massive market of the United States. Government data shows that the resources sector comprise 15% to 20% of the national economy and up to 60% of Australia’s exports. BHP Billiton (the fourth largest company by revenue in Australia) and Rio Tinto (revenue of $40 billion) are major players in the space, meanwhile beyond mining & resources, companies such as energy retailers (e.g. Alinta Energy, BlueNRG, Click Energy, etc) and energy generators (e.g. AGL, Origin and EnergyAustralia) are ramping up their spending on external consultants in a bid to successfully position themselves for future sustainable growth. 

Watt’s move brings the total of new partners at L.E.K. in Australia to three this year. Previously, Joe Sponholtz joined the Sydney office from rival consultancy Partners In Performance, while Melbourne-based Philip Wheeler was promoted internally to partner.

Last week, Bain & Company named a new leader for its Australia and New Zealand division: company veteran Peter Stumbles.