PwC recruits fresh partnership quartet from consulting rivals

26 March 2023 3 min. read
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Professional services firm PwC has recruited a number of new partners across its Australian offices, including returnees Nikhil de Silva and Lorena Sosa and new faces Kylie Watson and Ellie Atkinson.

PwC has embarked on a mini-raid of its fellow professional services firms in recent weeks to add a number of partners across its Australian offices.

Ellie Atkinson joins as a strategy and transformation partner from EY in Brisbane, Lorena Sosa crosses from Grant Thornton as a tax partner in Sydney, Kylie Watson becomes a cyber partner after previous stints at IBM and Deloitte, and Nikhil de Silva returns to the PwC partnership in Melbourne from Sayers.

Ellie Atkinson, Lorena Sosa, Kylie Watson and Nikhil de Silva

Ellie Atkinson
Atkinson joins PwC’s Energy Transition practice as a strategy & transformation leader out of Brisbane after spending the best part of a decade at Ernst & Young. Most recently a director with EY, Atkinson first joined the firm in 2013 after more than nine years at engineering consultancy Arup between Cardiff and Brisbane, first as a structural engineer and then project manager.

Currently, she specialises in advising energy and utilities organisations on their decarbonisation agendas.

Lorena Sosa
A specialist in structuring international tax-effective supply chains, Sosa returns to PwC as a global tax partner in transfer pricing after spending close to the past decade and a half at Grant Thornton in Sydney, where she had served as a partner since 2016.

Sosa originally joined PwC in 2003 on the back of a business management degree with the Universidad de las Américas, which she has since complemented with a business masters from Macquarie Uni.

Kylie Watson
Former Deloitte partner Kylie Watson has also found her way to PwC. Watson was previously Deloitte’s lead partner for Defence risk advisory (covering forensics, strategic risk, data analytics and cyber), spending three years at the firm following an equal leadership tenure at SAP before crossing to IBM Consulting in late 2020, most recently serving as A/NZ client lead for national security.

She is now a partner in PwC’s cybersecurity & digital trust team in Canberra.

Described as a ‘Cyber Sociologist’, Watson recently appeared at an ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) local chapter event in Canberra, where she delivered a presentation on the motivations of a cyber criminal and effective strategies to address cognitive biases in cyber. Speaking last month with the AFR, she stated: “A disaffected individual who has access to sensitive information can be as much of a risk as an external hacker.”

Nikhil de Silva
De Silva has become the latest high-level Sayers tech recruit to ultimately wind up back at their original firm. de Silva first joined PwC in Melbourne in 1996, before spending time with the firm in Washington and working his way up to partner in 2007.

After two decades at PwC, he joined Salesforce in New York as strategic transformation lead, before returning to Melbourne once again as a partner at Sayers, recruited among a swag of Big Four leaders to staff a new technology unit.

Leading that unit was Amberjit Endow, who has recently been accused of scamming tens of millions from his fellow Deloitte partners in a shady investment scheme, including CEO Adam Powick, and was let go from Sayers soon after his arrival. The attendant investigation appears to have had a destablising effect; two other recruits, Paul Jackson and Jerry Hsu, returned to Deloitte within a year.

De Silva departed around the same time, and has spent the last eighteen months at AWS.