EY has announced Karen Kirkwood as the new Office Managing Partner in Bristol to lead the office and continue its growth in the South West and Wales region. She takes over the reins from Andrew Perkins, who has successfully completed a four-year tenure in the role.
Karen joined EY in 2014 as Head of Tax for the South West and Wales, based in the Bristol office, to lead growth in the tax team. She has over 25 years’ experience providing a broad range of tax services to a diverse portfolio of clients including mid-market, listed and privately-owned businesses in London and the South West and Wales.
In her new role, Karen inherits a successful and growing full-service team, which includes in recent years the addition of specialists in turnaround and recovery and M&A. As well as continuing to lead the growth of the business in the South West and Wales, she takes on responsibility for people, brand and client activities, including a focus on building links with the local community and key private and public sector stakeholders across the region. Karen will also continue to lead the growth of the tax practice at EY in the South West and Wales.
In the last few years, EY in Bristol has increased its headcount by in excess of 20%, to over 400 people, across a variety of areas. Last year, the business also took on 41 new graduates and apprentices, an increase of 5% on 2019, representing a significant commitment to supporting the career aspirations of young people in the local community.
Commenting on her new role, Karen said: “I’m really excited to be taking over as Office Managing Partner for EY’s Bristol office. I’d like to thank Andrew for his incredible work leading the team over the last four years. He’s done a fantastic job in building resources here in the South West and Wales and developing key relationships with businesses across the region. I’m inheriting a highly skilled and agile team, who remain committed to building a better working world with client centricity at the very heart of everything that we do.
“We have ambitions to further build our brand within the local market. Together with a focus on the Private market space, where we already work with a range of innovative, well respected businesses, headquartered in the region, our focus will be on continuing to support the region’s exceptional SME base to explore the new markets. There are also opportunities for us to leverage and expand across sectors including in the energy, manufacturing, fintech and logistics industries.”
Andrew Perkins added: “I’d like to congratulate Karen on her new role. I’m really pleased to be passing on the baton to her and proud of the team here at EY in the South West and of our achievements over the last few years. I’m looking forward to continuing to play an important part in our growth ambitions, supporting Karen during her transitional period and in the medium to longer term focussing on developing more opportunities for the business across the market in my role as a Corporate Finance partner with a focus on environmental finance.”