PwC boosts financial services offering with senior appointments

PwC has strengthened its leadership team in Scotland with the appointment of two new partners and a new director.

Allan McGrath has been named head of financial services at PwC Scotland while Martin Hislop has joined the partnership in Scotland after relocating from London. In a further boost for the financial services team, Colin Carmichael has joined as a director - all of whom will be based at the firm’s Edinburgh office.

PwC works with a number of high-profile clients in the financial services sector, which is worth around £8 billion to the Scottish economy, more than 8% of the country’s onshore economic activity.

The new appointments comes as the firm expands its service offering to the sector with an increased focus on FinTech, risk and regulation. Recent research published by PwC revealed that the UK is among the most important countries for FinTech growth over the next two years.

Allan McGrath takes up the position of head of financial services at PwC Scotland, following Stephanie Bruce’s move to become chief financial officer of Standard Life Aberdeen.

Allan has been an audit partner at PwC since 2010. He leads the audit of a number of large financial services businesses across investment management, insurance and banking.

He said: “I’m delighted to be taking on this role at a very exciting time. The financial services sector is going through a period of real change, and organisations need to take an integrated view of how technology fits within their business and customer experience strategies, if they are to make the most of the opportunities that this change will bring to the industry. It is also essential that organisations are focussed on building trust with their customers as regulatory pressure and consumer expectations continue to rise.”

Martin Hislop boosts the Scottish partnership to 29, having relocated to Edinburgh from London, where he was a partner in financial services risk and regulation.

Having originally trained as an accountant with the firm in Edinburgh, Martin returns to the Scottish practice after 20 years in London, having spent time overseas with the firm prior to that.

As a risk and regulation advisor, Martin has been working with PwC’s banking clients on a variety of governance, process and control related challenges often related to regulatory drivers.

Martin said: “I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Edinburgh and rejoining the Scottish practice, connecting with our local client base and helping gain access to specialists from our wider financial services risk and regulation community, drawing on the expertise of more than 1,000 people.”

Colin Carmichael arrives at PwC from Sopra Steria, where he was latterly Director of UK FinTech working closely in partnership with FinTech Scotland. In his 15 years at Sopra Steria, Colin built a number of business lines including data analytics, where he is focusing at PwC.

Colin commented: “After many years of working within the FS sector, I am really excited to bring this experience to the PwC team in Scotland. Supporting the high growth and opportunity the firm is seeing in supporting its clients across areas of Data Analytics and FinTech. It's a fantastic time to be joining the organisation and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be part of this successful team.”

Claire Reid, Regional Leader for PwC in Scotland commented: “Scotland’s financial services industry is one of the country’s great success stories, and as PwC grows its presence in the sector I’m delighted to be able to announce these senior appointments.

“It’s an important time for the industry as it continues to adapt to a rapidly changing economic environment. This has meant firms have had to work hard to build confidence in their products and services while transformative technology unlocks new opportunities. This has left the industry in Scotland full of optimism and with a strengthened team, PwC can help businesses to innovate and prepare for a digital future.”