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PwC announces senior promotions across Scotland

Posted: 2nd July 2020

Two new senior partners have been appointed at PwC’s Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, while the firm has also admitted two new partners in Scotland and appointed a new tax leader in Aberdeen.

Matthew Hall becomes Office Senior Partner in Edinburgh, where PwC has more than 500 people, while Robin McBurnie takes the same role in Glasgow, which has 400 staff. In addition, Edinburgh-based Jason Higgs and Paul Cheshire both became partners on 1 July. Jason leads PwC Scotland’s Business Restructuring Services while Paul will be an Audit Partner with a focus on private business.

Further to this, Mairi Massey has been named head of tax in the firm’s Energy Centre of Excellence in Aberdeen and PwC has also recruited Marianne Breen-Hart as a director in its Technology, Data and Analytics business, based in Edinburgh.

Matthew joins the Scotland partner group from PwC’s Gatwick office where he has been Office Senior Partner for the past two years. An audit partner with a broad range of experience across a number of industries, Matthew takes over from Mark Hoskyns-Abrahall, who has led the Edinburgh office since 2014. Mark will now focus on his role as Chief Auditor for the Scottish and North of England audit business.

Robin McBurnie first joined PwC in 2000 from Stakis plc, before leaving in 2003 to join BT. He returned to PwC in 2009 and made partner in 2017. Based in Glasgow, Robin is a consulting partner focused on financial services, and he leads PwC’s UK Oracle practice. He takes over from Kenny Wilson, who has been Glasgow Office Senior Partner since December 2016. Kenny will continue to focus on his role within the Audit business and a member of PwC’s Supervisory Board.

L-R Robin McBurnie and Matthew Hall

Claire Reid, Regional Leader for PwC Scotland, commented:

“I’m delighted to welcome Jason and Paul to the partnership, while Matthew and Robin bring enormous experience to their new roles as Office Senior Partners for Edinburgh and Glasgow. The last few months have been incredibly challenging but as we begin to think about the future, I’m confident that the leadership team in Scotland is perfectly placed to work with our clients to help the Scottish economy recover.

“Mark has been Edinburgh OSP for more than six years and has done a fantastic job. Mark led our Edinburgh office in our move to Atria One in March 2014 and has grown the office from 360 people to more than 500 people during his tenure. In Glasgow, Kenny has seen staff at our Bothwell St office grow to more than 400 and he has been a warm, welcoming and supportive leader who has always kept the interests of all our Glasgow staff at heart.”

“Jason and Paul join the partnership at a hugely important time for our business and our economy. While it’s been a challenging few months for everyone, it remains important to plan for the future and invest in our firm. Ensuring we continue to develop future leadership demonstrates we’re confident about the future and we are ready to support our clients.”

“I’m also delighted to welcome Marianne to the firm. Her track record in supporting business through the use of new technology is exemplary and a perfect fit for PwC’s purpose of using technology to solve important problems. While in Aberdeen, Mairi’s sterling work over a number years has been a constant and it’s great to see her in this new role, where her experience and in-depth knowledge will come to the fore.”

Matthew Hall said:

“I’m delighted to be moving back to Edinburgh and joining the PwC team in Scotland. Edinburgh has always been special to me – I met my wife Fiona here at university, and I’m excited about this opportunity to lead PwC’s office and being a part of the wider community.

“The last few months have clearly been a challenging time for business and society as a whole, and I will be focussed on how PwC continues to support our people, our clients and our community.”

Robin McBurnie commented:

“As a proud and life-long citizen of Glasgow, I am delighted to take on the position of Office Senior Partner, taking over from Kenny Wilson who has represented PwC fantastically in this role over the last few years.

“Citizens of every city around the globe have been affected either directly or indirectly by the impact of COVID-19 and while the safety and well-being of our people remains a priority, we are very much looking forward to a safe return to the Glasgow office at the right time.”

The addition of Jason Higgs and Paul Cheshire takes the number of Scottish partners to 31. Jason becomes a partner in the Deals practice, having relocated to Edinburgh from London in 2019. His technical work has come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen him focus on supporting clients through raising funds and helping them plan for the future in an uncertain time. Jason has broad sector experience, including oil and gas, banking, retail, construction, business services and aviation.

Jason commented:

“I’m thrilled to be joining the partnership and never envisaged that I would do so at such a crucial juncture for Scottish business. Since the beginning of my career with PwC in private business, I have built a wide variety of technical and leadership experiences both in the UK and internationally and I’m looking forward to working with Scottish businesses to help the country emerge from the pandemic in a strong position.”

Paul Cheshire joined PwC straight from University in 2004. Upon qualifying as a Chartered Accountant he spent three years on secondment in PwC’s Auckland office in New Zealand before returning to Edinburgh in 2011. In his new role, Paul will be responsible for growing the PwC Scotland external audit practice, where he already leads a portfolio of well-known Scottish clients. His role will also include delivering audits of private and listed businesses across Scotland.

Paul commented:

“Throughout my career I have been focused on external audit, most recently leading the PwC Scotland Private Business audit team focusing on family businesses, private businesses and private equity backed businesses.

“I have worked with clients ranging from the small to the very large across a number of industries and sectors including food and drink, technology, manufacturing, infrastructure and hospitality and leisure. And I look forward to continuing these relationships, and making new ones, at such a critical time for businesses in Scotland. I am incredibly proud to be joining the partnership and to be an Audit Partner at a time when the role of audit is more important than ever.”

In Aberdeen, Mairi Massey has been appointed head of tax in the firm’s Energy Centre of Excellence. With nearly 25 years’ experience in corporate tax, Mairi has worked with clients across the oil and gas and renewables space, including M&A transactions.

Mairi commented:

“The energy environment is changing rapidly as companies work towards zero carbon, and society demands alternatives to fossil fuel. At PwC, we are helping clients navigate energy transition, which presents opportunities as well as challenges both for our client base and their investors.

“I am very proud of the team here in Aberdeen, and the flexibility and agility they demonstrate  in responding to this new environment.”

Kevin Reynard, Aberdeen Office Senior Partner, said:

“We have a very close-knit team here in Aberdeen, with an obvious focus on the energy sector, and Mairi is a well-liked and respected member of the senior team here. She has been leading the Aberdeen tax team with a great blend of market focus, pastoral care and working across the entire office for some time now so I am delighted that this has been recognised.”

Marianne Breen-Hart has been recruited in PwC’s Technology, Data & Analytics practice. She has spent her career working across large global engagements and complex strategic projects. She is passionate about how technology is being applied to change the way we live and work. Last year she was named among 15 ‘Women of the Future’, leading in Technology and Digital. Marianne has also taken up the position as political liaison lead for Scotland and will work to support Government and Public service engagements across the region.

Marianne commented:

“ I look forward to building the PwC capability in Scotland and I am incredibly fortunate to be joining such a high performing team as we work collaboratively towards building trust in society and solving important problems. I am extremely proud to be part of an organisation that puts diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do both internally and in partnership with our clients, I am committed to supporting initiatives relating to social mobility and promoting technology careers to younger generations via our TechSheCan charter.

“With Scotland’s digital technology sector established as one of the fast growing industries, contributing £4.9 billion to the Scottish economy and supporting 100,000 jobs, PwC is well positioned to support clients across Scotland to optimise on the power of technology and ways to innovate in the competitive global marketplace.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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