Deloitte names David Sproul as chief executive

BIG four accountant Deloitte named the head of its tax practice, David Sproul, as successor to its UK chief executive John Connelly yesterday.

The news confirms City A.M.’s November report that Sproul was the preferred of two candidates for the position, alongside executive committee member Martin Eadon.

Sproul, who joined Deloitte UK in 2002 from a managing partner role at Arthur Andersen, will become chief executive in June next year.

Connelly said Sproul had “excelled in a range of leadership roles”.

“Our partners have elected David with a massive show of support,” he said.

Sproul, who currently also heads Deloitte’s EMEA tax practice, said the promotion was a “privilege”.

He would focus the firm on “taking a lead in responding to the Government’s growth and competitiveness agenda for the UK” as well as its client service, he said.

Connelly steps down in May 2011 when he turns 60, after more than a decade as chief executive.

He has tripled the firm’s profits since becoming chief executive in 1998 and is credited with growing Deloitte into the UK’s second-biggest professional services firm, after PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

DAVID SPROUL

HEAD OF TAX

DELOITTE UK

DAVID Sproul, 51, has 25 years’ experience in tax advice and almost 20 as a tax partner, specialising in advising international real estate and private equity clients.

He joined Deloitte UK eight years ago as managing partner for consulting and advisory services, following the firm’s takeover of the UK operations of troubled US accountant Arthur Andersen.

At Deloitte UK he worked as head of talent before being appointed UK head of tax in 2006 and then managing partner for tax in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In his role as head of tax for the EMEA region, Sproul helped launch an international tax centre of excellence in Dubai last year.

He is also a member of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu executive.

Sproul spent the majority of his career at Arthur Andersen, where he led its UK corporate
tax practice before becoming its UK managing partner for operations and the firm’s second in command.

His career started at a small accountancy firm, Hays Allan, where he worked for four years before joining Arthur Andersen.

As chief executive, he is expected to focus on developing the firm’s talent and its strategy to compete globally.