Ernst & Young says its partners across Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa have overwhelmingly approved the proposed integration of its country practices into a single EMEIA area effective from 1 July 2008.
The consulting firm said the new area will be a $11 billion entity with more than 60,000 people and 3,300 partners. It will operate as a single unit, under Mark Otty as area managing partner, and a single executive team.
Chairman and CEO Jim Turley said that feedback from clients across the globe, employees and regulators had been positive for the organization, and the profession as a whole.
Turley also said that together with the recent integration of E&Y's Far East practices, and that of teh practice in the Americas in 2006, this announcement differentiated the firm in the marketplace as the most globally integrated professional services firm.
Otty said that the integration was a significant step for Ernst & Young and the profession, adding, "Our people see the opportunities for them whilst our clients can see how this builds on the level of service we already provide"
Otty disclosed that European companies looking to expand their activities in emerging markets and new business giants from the Middle East, India, CIS and Africa seeking opportunities in developed markets would.
According to chief operating officer John Ferraro, given the scale and intensity of the process engaged in dialogue with its partners, whose votes were tabulated by an independent organisation.
Ferrao said partners in 86 of the 87 countries overwhelmingly approved the integration, while in Sweden, the country that did not vote for the integration, the firms partners were facing unique local issues and would vote on the EMEIA proposal in the coming months. "With this great support, we now will complete the process and begin operating EMEIA on 1 July."