EY fights to save plan to split business in two

EY chief executive Carmine Di Sibio has sought to reassure staff that a planned split of its audit and advisory arms will happen after the head of the business in the US told partners the deal was on pause and needed to be reworked.

In a message to staff on Thursday morning, seen by the Financial Times, the firm’s global head said its leaders would spend the “next few weeks” trying to resolve the impasse and that he had a “high degree of confidence” the plan would go ahead.

The planned break-up, known as Project Everest, was thrown into chaos on Wednesday when Julie Boland, head of the US business, told partners the deal was being put on hold to resolve differences between the two sides over how much of the tax practice should remain with the audit business.

Di Sibio said in his message on Thursday that EY had already “made significant progress on many aspects of this transaction and [is] now focused on resolving a few remaining issues so that we can move forward”. 

“Over the next few weeks we will engage on a global basis and make any needed adjustments to the shape of this transaction to move forward,” he said. “We have a high degree of confidence that we will accomplish this.” 

“We will update you when further information is available,” Di Sibio added, asking that staff “remain focused on winning in the market and supporting clients”. 

EY declined to comment.

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