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Deloitte UK & North and South Europe (NSE) has appointed Sir Hugh Robertson and Elisabeth Stheeman as independent non-executives (INEs), further strengthening the firm’s governance and oversight of its audit business. Sir Hugh has already started in the role, with Elisabeth due to start in mid-May.

Both INEs bring significant experience to their roles. Sir Hugh is Chair of Birmingham Airport and the British Olympic Association, and was the first independent Chair of Camelot, operator of the National Lottery. He served as Minister for Sport and The Olympics from 2010 to 2013 – with responsibility for overseeing the London 2012 Olympic Games – and as Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa from 2013 to 2014.

Elisabeth has a wide-ranging portfolio of non-executive roles including Chair of Edinburgh Investment Trust plc, non-executive director at W. P. Carey Inc. and an external member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). She was previously an external member of the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, the Bank’s Financial Market Infrastructure Board and Senior Advisor to the Prudential Regulation Authority. She has also recently been appointed to the board of M&G plc and will be a member of the Audit and the Risk Committees, effective from August 2024.

Sir Hugh and Elisabeth will join Deloitte’s NSE Board and the Deloitte UK Oversight Board (UKOB), as well as its Audit Governance Board (AGB). The NSE Board is the primary governance body for the whole of Deloitte NSE, responsible for ensuring high quality governance and stewardship of NSE. The UK Oversight Board (UKOB) oversees how Deloitte meets regulatory and legal responsibilities in the UK, including the requirements of the Audit Firm Governance Code. The AGB has responsibility for providing independent oversight of Deloitte’s ring-fenced UK Audit & Assurance business, which was operationally separated in 2021, in advance of the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) deadline in 2024.

Richard Houston, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK and Deloitte NSE, said: “I am delighted that Sir Hugh and Elisabeth have joined the firm as independent non-executives. INEs provide invaluable independent oversight and challenge, and both Sir Hugh and Elisabeth bring significant and diverse experience to the role.”

Paul Stephenson, managing partner for Audit & Assurance at Deloitte UK, said: “Despite ongoing delays to the wider package of audit and corporate governance reform, we remain fully committed to playing our part in delivering change that embraces audit quality, improves choice and restores trust in the profession. We were the first firm to move ahead with operational separation in 2021, and our INEs play a key role not only in ensuring the regulator’s principles are met, but also in holding the firm to account where it matters most.”

Sir Hugh Robertson said: “I am delighted to be joining the firm as an independent non-executive. At a time of change for the audit profession, I am hugely looking forward to bringing my experience and insights to Deloitte as it addresses the challenges ahead.”

Elisabeth Stheeman said: “I have come across Deloitte at various points throughout my career and I am pleased to have the opportunity to play an important role in further strengthening their governance structure as an independent non-executive director from mid-May. I look forward to bringing my substantial international experience and governance perspectives to Deloitte’s businesses in the UK and North and South Europe.”

Sir Hugh and Elisabeth join three existing INEs on Deloitte’s UK governance bodies, Shirley Garrood, Jim Coyle and Almira Delibegovic-Broome KC. Their appointments follow the departure of Baroness Ford, who stepped down from her position in October 2023 to join Gatwick Airport as its Chair.