Fast-track your career in FS Tax with EY Birmingham
“This is a growing business, everyone's going to have the opportunity to put their mark on it and contribute to its success.”
Head of Financial Services, Amit Thaker, is talking about his team at EY Birmingham. There are new financial services (FS) tax career opportunities available in the Midlands as EY looks to triple the size of its FS practice here by 2020.
“It’s a really exciting time for financial services in the Midlands as the sector continues to experience rapid growth, “Amit explains. “Birmingham and the wider Midlands region has a rich financial services heritage which is seeing a resurgence; both in terms of the growing number of global FS organisations with operations in this region as well as those headquartered here. This in turn is creating a much greater need for EY to have a local capability to service those clients.”
Opportunities to build a financial services career outside of London
Amit has moved from London to head up the team in Birmingham, continuing his EY journey. “I've been with EY for almost 12 years now,” he says.
“Starting out in 2006 as a Graduate in our Leeds office in a broad corporate tax accounting and tax compliance role, I qualified as a chartered accountant in 2009 and moved to London as a Manager in 2012 with an increasing focus on tax technology and tax performance improvement. More recently, I became a Director in 2016 within our Tax Technology and Transformation (TTT) practice and have a focus on customer and operational taxes.”
Amit explains his move to the Midlands wasn’t entirely unexpected, but that the growth of FS in the Midlands and EY’s UK FS Regional growth strategy were key contributing factors.
“There was always a plan in the back of my mind to go back to the Midlands, as both my wife and I are from the area” he explains. “But it was important that any such move would also provide the right business and career opportunities for me. Given the region’s growth prospects in financial services and the increasing focus we have as a UKFS business on building out our regional capabilities, it was pretty clear that there was a great opportunity here”.
Accelerated careers in financial services tax
It's an exciting time to join the team in Birmingham. EY's Financial Services growth plan for the Midlands includes more than tripling the size of the current business. Amit is looking forward to developing the business with a team of professionals who understand the critical role financial services play in our economy, society, and day-to-day lives.
“We are a fully dedicated financial services team in the Midlands, including Assurance and Advisory capabilities in addition to our specialist FS tax team,” says Amit. “Everyone who works with us in our tax team will get the opportunity to specialise in servicing FS organisations and develop a specialist focus in FS tax. This will not only involve working with our teams locally, but will also mean you will be a part of and have access to an FS network of over 30,000 people across the UK and globally.”
“We’ve got quite ambitious growth targets for the business. And wherever there’s an ambitious growth target in a thriving sector, there’s opportunity to grow and develop and, potentially, to do so on a more accelerated basis.
“I attribute a lot of my rapid progression to my early years in our Leeds office, which was of a comparative shape and size to where we are in the Midlands now. Starting out in a smaller team meant that I was exposed to some great opportunities to accelerate my development and progression, and really take ownership of client relationships across my portfolio.”
Big and small, all clients are within reach
“One of the great thing about Birmingham and the Midlands,” Amit continues, “is that alongside a number of global FS organisations, there's the opportunity to work with more locally based and regionally headquartered FS organisations.”
According to Amit, there can be a misconception that the quality and complexity of the work in a regional market is less than in a big financial centre like London. However, he is quick to dismiss this.
“From the perspective of the client, they expect the same exceptional standards of quality from us wherever we’re based,” he argues. “It’s our job to help solve complex challenges and for many clients these challenges are the same regardless of their location”.
Birmingham: the city, the culture, the changes
As this is a return to the Midlands for Amit, is there anything about Birmingham he wasn't expecting?
“It's changed beyond recognition! I grew up in Coventry and was always popping in and out of Birmingham with friends. And on joining EY, all of my tax training courses were run in Birmingham, so I was here a good amount of time for the first few years of my career and it felt like it hadn’t really moved on too much from when I was younger.
“But now, after being away for almost nine years, the transformation is quite impressive. You can see the extent of the commercial investment that’s been poured into the city and wider region. There’s an incredible amount of new commercial real estate in Birmingham, and the city centre really has been transformed through the development of new shopping centres, transport links and restaurants which all in all make it a great place to work and do business.”
Amit believes Birmingham's growth means it can rival London for career opportunities. “For a long time, particularly in FS, the focus was heavily on London for career and progression opportunities. But now I really do believe there are fantastic opportunities to build and grow financial services careers across the UK in line with the changing shape of the FS sector and our clients’ needs”.
To discover more about Amit's team, and how to grow your career in financial services tax in this exciting growth environment, see our range of opportunities available on our tax page: