Al Vetch - Military Profile Article (2)

After serving in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia Al wanted to work in a challenging and dynamic business environment.


I joined the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, a main battle tank regiment, in 1991. Based in Germany, I was a troop leader, Squadron 2ic and then Operations Officer on operational tours prior to taking up my final post on the staff of 3rd (UK) Division.

After the Army

With the safety net of a place at Staff College I decided to leave the Army to pursue a career in management consultancy. I very deliberately picked this profession as it offered a fast-paced, intellectually challenging work environment where I could meet and work alongside a real mix of people and experiences. I wanted to build a second career in an organisation which would push and develop me and that shared similar ideals and values. My first consultancy role was with a global defence company bidding for a major MOD contract. The environment and subject matter was familiar and provided for a ‘soft’ landing in Civvie Street. Following this I worked for a number of other consultancies primarily focused on transformation programmes in the public sector where I was able to hone my programme management and business management skills. In 2010, I chose a role with EY over other offers from Big 4 firms because EY could provide the best balance of interesting projects to work on, a great learning experience, access to senior level decision makers and above all a more entrepreneurial environment within which to genuinely contribute to the growth of the business.

The role

I am currently the Client Services Director for the Ministry of Justice where I lead both the sales and delivery of our Advisory engagements. The sector where I focus is a fascinating place to work with the ever-present challenge of delivering effective public protection services for less money. I also define and deliver the learning and development strategy for EY’s programme management professionals around the world. My Army experiences are fundamental to the successes I have made in my civilian career and are in use on a daily basis, especially, my strong work ethos and commitment to deliver, the ability to engage with a diverse mix of people, the ability to analyse problems and present well-reasoned solutions to senior individuals. Clients are often fascinated and intrigued by a life in the military; it has real kudos and is very highly regarded.