EY Japan auditing branch elects Masami Katakura as first female chair

05 March 2019 Consultancy.asia 4 min. read

EY Japan member firm Ernst & Young ShinNihon has appointed Masami Katakura as its new chair, effective from the 1st of July.

Marking the first time a woman will hold the position, Masami Katakura has been elected to take over as the chair of EY Japan auditing practice Ernst & Young ShinNihon from the start of July, having been with the firm and its predecessor for nearly 30 years. According to a press statement, the appointment will be confirmed at a general meeting toward the end of this month.

Made a senior partner in 2011 and later promoted to managing director, Katakura first joined EY predecessor Ota Showa Audit Corporation in 1991 following the completion of her business administration studies at Tokyo’s prestigious Meiji University. She will now lead Japan’s largest accounting firm, with Ernst & Young ShinNihon being one of 13 member firms which make up EY Japan.

According to the firm, Katakura will be the first female chair of any “major or mid-sized audit corporation” in Japan – with EY’s global gender equality and advancement platform ‘Women. Fast forward’ offering congratulations to the local firm’s newly elected Chairman & CEO as the “first woman to hold such a leadership role in the country.” According to statistics from McKinsey, Japan significantly lags other nations in Asia as to female board-level representation.EY Japan auditing branch elects Masami Katakura as first female chairReports have further suggested that Katakura’s predecessor – current Chairman Koichi Tsuji – will go on to head up local umbrella EY Japan, which is set to be integrated with the Big Four firm’s Asia Pacific operations from the middle of this year – and led by current Asia-Pacific Area Managing Partner Patrick Winter, who took on the top role at the end of 2017. Tsuji has been country managing partner of EY since 2016, joining the firm a decade and a half ago.

Katakura’s promotion adds to a number of recent and coming leadership changes for EY around the world – most notably the election of Carmine Di Sibio to take over as global chairman and CEO when current head Mark Weinberger steps down at the beginning of July. Other announcements over the past month or so include the appointment of Bill Kanarick as EY Global Customer Leader, Kris Lovejoy as Global Cybersecurity Leader, Advisory, Andy Brogan as Oil & Gas Global Sector Leader, Tom Loozen as Global Telecommunications Lead, Barbara Angus as Global Tax Policy Leader, and Paul Mitchell as the firm’s new Global Mining and Metals Leader.

The latter appointment of Paul Mitchell comes via the firm’s Asia Pacific division, where Mitchell has served as Head of Asia Pacific Markets for Advisory Services and Global Mining & Metals Advisory Leader for close to the past nine years, originally joining EY as a partner and Head of Financial Services Advisory in its Sydney office in 2003 following a four-year stint as a partner at PwC.

“Paul has been at the epicenter of digital transformations in the mining and metals sector to help clients own their digital agenda across the value chain instead of point solutions and disconnected initiatives. Paul’s appointment comes at a truly exciting and challenging time for the sector, and he will continue supporting clients to excel in the fast-paced global landscape,” said Benoit Laclau, EY’s Global Energy Leader.