Singapore-based independent directors join Grant Thornton board

01 August 2019 Consultancy.asia

Global professional services firm Grant Thornton International has welcomed two new independent members to its board; Aliza Knox and Martin Geh.

International accounting and advisory network Grant Thornton – now the world’s sixth largest organisation of its kind, (thanks in part to a near 19 percent rise in Asia Pacific revenues last year) – has added two new independent directors to its board, with both being based in Singapore; Aliza Knox, head of the Asia Pacific at cloud network platform Cloudflare, and Martin Geh, managing director for hardware at Google APAC.

The two Singapore-based board additions follow the appointment of Jeff Vibert as the new CEO of Grant Thornton in Singapore, with the firm reporting a ‘significant’ investment had been made into the branch from its UK and Thai counterparts. According to the Grant Thornton, the latest appointments will increase regional diversity on its board, with Singapore cited as one of the firm’s ‘strategic cities’ under its Strategic Growth Market programme.

“With transforming our technology being one of our key strategic drivers, I can think of no one better to help shape our thinking, challenge us and drive better outcomes for our clients and our network,” said Grant Thornton CEO Peter Bodin. “Aliza and Martin also bring a wealth of experience from the Asia Pacific region, which is home to several of our strategic growth markets. I would like to welcome them both to the board and we look forward to working with them.”

Aliza Knox and Martin Geh - Grant Thornton

Joining the board last month, Knox kicked off her career at Boston Consulting Group, where, responsible for its Asian Financial Services, she spent 12 years between Singapore and Sydney before departing in 1999. Later she spent more than five years each at Visa (as a Senior Vice President) and Google, the latter where she served as Managing Director for Online Sales and then Commerce in its Asia Pacific market.

More recently, Knox launched Twitter’s Singapore office and APAC headquarters and led the social media giant’s local and Latin American sales team, before spending a brief period as the Chief Operating Officer at Unlockd. She ultimately joined Cloudfare at the beginning of last year, and serves or has served on numerous boards, including, most recently, as an advisor to ANZ and allrites.com, and as a non-executive director for Singapore Post.

Meanwhile, Geh, who joined Knox and fellow independent director Judith Sprieser on the Grant Thornton board of 17 this month, has been with Google for the past five years, prior to which he spent eight years as a managing director at Logitech Asia Pacific and six years between Lucent and Apple, as respectively President and Vice President for the Asia Pacific. Earlier in his career, from 1987, Geh served for 13 years in area of regional sales at Intel.

“Martin and Aliza will bring creativity and insights from outside the profession and provide a constructive challenge to the board,” said Scott Barnes, current chair of the board, which the firm describes as principal and overriding authority in Grant Thornton. “With the pace of change facing our industry we cannot afford to be complacent or pretend that we have all the answers ourselves. I look forward to the added stimulus these appointments will bring to our decision making.”