EY Germany cleans up after Wirecard scandal

Dhe consulting and auditing company EY will get a new head after the scandal surrounding the insolvent payment service provider Wirecard, be more closely integrated into the international EY organization and get an independent expert commission under the leadership of the former Federal Minister of Finance Theo Waigel, which will gain public confidence in EY should strengthen. The Supervisory Board, chaired by Count Georg Waldersee, decided on these measures.

Georg Giersberg

Editor in business, responsible for “The Business Economist”.

Hubert Barth, who has been in office since 2016, will take on a role in the newly founded regional administration Europe West at EY by July 1 at the latest. It is said that what function he will have there has not yet been clarified. The leadership of the new regional organization will be taken over by a Dutchman.

Henrik Ahlers succeeds him in his role as head of Germany. Ahlers has previously headed EY’s tax consultancy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He is supported by the Frenchman Jean-Yves Jégourel, so far EY’s highest quality representative. No further personal details had been decided. However, it cannot be ruled out that the new dual leadership will make further personnel changes and that further managers will move from the German headquarters to the Western European headquarters. The Supervisory Board emphasizes that it has great confidence in the people involved and that they will therefore not be dismissed.

Three pillars

However, it is important to restore trust that has been lost in the public and especially among customers. Two other measures should also contribute to this. A Trust in Quality program was launched especially for Germany. In the words of Julie Teigland, Chair of the higher-level regional organization EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, Africa), there are three pillars: On the one hand, the “critical attitude” of the auditors should be implemented in their work in a sustainable manner. Second, it is about creating structures that help avoid cases like Wirecard. This includes better training in forensics, i.e. in recognizing fraudulent activities. Thirdly, management is to be improved within the Trust in Quality program.


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