Grant Thornton shuffles leadership positions following CEO appointment

03 January 2020 Consulting.us

Accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton LLP has made a number of changes to its executive ranks following the appointment of Bradley Preber as CEO two months ago. Jim Peko takes on the role of chief operating officer; David Hazels becomes leader of advisory services; Renato Zanichelli becomes leader of tax services; Jamie Fowler ascends to the newly created position of national leader for transformation; and Nichole Jordan takes on the role of leader for the Central region.

Jim Peko, who was appointed the head of advisory services earlier this year, will move on to the COO role, working with new CEO Bradley Preber to drive performance across service lines while supporting changing client needs.

Peko has nearly 30 years of experience in financial advisory services, with a focus on performance improvement and sustainable value creation. He joined Grant Thornton in 2006, and before serving as advisory services leader, Peko was national managing principal of the transaction services practice, guiding clients across M&A, integrations and separations, valuations, and restructurings.

Earlier in his career, Peko was a director at Navigant, a senior manager at Deloitte, and a director at EY. He has an MBA in finance from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from St. Peter’s College.

Grant Thornton shuffles leadership positions following CEO appointment

David Hazels becomes the new national managing partner for advisory services, overseeing strategy and ops for service areas ranging from growth to risk and diligence. Hazels has more than 25 years of public accounting and consulting experience. 

He previously led the firm’s risk services practice, and before that was Central region advisory practice leader. Hazels joined the firm in 2002 as a senior manager, having previously been a manager at KPMG and Arthur Andersen. He has an MBA from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from William Jewell College.

Jamie Fowler, who has served as leader of tax services for the past two years, will become the firm’s first national managing partner for transformation. Fowler will lead the creation of new products and services for clients, while guiding Grant Thornton’s internal tech infrastructure and internal transformation efforts.

Fowler also previously served as managing partner of the Atlantic Coast region, and as Northeast regional managing tax partner. She joined the firm in 2003 from KPMG, where she was a partner and leader of the transportation industry practice. Fowler has an MS in accounting from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ouachita Baptist University.

Renato Zanichelli succeeds Fowler as head of tax services, overseeing growth and operational matters for the service line. He brings more than 25 years of public accounting and industry experience, having joined Grant Thornton in 1994. Zanichelli previously was national managing partner of tax reporting & advisory services. He has a master’s degree in taxation from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from DePaul University.

Nichole Jordan takes over as regional managing partner of the Central region – which includes Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas – overseeing thousands of accountants and consultants. She succeeds Wally Gruenes, who is retiring in 2020 following a long career at the firm.

Jordan previously was national managing partner of markets, clients and industry, overseeing a strategic portfolio of more than 1,000 client relationships, industry, regions, sales, market intelligence, and analytics. Before that, she was leader of the banking and securities industry practice, and leader of the financial services industry in the Central region.

Jordan joined the firm in 2003, having previously worked at Arthur Andersen. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.


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