Deborah Ricci joins PwC Public Sector as CFO

17 July 2018 3 min. read

PwC Public Sector, which was recently sold to Veritas Capital, has appointed Deborah Ricci as its new CFO. Ricci brings with her a strong track record as the chief financial officer of a number of security and defense firms.

Earlier this year in May, PwC sold off its Public Sector consulting practice to private equity firm Veritas Capital. There is growing concern over conflicts of interest in having Big Four firms concurrently perform audit and consulting work for organizations, a practice legally barred in the US by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but technically allowed outside of the country. In the wake of the Enron scandal which broke up the firm’s conflicted auditor and consultant Arthur Andersen, PwC, KPMG, and EY sold off their consulting arms. Since then, however, the firms have rebuilt their consulting divisions under the guise of ‘advisory’ work, with non-audit work now accounting for most of the firms’ annual revenues.

However, PwC sold off its Public Sector consulting practice in May in order to have a freer hand in pursuing the growing business of auditing government agencies, which would be deterred by the appearance of conflicts of interest. The firm apparently saw greater growth opportunities in public sector audit, while keeping its consulting arm was more potential regulatory trouble than it was worth. The Public Sector practice, which has about 1,500 staff and generated $451 million in revenues in 2016, was sold to Veritas Capital, which primarily invests in firms providing tech-enabled solutions to government clients.

The Veritas-owned standalone company provides strategic consulting advice to public sector clients, including the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of State, as well as state and local governments.Deborah Ricci joins PwC Public Sector as CFOThe recently divested PwC division has now appointed a new CFO – Deborah Ricci. The seasoned executive will bring 25 years of experience in defense, tech, and manufacturing organizations to her new role as PwC Public Sector CFO – wherein she will direct financial strategy and the financial operations of the practice.

"Deborah's leadership and experience make her a tremendous strategic partner to our new business and to our leadership team as we rebrand and continue to grow," commented Scott McIntyre, Chief Executive Officer of PwC Public Sector. "With a strong track record of helping businesses thrive, her leadership style is a perfect fit for our organization. We are delighted to welcome her to the new business."

Ricci has deep expertise in the areas of finance management, accounting IT, HR, contracts, and pricing. Prior to joining PwC, Ricci was CFO of Centerra Group, a leading provider of security and fire support services to government and commercial clients. Before that, she was CFO of counterterrorism firm A-T Solutions, where she helped facilitate the firm’s sale to PAE, a large government contractor. Before that, Ricci served as CFO at security and defense firm Allied Defense Group.

"This is an exciting time to join the practice. I look forward to leading a strong and talented finance team that is well-positioned to continue on its trajectory of growth," said Ricci.

Ricci’s accolades include being named CFO of the Year for mid-sized companies by the Washington Business Journal, which she earned while at A-T Solutions. She holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bentley University.