Grant Thornton Announces First COO, Other Leadership Changes

Grant Thornton Announces First COO, Other Leadership Changes

Chicago-based Grant Thornton (FY18 net revenue of $1.87 billion) has named Jim Peko as its first chief operating officer (COO) and David Hazels is taking the helm of its advisory services practice.

Renato Zanichelli will lead its tax services practice. The firm has also tapped Jamie Fowler for a new leadership role steering its transformation initiatives. Additionally, the firm selected Nichole Jordan as the new leader for its Central region.

As national MP of advisory services, Hazels will oversee the strategic direction and operations for a range of service areas – from growth and operations to risk and diligence, as well as public-sector capabilities. Hazels joined Grant Thornton in 2002 and most recently served as the firm’s national MP of risk services.

“David brings a broad and varied background to a highly dynamic business,” says CEO Brad Preber. “He has the acumen, prescience and leadership skills we need to meet fluid client needs in the decade ahead.”

In assuming his new post, Hazels frees his predecessor – Peko – to become Grant Thornton’s COO. Peko will work directly with Preber to drive the firm’s performance across all its service lines and help clients meet changing audit, tax and advisory needs.

“Jim’s track-record of smart decisions across our firm will give him the perspective needed to make critical operational choices for both today and tomorrow. He is the perfect fit for this role,” says Preber.

Peko joined the firm in 2006 and has nearly 30 years of experience. He has served as a member of the firm’s partnership board and held numerous leadership roles.

Zanichelli will assume the role of national managing partner of tax services. He joined the firm in 1994 and most recently served as national MP of tax reporting and advisory. Zanichelli succeeds Fowler in his new role, allowing her to become the firm’s first national MP for transformation. In her new role, Fowler will lead Grant Thornton in creating new products and services for its clients, while also steering the firm’s own technology infrastructure and internal transformation efforts. Fowler has held a number of leadership roles at Grant Thornton since joining the firm in 2003, including MP of the Atlantic Coast region.

Jordan will take over as regional MP of Grant Thornton’s Central region. She has held a number of leadership roles at Grant Thornton since joining the firm in 2003. She most recently served as Grant Thornton’s national MP of markets, clients and industry. Jordan takes over the Central region role from Wally Gruenes, who will retire in August 2020.

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