DELOITTE has appointed Ruth Markland as an independent non-executive director.
Markland, who will join the Big Four firm in June, is a senior independent director at Standard Chartered and Sage Group. She is also a member of Arcadis’s supervisory board and chair of its remuneration committee.
Having worked at Magic Circle law firm Freshfields since 1977, she was its Hong Kong-based managing partner for its Asia operations between 1996 and 2003.
Deloitte’s independent non-executives serve on the main board of partners for the UK firm, as well as the firm’s public interest oversight committee.
She succeeds Dame DeAnne Julius, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee, who took up the same role in July 2011. Sir Gerry Grimstone, chairman of insurance giant Standard Life and Old Etonian Sir Michael Peat, the former KPMG partner who worked for The Queen and Prince Charles between 1993 and 2011, are continuing into a second term in their roles.
Markland is one of a trio of three senior Standard Chartered directors stepping down, following a root and branch management overhaul, first announced in February.
David Cruickshank, chairman of Deloitte UK, said: “We welcomed our first independent non-executive to our board in 2011. Since then they have made a significant contribution to our board’s deliberations and decision-making, not only in relation to the public interest aspects of our firm’s activities but also more generally on business and strategic issues.
“We are delighted to welcome Ruth to our firm. She brings a wealth of experience in so many areas that will be very valuable to us and to our wider stakeholders.”
Martha Harvey-Jones, a director at executive search firm, Leathwaite, said: “Regardless of the circumstances of her move, Ruth Markland’s appointment at Deloitte is also interesting as it is part of a marked trend of high-profile female appointments at the board level within the big four accountancy firms.
These traditional firms are making a significant effort to bring diversity at board level. It also demonstrates the current appetite of many of the large financial services firms to shake their reputation for entrenched boards, by increasing the rotation of their non-executives.
Deloitte’s US arm recently appointed its first female chief executive – Cathy Englebert – who takes over from interim Frank Friedman.