AAB chief executive Graeme Allan is moving to an “exciting new role”, making way for a new CEO, the Aberdeen-based accountancy group announced today.
The firm said Emma Lancaster, who joined the firm yesterday, will take up the reins on December 1.
Mr Allan has been at AAB for more than 16 years. He will remain part of the boardroom team as an executive director, focusing on strategic partnerships and mergers & acquisitions activity.
From zoology to accounting
Ms Lancaster, 54, graduated from Oxford University with a degree in zoology in 1990.
She swiftly moved into a career in accountancy and was part of the global corporate finance team at Arthur Andersen & Co for nine years.
Later roles include spells as director of finance and business development at gambling giant Rank Group, and chief fiancial officer at workfrce data specialist SHL.
More recently she was CFO, chief executive and then non-executive director at Study Group, a leading provider of international education. She is now an honorary member of PepTalks, a peer-to-peer training provider for private equity backed CEOs and their management teams.
ABB’s new boss to lead the business from London
The qualified accountant will be based in AAB’s London office after she takes up her new role.
AAB, which has about 1,000 staff, including 79 partners across offices in Scotland, England, Ireland and the US, said she would have an active presence across all its locations.
Mr Allan, 52, said Ms Lancaster’s experience and “people-centric focus” made her the perfect choice for AAB.
Helping to build the group with such talented people is something I’m very proud of.”
Graeme Allan, outgoing CEO, AAB
He added: “Her diverse background and experience in driving growth will strengthen the senior leadership team. Emma is completely aligned with our number one value that ‘nothing is more important than our people’. I’m looking forward to working with Emma in the next phase of our exciting growth journey.
“Helping to build the group with such talented people is something I’m very proud of and look forward to continuing in my new role.”
Ms Lancaster said: “As we continue to expand there will be endless opportunities for the businesses and individuals we work with, as well as for our fantastic team delivering those services across the globe.”
AAB was founded in 1990 by retired senior partner Mike Brown and two former Ernst & Young colleagues, Bobby Anderson and Sheena Anderson.
It is now owned by London-based August Equity, which took a majority stake in 2021.
Since the investment, AAB – formerly Anderson Anderson & Brown – has completed nine acquisitions.
AAB Group has never been a more attractive platform for investment.”
August Equity partner Kishan Chotai said: “Graeme has done an exceptional job leading the team since 2015 and we would not be where we are today without his strategic vision.
“AAB Group has never been a more attractive platform for investment, and our organic and acquisitive growth journey is set to continue in 2024.”