Jhonston Carmichael has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of an internal audit and controls assurance partner.

Si Mathavan, who will be based in Johnston Carmichael’s growing London practice brings 17 years of experience to the role.

Most recently a director in the Assurance Team at a Big Four firm, Si will focus on expanding the firm’s specialist financial services offering. He has extensive experience of working with wealth and asset managers, banks, transfer agents and consumer credit firms.

He has also worked across many non-financial service clients, having delivered engagements for numerous firms across a variety of industries including mining, energy production, professional services and media.

The role of internal audit, which provides organisations with insight into the effectiveness of their risk management and internal control procedures, has become increasingly important as businesses grapple with uncertainties including the pandemic and climate change. However, internal audit also enables businesses to understand and take advantage of the opportunities presented by change.

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Si’s remit will also include consideration of regulation that will impact firms in the financial services industry and supporting firms to comply with their ESG requirements.

An initial priority will be to help businesses prepare for the introduction of the Financial Conduct Authority’s new Consumer Duty rules. The framework, which is being established to boost consumer protection, will require financial services institutions to provide retail customers with easy-to-understand information, fit-for-purpose products and services, and helpful customer support.

Graham Marjoribanks, Partner and Head of Audit at Johnston Carmichael, said: “Attracting an internal audit professional of Si’s calibre and experience is a fantastic boost for the firm. With a keen focus on financial services but experience of working with a variety of industries his insight and knowledge will be an incredible resource for our clients.

“Internal audit has been growing in profile and there is increasing demand for this crucial discipline, which enables businesses to manage and anticipate risk, as well as be more agile in enacting improvement. The pandemic, climate change, supply chain issues and cyber security are among the many challenges that businesses face, but they can also be opportunities. Our support will ensure businesses have the data and advice they need to respond appropriately.”

Si Mathavan said: “After many years of working in big teams, I am excited at the prospect of growing Johnston Carmichael’s internal audit and controls assurance offering. I’ve been hugely impressed by the quality of the firm’s people and its vibrant culture, which is attracting a healthy talent pipeline.

“At its simplest, internal audit is about making sure businesses are doing what they are supposed to do. But as the business community adopts new forms of hybrid working it is essential to keep tabs on systems and controls, especially in financial services where massive programmes are underway as part of regulatory change.

“Ensuring appropriate ESG and corporate governance arrangements are in place will also be increasingly important as new regulations are introduced.”