Sacha Ramanovitch OBE – Former CEO, Grant Thornton

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As the first woman to lead a major accounting firm, Sacha sought to transform a company and an industry that was often resistant to change.

By focusing on Grant Thornton’s people and what they could offer, the culture became a more inclusive, supportive and innovative one.

Incorporating lessons in leadership, change, resilience and diversity, Sacha examines what underpins an organisation, what its values are, and how understanding these elements can make it fit for the future.

Organisational Culture Expertise

As a Partner and later as CEO, Sacha sought to break down barriers in an organisation, and the wider professional services sector, that often resisted change.

Key to her work was understanding the values and purpose of a business and its people, and their place in the wider context of society.

By engaging with everyone and offering them the chance to develop, even those who are apparently closed to change can be persuaded.With a focus on changing processes and systems, Sacha’s leadership saw Grant Thornton embrace a culture of shared enterprise and profit with purpose.

The company reduced its focus on the academic achievements of new applicants, focusing more on what they have to offer.

The policy encouraged greater diversity and helped to create a more open, innovative and positive culture. In the final year of her term as CEO Sacha was ranked in the top 50 CEOs in the Glassdoor index (two places behind Apple’s Tim Cook) with a 94% employee approval rating.

The company also won many awards including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and was ranked number one on the Social Mobility Index of all businesses in the UK.Drawing on her experience and research into people, change and leadership, as well as time with clients and policy-makers, Sacha considers how companies can be robust, sustainable and fit for the future.

She looks at how they implement strategies, how they develop new leaders, and how they can make a positive contribution to the world.

Sacha now serves as CEO of Fair4All Finance, an organisation that seeks to improve the financial wellbeing and security of vulnerable people.

She is also co-chair of the Inclusive Economy Partnership, a Government-convened Partnership that focuses on the areas of mental health, transition to work, and financial inclusion, and seeks to brings together business, society and politicians to engender change.

She is also on the board of London and Partners, which works with the Mayor of London’s office to promote London internationally.

She has also been a part of official reviews and reports into areas including diversity, social mobility and a range of issues affecting the auditing industry.