PwC Scotland names Reid as first female leader

PwC has named Glasgow-born Claire Reid as leader of its Scottish operations, unveiling a change at the helm as it refocuses its technology offering.

Reid has a strong background in technology and has spent two years in Silicon Valley and a further ten in London. Picture: Peter Devlin

Reid will take up the mantle of regional leader in Scotland for the Big Four accounting group, becoming the first woman to occupy the role and replacing Lindsay Gardiner, who is stepping down after seven years in the position.

After joining the firm's Glasgow office in 1998, Reid rose through the ranks to hold the title of head of assurance at PwC until 1 July, while also leading its technology risk practice across the UK.

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Her appointment comes as the group aims to significantly increase its investment in using data and cyber security to serve its clients.

Reid has a strong background in technology and has spent two years in Silicon Valley and a further ten in London.

An international business and modern languages graduate from the University of Strathclyde, she worked with a number of high-profile technology clients during her time in California.

When she returned to the UK, she was based in London, tasked with establishing and developing PwC’s Oracle assurance business, before building the firm’s fledgling cyber security business.

She returned to Scotland in 2016 to take up the role as head of assurance, where she has overseen a growth in risk assurance services, including cyber security, data and analytics and operational resilience.

As part of the change in leadership, Gardiner will continue within the firm’s audit business as a member of its UK audit executive and as an audit partner for a wide range of clients.

Reid said: “It’s great to be back home in Scotland, working with local organisations and supporting them to prosper and grow across the region.

“Scotland has a dynamic and thriving economy with lots of great opportunity for business, our communities and the people of Scotland. With my background in technology and digital change, I look forward to bringing continued energy and focus to this topic for our region.

“Lindsay has been an inspiring leader and I have learned much from him since I returned to Scotland in 2016. He has overseen a period of huge change for our business here - one which has grown into a truly progressive and tech-enabled firm with diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do.”

Gardiner added: “Leading our wider team in Scotland for the last seven years has been a privilege and great fun. A lot has changed in that time, both in the way we deliver services for our clients, and in the firm itself.

"We now work, in some respects, for the majority of listed companies based in Scotland, have developed our oil and gas and financial services centres of excellence and significantly grown our services to locally-based private organisations and across the public sector. We now have more than 900 staff in Scotland and we have opened our new offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

“I am really proud of the diversity of skills and talent that we now have particularly in technology industries, including the launch of our data degrees, and I am sure we will continue to see this develop strongly under Claire’s leadership.”