People: Energy Assets Utilities, EY and more…

A lean process specialist whose career spans high level politics and leadership roles in the energy sector has joined Energy Assets Utilities (EAU), a utilities network construction business.

Karen Robinson has been appointed regional operations director at EAU’s Leeds office, having moved to the company from Northern Gas Networks, where amongst her achievements was the development and implementation of an award-winning customer service strategy.

Prior to entering the world of utilities, she worked in Westminster for two secretaries of state and in the Prime Minister’s office, then moved into the private sector, where her passion for lean process improvement, project management and customer service came to the fore.

She helped found and develop a stand-alone facilities management business for a multi-utility design company, before moving to Yorkshire Water as head of developer services and then onto Northern Gas Networks as head of connections.

Robinson said: “I wasn’t looking for a change, but what really came through when I started talking to Energy Assets Utilities was their passion and huge ambition for the business.

“There is a fantastic sense of teamwork within the company, and I am very much looking forward to applying my process management skills and customer service experience to help fulfil the Group’s exciting plans for the future.”

Craig Topley, Energy Assets Group managing director (construction), said: “As Britain moves towards a low carbon and decentralised energy system, there will be significant opportunities opening up for Energy Assets Utilities and we are delighted to be attracting people of the calibre of Karen to help turn our vision for the business into reality.”

EAU provides multi-utility connection services, comprising the design, construction and maintenance of gas, electricity, fibre and water networks across Britain for both residential and industrial and commercial developments.

In addition to Leeds, the company operates from centres in Sheffield, Northampton, Cardiff, Livingston and Stirling.


Andy Jones

EY’s tax teams are predicting future growth across Yorkshire and Humberside following two senior hires to its International and Indirect Tax teams this year.

Andrew Jones joined in December as associate partner in the Indirect Tax team and has spent over 15 years living and working in Yorkshire, advising businesses right across the North.

Jones was previously at PwC for over 14 years in various senior tax and VAT roles.

Before joining EY, he helped lead PwC’s indirect tax (VAT) Yorkshire practice from its office in Leeds as well as operating nationally, specialising in the retail and gaming spaces.

At EY in Leeds, he is working with businesses across the region, advising them on VAT and indirect tax matters such as betting and gaming duties.

Srini Lalapet joined in late March as a director of transfer pricing within the International Tax Services team, after spending over 17 years working with global multinational organisations and consultancy firms across North America and Europe.

Lalapet was previously head of global transfer pricing at a global RPA/AI software company in the US.

Prior to this, he held several senior transfer pricing roles, including four years in Austin, Texas at technology giant, Dell Technologies and over three years in New York at global insurance corporate, AIG.

Srini Lalapet

He has also held advisory roles with other global brands such as Siemens and EY in Canada, and PwC in Switzerland.

Suzanne Robinson, managing partner for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “Both Andy and Srini have already made their mark and have quickly become a real asset to the tax teams as we continue to invest in our people and grow our tax business across Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Andy has a wealth of specific VAT, tax and duties experience, specifically in the retail sector built up over 14 years of working with clients across the region.

“He’s really helped to bolster our team with the local knowledge and expertise that our clients need to help them successfully develop their businesses.

“Srini has nearly two decades of transfer pricing experience across the technology and finance sectors.

“He has the unique distinction of having advised, set-up and run transfer pricing functions for some of the world’s biggest companies, as well as smaller organisations, and he’s already focused on building EY’s transfer pricing practice across Yorkshire and the North East.

“Both appointments are part of a wider strategy to invest in our tax teams and continue to grow the business across Yorkshire.

“We’re keen to build a team who specialise in the sectors that are vital to the region, like retail and technology.”


Simon Mayoh

Yorkshire accountants, business and financial advisory firm, Armstrong Watson, has welcomed Financial Planning Consultant, Simon Mayoh, to the financial planning and wealth management team, taking the consultant team up to 4 strong, across the Yorkshire region, together with a telephone advisory unit based in Leeds.

Mayoh specialises in complex and occupational pension arrangements, particularly those in NHS and government schemes, with focus on retirement planning and tapered allowances. Joining from Huddersfield-based Simpson Wood, where he worked very closely with their tax advisory service on accounts for high net worth individuals, and also with businesses, providing advice to directors and financial education and wellbeing workshops and seminars for staff.

It marks a return to Armstrong Watson for the consultant who previously trained there in 2013 as a financial planning assistant.

Iain Lightfoot, joint managing director of Armstrong Watson, said: “We are delighted that Simon has joined the Armstrong Watson Financial Planning and Wealth Management Team. This new role comes in response to a growing need for independent financial advice, within personal, private and public sectors and Simon’s wide ranging capabilities and experience will ensure that we can continue to meet these needs.”