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Simon Michaels

Chairman of EMEA & APAC

Photograph of Simon Michaels

1 Angel Court, Level 3
London, England EC2R 7HJ

+44 20 7015 8744 Direct
+44(0)7581 259923 Mobile

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Simon Michaels is Ankura’s Chairman of EMEA & APAC, based in London. He has extensive board level experience, having worked with both management teams and investors to drive growth, create value, and drive transformation and improvement. Simon has experience as a chairman and CEO and advising businesses of varying complexity and size across a range of industries. He has particular expertise in the services sector.


Prior to joining Ankura, Simon was managing partner of BDO LLP UK a substantial accounting, business advisory, and expert services firm for the maximum of eight years. During this period, he was chairman of the leadership team and CEO responsible for setting the strategic direction of the business, ensuring its operational effectiveness, determining investments, and managing reward and recognition of all partners and people. The business delivered significant revenue and profit growth, with income of £435 million, employing over 4,000 people, and working with 30,000 clients. Simon also represented the firm externally and managed relationships with major stakeholders including regulators, professional bodies, media, clients, and competitors. His other responsibilities included leading the business through the financial crisis driving significant operational change to underpin long-term sustainability; overseeing a market leading merger with PKF (revenue £90 million, 10,000 clients and 1,000 people); instigating a digital transformation programme to deliver software as a solution, cloud accounting, client portals and data analytics; and navigating a complex regulatory regime, including an increased focus on quality to enhance the firm’s reputation, giving evidence to public enquiries on the future of the accounting profession.

Simon was also director of BDO International for the maximum of eight years and through a combination of organic and inorganic growth, the network grew by over $2.5 billion in this period. His role included oversight and advice on global brand, strategy, investment, and M&A for the network; setting global standards in response to evolving regulation; driving incremental growth through greater collaboration as well as efficiencies and sharing best practice; and significant engagement across North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Simon’s professional practice has included:

  • Strategy & Performance – Led BDO’s corporate advisory practice providing hands-on advice to drive sustainable change, as well as leading transactions, merger integration and carve outs, business improvement, cash and working capital management, and turnarounds
  • Turnaround & Restructuring – Practiced in this field for over 20 years. At BDO he was head of business restructuring, leading the team and advising a significant number of businesses across a range of industries, including working internationally, and providing restructuring and insolvency advice
  • Monitoring Trustee – Acted as Monitoring Trustee at the request of the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority in the technology sector.

Simon’s professional experience includes:

  • Leadership of a £435 million revenue professional services firm driving growth and transformation to build a sustainably profitable and values led business.
  • Director of $7.5 billion international professional services firm overseeing significant growth and building a challenger brand.
  • Advisor to private equity firm on substantial acquisition of an international, technology disruptor and consolidator in the services sector.
  • Advisor to £1 billion revenue international facilities management business. Engaged to assess opportunities for cost savings, process improvement, and carve out/divestment on unprofitable assets.
  • Executive level support to drive profitability programme in legal services sector for top 10 global law firm with revenue of $2 billion. Engaged to support the transformation of the operating model and improve profitability after period of exponential growth.
  • Financial advisor to support carve out of £700 million public sector infrastructure business following collapse of significant tier one supplier.
  • Financial advisor to government funded national transport business, preparing and implementing strategic contingency plans to de-risk significant contracts from supplier failure relating to contracts valued at £100’s of million.
  • Board advisor to E600 million European B2B food group with 15% market share in relevant sub-sector. Led creation of profit improvement plan and exit via trade sale.
  • Highly profitable and growing international services business with revenue of $200 million. Design and implementation of working capital improvement programme.
  • Monitoring Trustee of hold separate and divestment arrangements for market leading technology business.
  • Member of Institute for Turnaround
  • Association of Business Recovery Professionals, Member
  • Insolvency Practitioners Association, Member
  • Affiliate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (1999 to 2019)

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