Andrew Sofield Tapped as New LA Lead at PwC

Andrew Sofield Tapped as New LA Lead at PwC
Stefanie Kane, left, and Andrew Sofield at El Segundo opening.

(This article has been revised.)

Amid broader leadership shuffling and an organizational restructuring, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has named a new Los Angeles managing partner to lead its 2,000 employees and 160 partners in the city. 

Andrew Sofield will replace Stefanie Kane as the accounting firm’s market lead this month. Kane, who helmed local operations for seven years, is now a partner.

Sofield, who has resided in Los Angeles for nearly two decades, has been with the firm for more than 14 years. Most recently, he was the U.S. Southwest advisory leader.

While passing the baton to Sofield, Kane opened the firm’s new satellite office in El Segundo last month. It’s smaller than the downtown office with seven floors; Sofield said having a space in the LAX-adjacent neighborhood allows the firm to quickly sit traveling clients or employees for meetings.

The firm’s physical expansion comes as the company grows its headcount in the region. Since last year, PwC has reported approximately 200 new employees working in the region.

The firm’s headcount increased while other “Big Four” accounting firms announced layoffs across the country as inflation squeezes consulting service demand.

The U.S. practices for Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young collectively slashed 6,900 jobs last year. PwC managed to avoid U.S. layoffs, but its U.K., Australia and Canada practices did reduce headcount last year. 

“Across all of our industries and our practices we’ve seen steady growth in the last few years,” Sofield said. “We see a lot of great energy as we look forward, despite some of the market dynamics.”

Andrew Sofield

Sofield starts his new role as the U.S. practice gears up for senior leadership transition.

This July, incoming senior partner Paul Griggs will take over for Tim Ryan – who after eight years at the helm will retire from the firm.

According to a note to partners obtained by the Financial Times late last month, Griggs plans to reverse a controversial restructuring of the firm’s U.S. tax practice implemented three years ago.

PwC will reunify its tax division, returning to the industry norm of having a standalone tax business.

As far as the new plan’s effects on Los Angeles, Sofield says the restructuring is still being rolled out, but doubts clients will notice an effect.

“I don’t really think it will change too much day to day,” Sofield said. “Our tax professionals are already serving our clients in the same way that they’re going to continue to serve our clients going forward.”

The firm is bullish on artificial intelligence changing its workflow. Last April, 

PwC announced plans to invest $1 billion over the next three years in artificial intelligence, partnering with Microsoft to roll out its own version of ChatGPT and funding AI training for its 75,000 employees in the U.S.

The firm is betting that generative AI can accelerate its “knowledge work” across its services suites, adding that firewall protections will keep sensitive client materials safe.

For example, an employee can upload a client’s 10-K report, then ask questions regarding the company’s financials.

“We can use some of our own data at PwC to help apply and think through client situations,” Sofield said.

As for bringing on new hires, Sofield says AI proficiency isn’t necessarily a requirement. 

Through PwC’s national staffing model for some practices, employees may opt for the Los Angeles offices based on what industry they serve, or simply because they prefer the city’s lifestyle.

“Our headcount is growing because L.A. is just an amazing place to live and work,” Sofield said.

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