Chief Executive Officer and Executive Partner
Grant Thornton LLP
Once again demonstrating his commitment to the profession, Stephen currently serves as a member of the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) Governing Board.
Stephen has been a member of the Grant Thornton team for 28 years, serving in Europe, the United States and Asia. For the past two years, Stephen was Chief Executive Officer – Grant Thornton China Management Corporation. In that role, he was responsible for leading the development and growth of services for China, dividing his time between the Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong offices.
There are 2,400 people among the member firms in mainland China and Hong Kong. Additionally, substantial progress has been made in developing relationships with the government authorities who regulate the accounting profession in China.
Over the last 15 years, Stephen has held a number of executive leadership positions in our organization, both within and outside of the United States. These roles have varied in breadth, scope and focus, from domestic operational roles with significant line authority to strategic roles in which the ability to influence and handle a high level of ambiguity was key to success.
Specifically, within the United States, as Central Region Managing Partner, Stephen has been a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) since January 2003.
During Stephen’s SLT tenure, he chaired a number of strategic initiatives, including the Global and China Initiatives, and the inaugural Grant Thornton Experience Leadership Council.
Since 2001, he has also been an active participant in the annual firm strategy development process, and, in 2003, led the design and implementation of the firm’s annual business planning process.
During his four-year leadership as Central Region Managing Partner, the region increased its net revenues from $61 million to $162 million.
From 2000 to 2002, Stephen served as Dallas Office Managing Partner (OMP). Prior to his OMP role, he served on the National Leadership Team as National Managing Partner Global Services and was elected to and served on the firm’s Partnership Board (1998-1999).
In addition, he represented the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton LLP on the International Policy Board of Grant Thornton International (1998-2000), and represented China on the Grant Thornton International Board of Governors (2007-2009). He continues to serve on this international board, but now represents the United States.
Stephen first started working on international affairs when based in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1995, where he filled the role of Regional Technical Director for Asia Pacific. After he returned to the United States, he worked in the Greater Bay Area and Dallas offices as an Audit partner, and later, as the Dallas and Chicago IBC director. In 1999, he become the inaugural GTI Worldwide Director of International Business Centers (IBCs).
By broadening his professional development in a variety of industries in Europe, North America, Asia and Mexico, Stephen has developed a unique combination of international and U.S. business experience. He has worked extensively with clients to develop strategies for international expansion, including cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances. He has special expertise in doing business in China and an extensive global network built over the years through collaboration.
He has co-chaired trade missions to Asia, Mexico and Canada with two former Dallas mayors, and the Texas Association of Business and The International Trade Association of Greater Chicago have honored Stephen for his service to the international community.
Stephen has made numerous presentations on international issues, both in the United States and in several overseas locations. In addition, he has contributed to and written articles for The Wall Street Journal, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Business Journal.
Throughout his career, giving back to the community has been one of Stephen’s top priorities. No matter where he has been located, he has been a leader in assuming social responsibility, both personally and professionally. In 2008, Stephen worked with Half the Sky — a charitable organization focused on orphaned children in China — to coordinate our response to the Sichuan earthquake. His prior U.S. involvement included Chair for both the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce International Advisory Committee (2001-2002) and the Chamber’s UK Trade and Investment Initiative (2004-2006). He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (2002-2005) and on the Board of Trustees of Special Care and Career Services (2003-2006). He recently retired from the Board of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations. A member of several other organizations over the last 10 years, Stephen has been active with the British American Commerce Association, the Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber and the Hong Kong Association of North Texas.
Educated in Plymouth, England, at Plymouth College and Plymouth Polytechnic, Stephen launched his career with Grant Thornton in 1981 in Plymouth, England. He is qualified as a British Chartered Accountant and an American Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.