(Bloomberg) -- Deloitte LLP named Cathy Engelbert to be the first woman leading a Big Four consulting-and-accounting firm in the U.S. as clients confront tighter financial regulations and cyber risks.

Engelbert, 50, was promoted from head of Deloitte’s auditing unit and will replace interim Chief Executive Officer Frank Friedman on March 11, the company said in a statement Monday. She will oversee about 65,000 employees at a business with almost $15 billion in annual revenue.

Engelbert said the New York-based firm will invest “boldly” and accelerate hiring to increase the workforce to about 74,000 by the end of May 2016. The firm will boost spending on technology to help clients manage regulatory changes, reshape their businesses and assess risk such as cyber breaches, she said.

“We’re making big investments in technology and innovation,” Engelbert said in a phone interview. “It’s a key priority because that’s how we’re going to meet the demands of our clients in the future.”

Deloitte is a U.S. member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. The other biggest accounting firms are PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, KPMG LLP and Ernst & Young LLP.

“Cathy has a strong track record of advising some of the firm’s leading clients, and working with regulators to advance our industry-leading audit practice,” Deloitte Chairman Punit Renjen said in the statement.

Cyber Attacks

Engelbert said her firm will be investing in sophisticated technology to help “look for risks that our clients may not even know are embedded,” including data breaches. Anthem Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health insurer by market value, announced last week that private information of tens of millions of people was exposed by a cyber attack.

“The digital economy is impacting us in a big way,” Engelbert said in an interview on Bloomberg Television with Tom Keene, Olivia Sterns and Brendan Greeley. “We’re going to get into more products and services that are driving the digital economy.”

Engelbert, who has a background in finance, credit and fair value, said the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of U.S. financial regulation presents hurdles for Deloitte clients.

Deloitte has faced its own regulatory issues. Its financial-advisory arm was fined $10 million by a New York watchdog in 2013 and suspended from providing consulting services for state-regulated financial institutions for a year. The state Department of Financial Services said Deloitte violated banking law by disclosing “supervisory information” to Standard Chartered Plc regarding other clients. Standard Chartered was being investigated in a money-laundering probe.

Gold Standard

“Our goal is to set the gold standard when it comes to compliance,” Engelbert said. “We have worked with the New York regulator and all businesses are go.”

Engelbert has been with Deloitte since 1986 when she graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She played basketball and lacrosse in college.

Deloitte elects a CEO every four years. Michael Fucci, 56, was elected as chairman to succeed Renjen, Deloitte said Monday. A replacement for Engelbert at Deloitte & Touche LLP, the auditing practice, hasn’t been named. 

This article courtesy of Bloomberg.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access