‘When Ambition Meets Ability’

Ambition is a key ingredient for success, and Martina Keane has it in spades. Originally from Ballygar in Co. Galway, the Chartered Accountant now leads the Irish assurance practice in EY EMEIA Financial Services having spent well over a decade specialising in financial services in both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Today, Martina is responsible for the development and leadership of a large group of professionals – a challenging, yet familiar role given her early start in leadership.

The feedback loop “I was probably 21 years old when I started leading people,” she said. “I’m very driven and focused, but you need a stellar team with a mixed skillset if you really want to succeed.” Having been mentored from an early age, Martina is aware of the value in a positive role model – something she tries to replicate in her day-to-day work in EY.

“In my work as a mentor, I focus on giving an honest view. That can only be done when there’s integrity and trust on both sides,” Martina added. “And face-time is extremely important in this context. You need to tell people that they have done a great job but you also need to point out areas for improvement, and you simply can’t do that by email.” Although some managers shy away from giving developmental feedback, Martina is living proof of its benefits. “It’s hard to take criticism at the best of times but people are motivated to achieve. They work best when they have a bar to reach and one of the roles of those in positions of leadership is to set that bar high and help people reach their full potential.”

Martina Keane

To read Martina’s full interview and all of the interviews in the second issue of ‘Vision’, click here: source/Publishing/vision/vision-no-2-2019.pdf?sfvrsn=4 

Martina Keane FCA, Head of Financial Services Assurance, EY. Martina leads the Assurance practice in EY Financial Services, specialising in banking and capital markets. She works across the Irish and UK banking landscape, serving both assurance and advisory clients.