EY joins other major accounting firms exiting Russia

Deloitte and EY, two of the world’s largest accounting firms, announced Monday they were pulling out of Russia, joining other so-called Big Four firms KPMG International and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which said on Sunday they were leaving the country after the invasion Of Ukraine.

These groups are structured as partnerships of local firms, so the firms can continue to operate in Russia, the accounting firms said, but will no longer be part of their umbrella networks.

“EY’s global organization will no longer serve Russian government customers, state-owned companies or sanctioned entities or individuals anywhere in the world,” EY said in a statement on LinkedIn. It has more than 4,700 employees in its network in Russia, it said. Deloitte employs about 3,000 people in Russia and Belarus, the company’s chief executive officer Punit Renjen said in a statement published on the company’s website.

KPMG said it has more than 4,500 employees in Russia and Belarus, while PwC said it has 3,700 employees in Russia.

The accounting firms’ moves are the latest of many large Western firms to either cease or sell their operations in Russia. (The Yale School of Management keeps a list of these actions, which it updates daily.) Here’s a sampling of other steps from the past week or so:

  • Finances: American Express, Mastercard and Visa announced on Sunday that they would cease operations in Russia, meaning their branded cards issued by Russian banks would not work in other countries and cards issued elsewhere would not work for purchases in Russia.

  • Entertainment: Netflix said on Sunday it would end its service in Russia, days after it announced it would halt future projects in the country, including acquisitions. The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. said last week they were pausing the release of films in the country.

  • Manufacturing: Last week, Boeing and Ford Motor said they would halt operations in Russia, while Volvo halted sales of its cars there.

  • Energy: BP, Exxon Mobil and Shell, all major investors in Russia’s key industry, recently announced they were selling their operations in the country.

  • Retail trade: French luxury giants LVMH and Hermès said on Friday they were temporarily closing their stores in Russia after similar moves by Ikea and TJX, owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

  • Technology: Apple and Microsoft said they have stopped selling their products in Russia, and Google’s YouTube has blocked ads from Russian state media.

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