Former EY Chairman Nick Land joins IHS board alongside Jeb Bush

01 November 2019 3 min. read
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Former three-term Ernst & Young executive chairman Nick Land has been appointed to the board of IHS Towers, together with 2016 US presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Currently with its eyes firmly fixed on Middle East expansion, the African-origin IHS Towers – one of the world’s largest telecommunications infrastructure players – has made two high-profile board appointments; Nick Land, who served for over a decade as Ernst & Young executive chairman between 1995 and 2006, and Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and 2016 US presidential hopeful.

“We are delighted to welcome Jeb and Nick to our Board,” said IHS founder and CEO Sam Darwish. “We look forward to the wealth of expertise and insight that they will each bring to IHS. Their advice and counsel will prove invaluable as we seek to pursue our strategic goals, continue our corporate governance evolution and cement our position as one of the largest independent telecommunications infrastructure owners in the world.”

Originally joining Ernst & Young in 1970, Land spent over three and a half decades at the professional services firm until his retirement in 2006 – along the way being elected executive chairman for three consecutive terms between 1995 and 2006, helming the firm during some notably tumultuous years for the global accounting industry. Prior to his time at the top, Land served as EY’s UK managing partner, being first made partner in 1978.Former EY Chairman Nick Land joins IHS board alongside Jeb BushIn addition serving as chairman, Land from 2001 also held the role of Managing Partner for EY’s Middle East, Africa, India and Northern European operations – a period which included a targeted growth plan for EY in the Middle East and the reopening of the firm’s Baghdad office in 2004. “The Middle East represents a fast growing and sophisticated commercial region which requires the right business advisory services,” Land said at the time.

Since his retirement from the firm in 2006, the former chairman has served on numerous boards, including, among others, current roles as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at charitable organisation the Vodafone Foundation (having previously also served for a decade on the Vodafone board), Deputy Chair at Thames Water Utilities, and Advisor to the UK Policy & Practices board at Dentons. Upon retirement, he joined the board of Shell.

Of his latest appointment by IHS as a non-executive independent director, a role which he will carry out together with chair duties for IHS’s audit committee, Land said; “I am excited to join IHS at a time of continued corporate governance development. Together with Jeb and the existing Board members, I look forward to supporting the Company's sustainable growth strategy focused on enhancing telecommunications infrastructure in Africa and beyond.”

Jeb Bush meanwhile, the son and brother of two former American Presidents and a US presidential hopeful himself in 2016, is currently the President of management consulting firm Jeb Bush & Associates, which he established in 2007 shortly after leaving office following eight years as the Governor of Florida. “I am thrilled to be joining IHS's Board. Through bold innovation and investments, IHS is playing a critical role in accelerating Africa’s technological revolution,” Jeb said. 

As part of its bold expansion plans, IHS awaits approval on a ~$650 million purchase and leaseback deal for Zain’s tower infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, along with a $165 million bid in Kuwait, which would take its portfolio to over 33,000 towers worldwide. “We are focused on growing our regional market,” Darwish said previously. “We will be investing in Saudi Arabia and will try to enter new markets such as Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia and North Africa.”