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The Times: Business big shot

By Liz Chong
Nick Land, the outgoing chairman of Ernst & Young, says he will have to “go up the learning curve” when he joins Shell in July as a non-executive director.
Mr Land, 58, will take up his new post just a month after stepping down from the “Big Four” accountancy firm, which he guided for more than a decade.
He said: “I really have enjoyed myself here. But anybody who has spent the bulk of their career at one organisation will wonder what would have happened if they had left and done something else.
“Though it’s a bit late in life, I’m very excited about trying different things.”
The only son of a schoolteacher, Mr Land grew up near Brighton. He joined Ernst & Young in 1970 as an auditor and became a partner in 1978.
Appointed chairman in 1995, Mr Land served three terms in the post, staying on to steer the firm through the lawsuit from Equitable Life.
He said: “Equitable was an interesting experience, though I’d rather not have had it.”
But Mr Land credits E&Y with more than his career, having met Sonia, his Singaporean wife, when she joined the firm’s London office in 1972.
The couple were married in 1975 and Mrs Land left E&Y to run a literary agency. They have one son, Chris, who is in the second year of a training contract at KPMG.
A keen DIY man, Mr Land enjoys pottering around at home and watching his wife work in the garden — though he does not enjoy gardening himself. He is also a fan of ballet.

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