Nayantara Hensel to Depart as Director of the PCAOB’s Office of Economic and Risk Analysis

Washington, May 27, 2022

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) today announced that Dr. Nayantara Hensel, the PCAOB's Chief Economist and Director of its Office of Economic and Risk Analysis (OERA), will leave the PCAOB on July 1.

Dr. Hensel joined the PCAOB as its Chief Economist and OERA Director in June 2019. Under her leadership, OERA advanced post-implementation analyses in key areas, including standards related to critical audit matters, auditing accounting estimates, and the auditor's use of the work of specialists. OERA also expanded its engagement with academics and other stakeholders, notably through the PCAOB's annual Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets. Dr. Hensel was instrumental in leading OERA's analyses in supporting the PCAOB's inspections program, including developing economic models on financial risk and conducting research on key issues, such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Nayantara has led our organization in building upon our capabilities related to rigorous economic analysis, which is a vital component of our oversight," said PCAOB Chair Erica Y. Williams. "Our thanks to Nayantara for her leadership and contributions over the past three years, and we wish her well in her future endeavors."

"It has been a pleasure to have worked with such a talented group of colleagues with excellent skillsets in a number of areas, including economics, accounting, finance, and data analysis," said Dr. Hensel. "The collaboration, knowledge, efforts, and passion that my PCAOB colleagues have for their work will continue to provide strong products in support of the PCAOB's mission."

At the PCAOB, OERA conducts economic analysis, research, issuer risk assessments, and other data analysis in support of standard setting, inspection, enforcement, and other PCAOB oversight activities. In light of Dr. Hensel's departure, Michael J. Gurbutt has been appointed OERA's Acting Director, effective immediately.

"For more than a dozen years, Mike Gurbutt has specialized in the development and post-implementation analysis of PCAOB standards," added Chair Williams. "We are fortunate to have Mike lead our Office of Economic and Risk Analysis in this moment of transition."

From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Gurbutt was the senior adviser to the program leader in the PCAOB's Center for Economic Analysis, which was combined in 2017 with the PCAOB's former Office of Research and Analysis to create OERA. He joined the PCAOB in 2010, in the Office of the Chief Auditor, providing technical direction in the development of auditing and related professional practice standards and staff audit practice alerts. With a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Warwick, Mr. Gurbutt is a certified public accountant in Virginia and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.


About the PCAOB

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies in order to protect investors and further the public interest in the preparation of informative, accurate, and independent audit reports. The PCAOB also oversees the audits of brokers and dealers, including compliance reports filed pursuant to federal securities laws.


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