Top 25 Consultants 2015: Ellen Hives

Ellen Hives
Excellence in Media & Communications


When Ellen Hives was growing up and struggling with a school assignment, her father would coach her to make sure that she first understood the question. And a consultant was born.

“I love to solve problems and come up with the paths for reaching elegant, creative solutions that exceed expectations,” Hives says. “I love assembling a team and enabling them to flourish. So the biggest factor [to my success] is probably my passion for every facet of the work.”

Understanding “what issue or problem needs to be solved?” is fundamental to how she approaches her work, she says, in large part because of how the team works together to deliver exceptional outcomes. “Thus, the opportunity to forge new ground with a team is the most outstanding aspect of my work,” she says. “Building and empowering teams—to create big ideas, to explore new avenues, to develop big-picture perspectives, to exceed their own expectations, to do an exceptional job for the client. I live for that.”

Hives is Principal in the Media & Entertainment practice of EY. She is responsible for practice strategy and development, client delivery, business growth and capability development in the Publishing and Information Services sector.

“One of my EY teams was recently named a finalist for an industry award, which is an extraordinary testament to the team and our ability to create a strong purpose-based program that drove game-changing results,” she says. “I take tremendous satisfaction in helping our people develop and thrive.”

In addition to her leadership role, Hives manages a number of accounts with major global media and publishing companies. She has quite a long list of career accomplishments, but making Partner at EY is her foremost career achievement, she says.

“I am most proud of that achievement, as well as being able to look in the mirror every day and know that I have been true to my core values, I am able to do what I love and successfully balance family and career,” she says. “After more than 25 years in this business, what is truly special are the deeply authentic relationships I have with my clients and colleagues and the successes we’ve shared.”

She says she’d be remiss, however, not to mention the abundant support she’s received from her husband and family, as well as the professional advocates and coaches along the way.

“I work with an incredible band of very talented people and finding a way to bring their tremendous knowledge, along with the assets of EY, to bear on client issues,” Hives says. “And I love the outcomes—influencing people’s growth and solving clients’ problems.”

What does winning the award mean to you, your firm and your clients?

“It’s an extraordinary affirmation of what I have been able to contribute. Since my aspirations and values so strongly align with the EY culture and purpose, it is a testament to the worthiness of how EY conducts its business, including its system for coaching and mentorship; I’m sure all my coaches and mentors will take great pleasure from my receiving this recognition. As will my clients, who will see affirmation for their trust and commitment to me and how I work with them.”

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