Malcomb Coley

Malcomb Coley

Carolinas Market Leader and Charlotte Managing Partner

Ernst & Young

New York, NY USA

There is nothing wrong with saying these three words: ‘I don’t know.’ We don’t expect everybody to know everything. But be willing to work hard to get to the point where you do know.


By Roadtrip Nation

Malcomb Coley


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was born and raised in eastern North Carolina, which is the poorest area of the state—grew up in a blue-collar family and didn’t have any role models outside of the working class.
During high school, I started taking accounting classes because I was good at math and needed to fill out my class schedule.
Decided to continue pursuing accounting in college—attended the University of North Carolina (UNC), where I earned my bachelor’s degree.
Returned to UNC for graduate school and earned my master’s degree in accounting.
While I was in graduate school, I studied for and passed my certified public accountant (CPA) exams.
Began working for Ernst & Young—I’ve had the opportunity to travel to over 50 countries for the firm and work in a variety of locations including Raleigh, Atlanta, Japan, and Ireland.
I’ve worked there for over 16 years and am now the Carolinas Market Leader and Managing Partner in Charlotte, North Carolina.
I also serve on the board of directors for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Central Carolinas, Cameron School of Business Executive Advisory Board for UNC-Wilmington, and more.
Keep following my journey


High School
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Executive Management
Northwestern University
Executive Leadership Program
Harvard University
University of North Carolina at Wilmington


Carolinas Market Leader and Charlotte Managing Partner

I am an auditor and oversee aspects of assurance, tax, advisory, and transaction advisory services.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

I am responsible for overseeing all EY service lines of assurance, tax, advisory, and transaction advisory services throughout four offices in the Carolinas region. I partner with the Carolinas Market Board to enable our regional team of nearly 1,100 professionals to realize our firm ambition of building a better working world and developing the EY brand throughout the Carolinas market. I mainly work with companies in the entrepreneurial space providing a variety of services.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Get fundamentals in accounting while in school. You don't necessarily need to major in it, but take the fundamental classes to get you started. Even if you don't become an accountant, having that knowledge is beneficial in a variety of careers. Take your CPA exams as early as you can. Find great mentors in the field that will expose you to exciting opportunities and support you on your journey.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I don't think I have potential."

Challenges I Overcame

Socio-Economic Origin
Work Stress