Career Moves: March 2016

CA Today
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

30 March 2016

Your weekly round-up of the CAs and other business professionals moving into new roles.

David Nish CA joins the board of HSBC

David Nish CA is set to join HSBC as a non-executive director, as well as a member of the group audit committee, on 1 May 2016.

David, who is a member of the ICAS Council, joined Standard Life as group Finance Director in 2006, going on to become Chief Executive of life and pensions in 2010.  He was previously finance chief for Scottish Power and spent 16 years at PwC prior to that. David is currently a non-executive director at the Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank, the London Stock Exchange Group and Vodafone.

HSBC Group Chairman Douglas Flint CA said: “David brings considerable relevant experience in financial services as well as in financial accounting and reporting.”

“His tenure at Standard Life was marked by business transformation delivering value creation, a combination which HSBC is similarly targeting from its current strategy. David also has a wide-ranging understanding of all aspects of corporate governance which will further enhance the contribution he can make to the board.”

Chiene + Tait promote Carol Flockhart CA to managing partner

Chiene + Tait will appoint Carol Flockhart CA as its first female managing partner in the firm’s 130-year history on 1 April. Carol Flockhart CA joined Chiene + Tait as a chartered accountant trainee in 1994. Since then she has progressed to become a manager in 2001, a director in 2008 and a full partner in 2011.

Carol said she is “delighted” and that it was a “personal honour” to be appointed managing partner.

"For me this is both a personal honour – and one of which I’m very proud – and a notable signifier of our firm’s longstanding dedication to training, career progression and meritocracy.

“There are no barriers here to progression: if you want it, and you work for it, you can achieve it.”

Sky CFO and managing director expands his role

Sky's Chief Financial Officer & MD, Commercial Businesses, Andrew Griffiths, has taken on the additional role of Chief Operating Officer.

Andrew joined the Company in 1999 from Rothschild and held a number of senior finance roles prior to his appointment as CFO in April 2008. Since 2012, in addition to his role as CFO, he has had executive responsibility for Sky’s commercial businesses, including advertising, data services and broadcasting to licensed premises.

In March 2014, he joined the board of JUST EAT as senior independent non-executive director.

Last orders for Timothy Taylor Finance Director

After 20 years as Finance Director of Yorkshire based brewery Timothy Taylor, Steve Drinkwater is set to retire. John Varley, Finance Director of the Gravure division of Polestar, will take over the role in May.

Steve worked on a £18m investment for Timothy Taylor and helped build a small pub estate during his time at the company.

Steve, who is a chartered accountant, said: “My wife Ann and I reach 60 in the next few months, and, having seen a number of close friends die, or suffer from serious illness, at a similar age, we have both decided we would like more time to enjoy a better work/life balance."

Former Alvarez & Marsal director moves to Deloitte

Mo Habbas has joined the value creation team at Deloitte as a partner. Before joining professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal in 2009, Mo was CEO of Auctus Ventures Ltd.

Jason Caulfield, who heads the Deloitte value creation team, said he was looking forward to drawing on Mo’s “18 years of experience in this field as well as a specialism in turnaround of under-performing businesses and driving improvements in profitability and cash working capital.”

Former CEO joins Tesco as non-executive director

Lindsey Pownall, former chief executive officer at food supplier Samworth Brothers, will join Tesco as a non-executive director. Lindsey will also join the company’s corporate responsibility committee on 1 April.

“I'm delighted to welcome Lindsey as a non-executive director,” said chairman John Allan.

“She brings a wealth of relevant experience, and complements the existing skills and experience on the board. She will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to the board.”

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Career Moves this week: 23 March 2016

Telstra Retail to welcome senior telecommunications executive Kevin Russell CA

Kevin Russell CA, one of Australia’s most experienced sector executives, will start next month as Group Executive Telstra Retail, heading up the company’s consumer, business stores and product functions.

Previously, Kevin held several executive positions with SingTel Optus, most recently as Country Chief Officer and CEO Consumer for Australia, and has held senior roles at Hutchison Whampoa Group.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said: “We are looking forward to welcoming Kevin to the Telstra leadership team. He has an impressive track record working for several of the world’s largest telcos in a range of demanding markets.”

“He has passionately worked to build customer experiences in new and existing major consumer brands and service business clients. He has managed major programs across national fixed and mobile networks and is well regarded in the local technology community.”

Dr Robert Black CBE joins British Library Board

ICAS Public Interest Member Dr Robert Black has been appointed to the British Library Board by the Culture Secretary.

Dr Black was the Auditor General for Scotland for 12 years before stepping down in June 2012. Prior to that posting, he was Chief Executive of the Accounts Commission for Scotland and has 10 years’ experience as a local authority chief executive.

He will chair the Board’s Audit Committee and was selected for the position due to his expertise in public administration, accountability and governance.

Axa chairman and chief executive Henri de Castries to retire

After 27 years with the group, Henri de Castries will be stepping down as the head of Axa on 1 September 2016.

He has enjoyed nearly 17 years as CEO and chairman of the French insurer and is reportedly being considered for a similar role at HSBC.

In a letter to staff, Henri said: "It has been a privilege to succeed Claude Bébéar and lead Axa over all these years, and I want to express my gratitude to the 166,000 women and men who are the face of Axa for our 103 million clients across the world.

"Their professionalism and engagement have been a driving force and a fantastic motivation for me."

Denis Duverne will be replacing Henri as chairman while Thomas Buberl takes over as chief executive.

Stuart Marcy becomes Corporate Finance Partner at BKL

Stuart Marcy has become a Partner at BKL Corporate Finance.

He was previously Corporate Finance Director with Menzies and has also held roles at Deloitte, Smith & Williamson and Paxton Advisors.

Stuart’s career has spanned five countries and is recognised as having both a global network of contacts and expertise in cross-border international transactions.

Fabian Watts appointed to KPMG’s Real Estate Advisory practice

KPMG has announced the continued expansion of their Real Estate Advisory practice with the addition of Fabian Watts to their team.

Fabian is a chartered surveyor and brings a vast range of investment experience to the table. His last appointment was at Savills as an Investment Analyst/Valuer.

Stephen Barter, KPMG’s Chair of Real Estate Advisory, said: “We are delighted to welcome Fabian to the team. He brings solid experience in handling investment transactions and fundings across many asset classes and international markets, alongside his broader real estate skills.”

Career Moves this week: 16 March 2016

Allan Bowie CA becomes CFO of National Trust for Scotland

Allan Bowie CA has been appointed the new CFO and Director of Corporate Services for the National Trust for Scotland.

Allan, who was previously Director, Global Operations Accounting for the Bristow Group, which provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, will take charge of the Trust’s £50 million annual spending on Scotland’s heritage.

Among his previous posts, Allan has been Finance Director for both Babcock Rail and the Scottish Resources Group. He has over 30 years' experience and has worked extensively in the US and the UK.

Allan Bowie said: “I am genuinely excited to join the National Trust for Scotland at such a transformational point in its 85-year history. My core technical skills are as a finance and accounting professional but I have spent a great deal of time working with and advising management teams to help them improve commercial performance and realise business opportunities. It is this experience I am offering to the Trust and I hope I can put something back into Scotland and its heritage as a legacy for future generations.”

Wood Group appoints Jann Brown CA as Senior Independent Director

Past ICAS President Jann Brown CA is set to become Senior Independent Director of Wood Group in May. She will take up the post when David Woodward retires from the board.

Jann has been a non-executive director of Wood Group since 2014 and is also chair of the audit committee. She is the CFO of Cairn Energy.

Jeremy Wilson will succeed David Woodward as chair of Wood Group's remuneration committee.

Wood Group Chairman Ian Marchant said: “I am grateful that Jann and Jeremy have agreed to step into the roles of senior independent director and chair of the remuneration committee respectively and I know they will serve Wood Group well."

Campbell Cummings CA rejoins PwC

Campbell Cummings CA has recently rejoined PwC's Scottish M&A team as Director.  Previously Head of Corporate Development at the Weir Group plc, he was responsible for managing Weir's M&A activity across each of its three divisions globally.

Campbell will now focus on providing strategic M&A advice to private and public companies across Scotland.

Former Prudential head joins Allianz

Jackie Hunt has been hired by Allianz as its new head of asset management and US life insurance, succedding Jay Ralph. She will oversee the firm's asset management businesses, including Allianz Global Investors and PIMCO.

Jackie was the CEO of Prudential until October last year. Prior to this she was CFO of Standard Life.

Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz SE, said: "Jay Ralph adeptly implemented the two-pillar strategy in our asset management segment and will be missed after almost 20 years in the company. I am delighted to welcome Jackie Hunt, a highly respected and accomplished professional, to Allianz."

John Dixon to lead Pure Search's consulting practice

Former EY UK Tax Managing Partner John Dixon will lead the new consulting practice of Pure Search, a governance search and selection business.

Pure Search Consulting will provide advisory services to professional services firms in house tax departments of multinational companies, and private equity houses, specialising in organisational change.

Charles Ferguson, UK CEO, said: “John is a proven business leader with a track record of consistently delivering strategic growth through people and performance. I am exceptionally pleased to have him on board.”

Career Moves this week: 9 March 2016

Seatronics appoints Kevin Strachan CA as new Head of Finance

Kevin Strachan CA has been appointed the new Head of Finance at Seatronics, a leading provider of marine electronics to the subsea services market.

The new role will require Kevin to lead the finance function in each of Seatronics’ global bases and divisions.

Kevin has more than 20 years of experience and was previously CFO at Chantry Networks in Toronto and Group Financial Controller for the Ferguson Group.

Phil Middleton, group managing director, Seatronics, said, “Seatronics welcomes Kevin to the company in this new role. Kevin has an impressive track record, and we are looking forward to him adding significant value to the management team at Seatronics as we continue to develop our strategic goals in this challenging market.”

Lesley Wilson CA joins Pearl Onion Training

Lesley Wilson CA has been appointed Learning and Development Director at Pearl Onion Training.

Lesley was previously Head of Learning and Development and Training Partner at Johnston Carmichael, with responsibility for the professional development of 650 partners and staff.

Lesley trained with KPMG in Edinburgh and spent 23 years at Johnston Carmichael before joining her husband Keith, a fellow CA, in training business Pearl Onion which specialises in training in commercial/ business skills, leadership and management training, and organisational development.

Keith, Managing Director of Pearl Onion, said: “I am delighted Lesley has joined the business, she has been able to complement our existing training services and bring even more value to our clients.”

FRC names Tracy Vegro as Executive Director

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has appointed Tracy Vegro as Executive Director of Strategy and Resources. In this new role, Tracy will be responsible for implementing the FRC’s strategy, and ensuring the organisation has the culture, resources and leadership to deliver against its objectives as it takes on the new role of the Competent Authority for Audit.

Tracy is a Senior Civil Servant who has just concluded a secondment through the Cabinet Office High Potential Secondment Programme at the Co-operative Group where she worked initially on the Co-operative Bank recapitalisation, the subsequent Treasury Select Committee Inquiry into the Bank’s problems, and then stayed to implement significant governance reforms at the Co-operative Group, following Lord Myners’ Review of its governance.

Stephen Haddrill, Chief Executive of the FRC, said: “Tracy’s work on policy and strategy will be invaluable to the FRC as we enter our next three year strategic cycle. Her experience and insight in governance and capital market issues will be of critical importance to the FRC as our responsibilities grow and we seek to promote trustworthy behaviour and trustworthy corporate information in pursuit of our mission to foster investment.”

Elaine Cromwell becomes Thomson Cooper partner

Thomson Cooper has promoted Elaine Cromwell to the position of Partner, based at the Dunfermline office, as part of the firm’s growth strategy across Scotland.

Elaine started with Thomson Cooper in 1990 as a trainee accountant, qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 1996. Following a three year break working in industry, Elaine re-joined the firm in 2003 before being made an Associate in 2005. Her talent and competence have been recognised by accounting software giant Sage who selected her as ‘Accountant of the Year’ in 2010.

Managing Partner David Walker said: “I am delighted to welcome Elaine to the Partnership. She has shown considerable commitment to the firm and is dedicated to providing excellent client care. Elaine has played a key role in developing our extensive range of services and has the drive to expand the Business Support Service department in line with the firm’s growth strategy.”

Rhodri Whitlock joins PKF Littlejohn

Accountancy firm PKF Littlejohn, the London member firm of PKF International, has announced the appointment of Rhodri Whitlock as an assurance and advisory partner.

Over the last 15 years, Rhodri has worked extensively with the investment community specifically VCTs, infrastructure funds and private investment funds. Rhodri is a member of the AIC VCT technical sub-committee and, until recent mergers, acted for 16%+ by number of VCTs.

Managing partner, Carmine Papa, said: “Rhodri’s appointment supports our plan to grow the firm both in size and breadth of market coverage. Rhodri’s skills provide a powerful bridge between our core financial services practice and our increasingly international and sector based firm.  Rhodri’s contribution and experience will help the firm to grow to its target income of £40m by 2018.”

Career Moves this week: 2 March 2016

Fiona Luck CA appointed to Bermuda’s Commission of Inquiry

Fiona Luck CA has been named as one of the members of the new Commission of Inquiry in Bermuda.

The Commission will investigate concerns raised by the Auditor-General over the handling of taxpayers’ money from 2010-2012 and is due to start work on 1 April. Premier Michael Dunkley said that the Auditor-General’s report described “serious problems of accountability and control in the administration of the public purse”.

Fiona was recently appointed to the Board of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings. Her career history includes senior positions at XL Group plc, ACE Bermuda Insurance Ltd, and Marsh and McLennan, Inc. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Two CAs join Grant Thornton's tax team

Grant Thornton has made three key appointments to its tax team as it heads towards doubling the size of its tax team in Scotland over the next five years. Gail Gibson CA has been appointed as senior tax manager for Scotland. She was previously deputy head of tax at Entertainment One and joins after 10 years at Deloitte.

Alison Patton CA and Sarah Joiner also join the firm as tax managers. Alison, who trained at KPMG, was previously Senior Tax Analyst at drinks manufacturer Beam Suntroy.

Grant Thornton's Head of Tax for Scotland, Vishal Chopra, said: “It is an exciting time for Grant Thornton in Scotland as we look to grow our Tax team significantly over the next five years. As well as being an important step for our own goals, these appointments will help us continue to support our clients’ growth plans and ambitions.”

Jack McLaren CA recognised with SCDI Fellowship

Johnston Carmichael Partner Jack McLaren CA has been awarded a fellowship from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), in recognition of his contribution and service to the organisation. Jack was recognised alongside Trevor Garlick, who recently retired as Regional President – North Sea of BP plc.

Jack has served as Finance Adviser to the SCDI Board for the past seven years, where he was responsible for overseeing the organisation’s financial operations.

He said: “It’s been a pleasure to have been on the Board and serve SCDI, working with Board colleagues and members of staff.”

SCDI Chief Executive Ross Martin said: “Jack McLaren and Trevor Garlick have provided invaluable advice and support to SCDI over the many years of their involvement, both from their individual professional perspectives and also through their wider engagement in the development of our work. The SCDI Fellowship is our grateful recognition of the role which each of them have played."

KPMG announces new Head of Pensions

Andrew Coles has been announced as the new Head of Pensions at KPMG in the UK, succeeding Andrew Cawley who retires from KPMG after 21 years with the firm.

Andrew has 25 years’ experience in the pensions industry, most of which has been with KPMG.  His career at KPMG began in Birmingham before becoming a partner in the South Region in 2006.  In his new role Andrew will oversee KPMG’s UK pensions team advising a wide range of companies and trustees on developing strategies to manage UK pension arrangements.

Karen Briggs, head of Solutions at KPMG, said: “We are delighted to have Andrew heading up the team at a time when the industry is going through the biggest change in a century. Andrew brings a broad perspective, having worked in all key areas of our UK pensions advisory business, as well as internationally.  The introduction of the new freedoms and choice and the recent consultation on pension tax relief means that we are likely to see continuing change to the UK pensions landscape and demand for the solutions we bring in both the pension and wider reward environment”.

PwC hires blockchain expert Patrick Spens

PwC has hired Patrick Spens, the former regulator, hedge fund founder and city trader, to help the firm consider the implications and possible applications for blockchain technology.

Patrick has 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently as head of market monitoring at the FCA. Prior to that, he founded hedge fund Copenhagen Capital in 2005 and was Head of Equity and Alternative execution trading at Citigroup for EMEA.

Michael Rendell, PwC’s transformation and innovation leader, said: “We anticipate growing demand from right across our client base for help understanding the implications and potential applications of blockchain, and Patrick is one of the UK’s leading blockchain experts. While still in its infancy, we see the potential for blockchain to disrupt and revolutionise the way organisations do things and want to be at the forefront of understanding the impact and applying this technology.”

About Eden Scott

Eden Scott is a leading accountancy and finance recruitment firm, specialising in auditing, business services, consulting, energy, public practice and tax. From their offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, they utilise their market knowledge and unrivalled network to connect reputable businesses with world-class professionals across executive, permanent, interim and contract positions.


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