The top 10 CA leaders under 35

By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

21 July 2016

With less than two months until our 35 CAs under 35 category winners and One Young CA are announced, CA Today takes a closer look at our leadership shortlist.

This category is for the young CAs who inspire others and drive the profession forward. The ambition and ability to spearhead a team was essential and has highlighted these candidates among the best the professional world has to offer.

Our finalists have transformed companies, overcome adversity and mentored other rising stars.

ICAS places enormous value on our members who can inspire others and bring about change, demonstrated by the theme of the 2016 ICAS Conference: ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurs in Brexit Britain’.

The 2016 ICAS 35 CAs under 35 Leadership finalists

Edward Brewerton CA

Financial Reporting and Marketing Manager, Apache Canada

"Quite simply the CA designation is the primary reason I have been able to start my new life in Canada. Upon obtaining the designation, the transfer to EY Canada was almost automatic."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with EY.
  • 2007: Corporate Finance Manager at EY.
  • 2012: Senior Accounting Policy Advisor at Imperial Oil.
  • 2014: Accounting Supervisor at Apache Canada.
  • 2015: Financial Reporting and Marketing Manager at Apache Canada.
  • Director of the Canadian Osteoporosis Society, Alberta Chapter.

The judges liked: Integrity and confidence.

Ben Collins CA

Associate Director, EY

"A key driver for me becoming a CA was the ability to stand alongside directors as they carry out what is often the most significant change in their business that they have had to handle."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with EY.
  • 2007: Accountant at EY.
  • 2008: Member of Insolvency Team at EY.
  • 2009: Secondment to FTSE 250 business.
  • 2012: Extended placement at EY South Africa.
  • 2015: Associate Director at EY.
  • Birmingham Young Professional of the Year for Finance.
  • Trustee of the Cheatle Trust.

The judges liked: Responsibility and integrity.

Stuart MacDougall CA

Assurance Director, PwC

“My CA qualification has been instrumental in all that I have achieved to date. This was especially the case when working overseas; such is the reputation being a CA brings."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with PwC.
  • 2008: Senior Associate at PwC.
  • 2010: Manager at PwC.
  • 2013: Senior Manager at PwC.
  • 2015: Support to Glencraft Aberdeen (PwC Social Enterprise of the Year Award).
  • 2016: Assurance Director at PwC.

The judges liked: Motivation and confidence.

Scott Dunbar CA

Business Advisory Director, Johnston Carmichael

"There are many different avenues that you can take in business and I believe that the CA qualification has given me access to opportunities I may not otherwise have had."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with Ritsons.
  • 2001: Trainee Chartered Accountant at Ritsons.
  • 2008: Financial Accountant at Johnston Carmichael.
  • 2011: Financial Controller at Johnston Carmichael.
  • 2012: Senior Client Relationship Manager at Johnston Carmichael.
  • 2016: Business Advisory Director at Johnston Carmichael.

The judges liked: Passion and determination.

Colin McLellan CA

Finance Director, Skyscanner

"Fundamentally, the CA qualification has given me a very clear sense of what robust and ethical business decisions look like and the importance of making such decisions."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with KPMG.
  • 2004: Assistant Tax Manager at KPMG.
  • 2008: IAS39 Hedge Accountant at Scottish Power.
  • 2010: Group Accountant at Worldmark.
  • 2013: Group Financial Controller at Skyscanner.
  • 2015: Interim CEO at Skyscanner Japan.
  • 2016: Finance Director at Skyscanner.

The judges liked: Enthusiasm and adaptability.

Claire Monaghan CA

Partner, RSM

"Over the years it became apparent that a career in this area was much more than just debits and credits and offers the opportunity to get involved with a variety of businesses. No day is ever the same."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with RSM.
  • 2007: Audit Supervisor at RSM.
  • 2009: Manager at RSM.
  • 2012: Senior Manager at RSM.
  • 2015: Associate Diretor at RSM.
  • 2016: Partner at RSM.

The judges liked: Integrity and drive.

Katherine Ritchie CA

Executive, EY

"The opportunity to work internationally offered new and rewarding perspectives and experiences. It also helped address my self-development and broader career ambitions within EY."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with EY.
  • 2007: Transaction Services Executive at KPMG.
  • 2010: Direct Tax Intern at EY.
  • 2012: Analyst at EY.
  • 2015: Executive at EY.
  • Volunteer at London 2012 Olympics.
  • Volunteer at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The judges liked: Awareness and ambition.

Rory Shedden CA

Solution Development Director, Radius

"The depth and breadth of the CA has given me the confidence and self-belief to be able to move between service lines, countries and organisations and to thrive in all of these different environments."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with EY.
  • 2006: Assistant Audit manager at EY.
  • 2011: Advisory Services Manager at EY.
  • 2013: EMEA Compliance Manager at Radius.
  • 2014: Program Manager at Radius.
  • 2016: Solution Development Director at Radius.

The judges liked: Passion and impact.

Stephen Smith CA

CFO, Suzo Happ

"The CA qualification gave me the skill-set to succeed at EY. I was able to take what I had learnt in class and apply it to real life scenarios."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with EY.
  • 2008: Audit Senior at EY.
  • 2010: Audit Manager at EY.
  • 2013: CFO at Suzo Happ.
  • Executive Committee & Treasurer at the National Gallery of Victoria.
  • Vice Chairman of the Board at Dynamics Chinatec Industries.

The judges liked: Motivation and adaptability.

Graham Stirling CA

Audit Manager, Grant Thornton Singapore

"The CA qualification has been like having a second passport; it is an internationally renowned and respected qualification which has helped me reach my career ambition of working abroad."

Career summary

  • Qualified as a CA with Grant Thornton.
  • 2009: Audit Executive at Grant Thornton.
  • 2013: Audit Senior at Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton.
  • 2015: Audit Executive at Grant Thornton Singapore.
  • 2015: Audit Manager at Grant Thornton Singapore.

The judges liked: Enthusiasm and integrity.

The winner of the leadership category will be announced in a prestigious awards ceremony at the CA Dinner in London on 7 September 2016.

The annual event will be hosted by ICAS Chief Executive Anton Colella and ICAS President Ken McHattie CA. This year, our after-dinner speaker will be comedian and TV personality Jo Brand.

It is the perfect opportunity to connect with eminent business leaders across a range of industries and broaden your professional network.

Along with the chance to be named the 2016 ICAS One Young CA, the category winner will receive a free place at both the CA Dinner and the flagship ICAS Conference, a mentor as part of the ICAS career mentoring programme and various speaking opportunities at future ICAS events.

Find out more about this year's candidates and show your support by up-voting your favourites on the One Young CA website.


  • CA life
  • One Young CA

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