ICAS Business Policy Panel
Nearly two out of three of our working members work in business. Our Business Policy Panel consists of senior members who either work in audit or advise businesses, ranging from large to small.
Business Policy Panel remit
The Business Policy Panel represents both member views and the public interest on business policy issues by developing thought leadership/guidance and making representations to stakeholders.
Our business policy positions are set out below, with overarching ICAS policy themes and positions:
- Building trust in business
- Easier access to funding for SMEs and support for a private sector-led recovery (promoting enterprise);
- Create a positive environment for business and enterprise through better regulation and clear principles (better regulation, principles not rules);
- Promotion of sound corporate governance (sound governance).
Please contact us
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Business Policy Panel members
Paul Hally (Chair)
Paul was chairman of Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP until November 2020 and, after 37 years, retired in April 2021 as a corporate partner. He has a wide range of experience, primarily in the Energy and Financial sectors, of company law, corporate finance, corporate governance, banking and insolvency.
Gary qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. Since then he has accumulated 24 years’ experience in the Oil & Gas and Tech sectors carrying out acquisitions, disposals and bank funding. This included three years in his first CFO role in Texas, USA. More recently, Gary has worked with Private Equity backed SMEs and this included the successful sale of Red Spider to Haliburton.
Alan is the Chief Executive of Severfield plc, a UK steel construction business, listed on the London Stock Exchange. He was previously the Finance Director and has worked for Severfield since 2010.
Prior to that, Alan was at Smiths Group plc where he held various roles in the UK and Japan over 15 years, with his final role being as Finance Director of Smiths Detection, one of 5 divisions of the group. Alan qualified with Coopers & Lybrand in Glasgow in 1992.
Currently, Alan is a Non-Executive Director of Johnson Matthey PLC (since January 2011) and of Croda International Plc (since July 2011). He also joined the board of Marshall Motors Holdings plc as a Non-Executive Director prior to its admission to AIM in April 2015. He chairs the Audit Committees and is the Senior Independent Director at each of these companies.
Past experience includes extensive international financial management and board experience gained in a broad range of industries. Alan was Chief Financial Officer and a Director of Lonmin Plc until December 2010. Prior to that, he was Group Finance Director of The BOC Group until it was acquired by the Linde Group in 2006. Before then he spent 22 years in a variety of roles at Inchcape plc, including 6 years as Group Finance Director from 1999. He also served on the Board of The Weir Group PLC as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee from December 2010 until April 2018.
Nick co-founded Volvere plc (AIM: VLE) in 2002 to invest in turnaround opportunities. Volvere typically acquires controlling equity stakes in distressed businesses, works closely with management to improve performance and ultimately achieve an exit. He is responsible for operating activities of group companies (typically as Chairman or NED), group financial management, control and reporting, regulatory compliance, and for assisting with the identification of targets and due diligence. He joined the ICAS Council in 2018.
Previous experience includes COO of DDL Limited (an FSA regulated private equity fund), Non-executive Director of Directex Realisations plc (AIM: DXR), an AIM-listed shell with a number of legacy issues following a period of asset disposals and Corporate Development Director, Clyde Blowers PLC. He qualified with PwC in 1990.
For the last twenty years Grant has been a Group Finance Director specialising in large Fresh produce businesses since leaving E&Y (London). These have included AH Worth, Anglia Farmers, Total Produce, G’s and Emmett.
He qualified with Henderson & Loggie before moving to London with E&Y. He is also a past Honorary Treasurer of The St Andrew’s Golf Club and holds several voluntary positions including vice chairman of his local Parish Council.
Currently, Richard is a Non-Executive Director of Inspired Energy plc (since March 2017) an AIM listed provider of energy procurement services based near Preston. He is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee. He is also acting as an advisor to the board of Novosco Limited, an IT services company based in Belfast. Past experience has largely been in fast-growing organisations. Richard served as CFO of iomart Group plc, an AIM listed cloud computing company, for over 12 years, having retired from that position at the end of December 2018. Over the period revenue grew from around £8m to over £100m.
In addition, he was CFO of Kingston-SCL, a provider of mobile billing software solutions based in Edinburgh, for 10 years. Over the period revenue grew from around £5m to £50m. Prior to those roles, Richard spent 8 years with Ben Line Group a shipping and oil business based in Edinburgh, initially as Group Treasurer and latterly as CFO of the container shipping operation.
Barry is an Audit Director with Johnston Carmichael, based in Edinburgh, with over 19 years experience in external audit. Barry is responsible for some of Johnston Carmichael’s larger more complex audits, as well as working with a number of SME’s across a range of industries including professional services, manufacturing, hospitality and renewable energy.
Prior to joining Johnston Carmichael in 2014, Barry spent 9 years with EY, firstly in Melbourne, working with clients in the Retail, Industrial and Consumer Products sector, and latterly in central Scotland focused primarily on the firm’s larger listed and private clients.
Todd has been an executive director of the independent merchant bank Noble Grossart since 2000. His work involves corporate advisory roles in a range of assignments including fundraising for public and large private companies, acquisitions and disposals, and management and employee buyouts.
Todd has been with Noble Grossart for over 20 years having previously worked for Morgan Grenfell and KPMG, where he qualified as a CA with ICAS in 1991.
Ross is the Group Finance Director of Stagecoach Group plc. Stagecoach is an FTSE 250 company and a leading public transport operator with operations in the UK, the United States and Canada. Prior to becoming Group Finance Director in May 2013, Ross was Stagecoach's Director of Finance and Company Secretary from 2007.
He joined Stagecoach in 1999 and has since held various senior finance and company secretarial roles. Prior to joining Stagecoach, Ross worked at Arthur Andersen from 1993. In connection with his role at Stagecoach, Ross has been a director of Virgin Rail Group since 2002, and he chairs its Audit Committee.
Ross is also a Non-Executive Director and chairs the Audit Committee of The Unite Group plc. Unite, an FTSE 250 company, is the largest manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK.
Alex is the Finance Director at Dickson Minto, a boutique law firm specialising in corporate transactions and complex commercial advice. Previously, she was Group Financial Controller and Head of Risk & Insurance of Forth Ports, one of the UK’s largest port groups with 8 ports on the Forth, Tay and Thames Estuaries.
Prior to joining Forth Ports in 2013, Alex worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 16 years where she performed a number of roles across assurance and transaction services focusing on listed and large private corporates across a range of industries. Whilst with PwC, she was seconded to the Scottish Government where she helped the Energy Directorate establish the Renewable Energy Investment Fund working closely with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise.
Alex is also a Non-Executive Director and Trustee with The Rock Trust, a local Edinburgh based charity, where she is on both Audit and Remuneration Committees, and is also a Non-Executive Director for the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
Alice is Head of Business Policy and Public Sector at ICAS.