Top 5 accountancy practice hires of 2017

Top 5 accountancy practice hires of 2017

2017 has seen a raft of hires and promotions across the top accountancy firms, as firms look to expand and drive growth ahead of the challenges of 2018. Here's our pick of the significant appointments of 2017

1. New chairman elected at KPMG

With Simon Collins set to end his term as UK chairman of KPMG on 30 September 2017, the firm elected Bill Michael as his successor in March this year.

Ahead of becoming chairman, Michael was the firm’s global head of banking and capital markets and a “market leading voice” on banking culture and behaviours following the 2008 global financial crisis.

At the time of his election, Michael said that his priority as chairman would be to “drive an inclusive culture”, championing diversity within KPMG and the wider business community.

2. BDO delivers early on partner target

In early March, BDO revealed that it had appointed a total of 25 partners, achieving the firm’s target of 25 partners by the end of the financial year 2016-17. 18 of the partners joined from competitor firms while nine hires involved internal promotions.

The two hires that took the firm to 25 were Duncan Lamb, who joined the corporate finance team from Grant Thornton, and Colin Haig, who joined the business restructuring team from KPMG.

3. EY poaches three partners from KPMG

In April, EY announced the appointment of three partners to its real estate, hospitality and construction (RHC) team, with the new hires taking up key roles in international real estate transactions.

Richard White, Nicola Westbrooke and Richard Ross all joined from KPMG, with 75 years of real estate experience between them.

Russell Gardner, head of RHC at EY said that the appointments marked “another significant step on the journey of EY’s UK real estate practice and consolidates the progress we have made in the last two years.”

4. RSM trainee drive boosts UK headcount

In September, RSM announced the recruitment of 288 trainees, bringing the firm’s UK headcount to 3,600 individuals.

The trainees were appointed across 30 offices in the UK, including tax, audit, corporate finance and financial reporting teams.

At the time, chief operating officer at RSM David Gwilliam said that RSM’s future ambitions relied on “attracting and developing new talent” across the business, and that the high number of trainees was representative of the training and opportunities offered by the firm.

RSM’s trainees programme involves individuals working towards accountancy qualifications, with the opportunity for an overseas secondment.

5. KPMG head of international tax returns from GlaxoSmithKline

KPMG saw the return of a familiar face in October with the appointment of Melissa Geiger as head of international tax.

Geiger had left the Big Four firm to take up the role of global head of tax at GlaxoSmithKline – a position she held for three years.

At KPMG, Geiger had become the youngest female equity partner and was responsible for the firm’s M&A offering.

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