People Moves: KPMG UK, Grant Thornton, Markel Tax and more

People Moves: KPMG UK, Grant Thornton, Markel Tax and more

Several accountancy and tax firms have hired and promoted staff, including Chiene + Tait, SME-focused Champion Accountants and TaxAssist, among others.

People Moves: KPMG UK, Grant Thornton, Markel Tax and more

Markel Tax hires managing director

Mid-tier firm Markel Tax has welcomed Melanie Hicks into the company as its new managing director, capitalising on her extensive advisory experience.

Hicks previously held a tax partner role at Mazars and Baker Tilly, and has advised owner-managed businesses on their tax and commercial matters for over 20 years.

Neil Galjaard, divisional managing director at Markel, said: “Melanie is a natural leader who is passionate about building strong relationships with clients and their advisors. She is the ideal person to lead Markel Tax through its next ambitious growth phase.”

Markel Tax was formed through the acquisition and merger of Abbey Tax, Accountax, HowarthLynch and Gabelle.

KPMG UK gives several internal, external promotions

KPMG UK has appointed 49 partners and 196 directors, pushing the Big Four firm further towards its inclusion and diversity targets.

Of employees who were promoted to partner internally, 50% are female—up 14% from last year—and 15% come from a BAME background.

Additionally, 48% of external hires are female, with 10% coming from a BAME background.

Bill Michael, chair and senior partner of KPMG UK, said: “We are committed to continually developing and progressing our people in their careers.

“Across our business we’re promoting more than 700 of our people, which reflects the confidence we have in our potential to grow and help our clients.”

KPMG UK also saw a record number of graduates and apprentices join the company in 2019.

New staff join several TaxAssist departments

The TaxAssist network has appointed several new members to its technical, marketing and technology teams.

Tax practitioner Gary Clark will act as technical manager for the company’s Norwich support centre, providing support to over 200 franchisees. Clark brings with him 10 years of experience as a specialist tax manager, as well as 10 years as a business owner.

Karl Sandall, group chief executive director at TaxAssist, said: “Gary brings with him a wealth of expertise, including providing advisory services to clients seeking income and capital taxes advice, all aspects of personal tax compliance and invaluable real-world practice experience, from which all our franchisees can benefit.”

Additionally, Lee Currell (software training and support officer) and Nick Kyle (junior web developer) have joined the digital technology team.

Marketing executive Pasty Boyle will work on the company’s marketing and business development team, while Jack Sandall and James Sandall have joined onto the network’s 18 month business administration apprenticeships.

TaxAssist operates throughout the UK, Ireland and Australia offering tax and accountancy advice for small businesses.

Grant Thornton appoints industry experts

Business advisory firm Grant Thornton has appointed to senior industry experts to grow its Growth 365 service in Scotland.

Nicola Thomas brings with her 20 years of experience in advising and mentoring management, coming from a background at Santander UK and Christian Salvensen.

Additionally, Vikki Macleod brings 30 years of experience in the technology, marketing and financial services sectors. Previously, she advised c-suite clients at Virgin Money, Tesco and HSBC on digital transformation and customer engagement strategies.

Neil McInnes, partner at Grant Thornton, said: “Adding the sector specialist expertise and connections of Nicola and Vikki strengthens this offering in F&B, digital and e-commerce respectively. These are key industries for both Scotland and the UK in general.

“Ambitious entrepreneurs and owner-managers leading dynamic businesses operating within them can now depend on a deepened knowledge-base and expanded international network to support their growth plans.”

Champion Accountants welcome trainees

SME-focused Champion Accountants has welcomed seven trainees onto its trainee programme across several locations.

Harry Royle, Harry Sheridan and Ben Turner will work out of Champion’s head office in Manchester, while Luke Evans will work in Chester.

Additionally, Niamh Bonnett and Madison Wyles will join the Blackpool office as audit and account trainees. Lastly, Max Kilshaw will work out of the company’s Blackburn office.

Ged Cosgrove, group managing partner at Champion, said: “A major part of the Champion culture is to grow our own talent, so from day one, our trainees are given the opportunity to work with clients and build those important professional relationships.

“We ensure our trainee programme is as accessible and inclusive as possible in order to provide a fantastic pathway for aspiring new accountants to earn while they learn, whilst working in a multi-disciplinary accountancy group.”

Partners promoted at Chiene + Tait

Accounting firm Chiene + Tait have promoted Jackie Fraser and Shona Fraser from heads of its Inverness operation to partner level.

Jackie Fraser joined the firm in 2016, coming from her role as tax manager at EY, while Shona Fraser left her chartered accountant position at EY to join Chiene + Tait in 2017.

Shona Fraser said: “As two professionals with a long track record within the city’s business community, Jackie and I were confident that Inverness was an ideal market for Chiene + Tait to target.

“Three years on, we continue to build on the strong foundation we’ve now established across the Highlands.”
With this appointment, the firm’s total partners now stands at 13, with six partners being female.

City Relay gains CFO

Steven Kearney has been named as chief financial officer for City Relay, the short-let property management company.

Kearney joins from Next Ventures, where he was finance director, and brings 13 years of experience from his previous senior positions at PwC, Intrapay and Gett.

Maxime Leufroy-Murat, founder and chief executive of City Relay, said: “The strength of our leadership team is a top priority, and Steven Kearney joins at an exciting time as we continue our expansion across London.

“Steven’s extensive experience across a range of sectors will be a great asset to the business and I look forward to working closely with him.”

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