#AAYP 2013: The 35 under 35

#AAYP 2013: The 35 under 35

Accountancy Age celebrates some of the profession's brightest young talent, highlighting a wealth of experience and skills - at a relatively young age

ACCOUNTANCY AGE is proud to present the second annual ’35 under 35′, showcasing some of the profession’s brightest young talent as part of our Young Professionals Day:


George Agathangelou ACMA, CGMA
Age: 30
Senior manager, advisory, Ernst & Young
Recognised within E&Y and by some of the highest profile hospitals in the country, Agathangelou is one of the rising stars in his specialist field of financial management in healthcare. Agathangelou has been able to combine his accounting background with the very specialist and complex nature of publicly funded healthcare to develop into the go-to expert in his field. For example, he recently led E&Y’s support to Project Diamond, working on behalf of 12 specialist teaching hospitals in London to build a complex model to understand the future implications of the nationally set tariff and to inform hospitals’ CEOs on the implications for their cost base and services. He is trusted by CEOs and FDs to provide both technical and practical advice on a regular basis, and as a member of the firm’s Accelerated Leadership Programme, he has a very bright future in the profession.

Debbie Austin ACCA
Age: 34
Partner, Wellers Accountants
Austin started her career with Wellers in 1996 as a trainee. She never looked back and importantly for Wellers, never worked anywhere else. After becoming ACCA-qualified, she soon climbed the ranks to become a partner two years ago. She has helped grow the Wellers client portfolio and focuses in particular on new business start-ups and owner managed businesses. Austin applies her ability to really know and understand a business, the owner and the issues they face delivering professional solutions and business advice that helps entrepreneurs achieve their ambitions. This meticulous approach means since becoming partner she now manages 120 clients across a variety of sectors.

Richard BakerRichard Baker ACA
Age: 34
Partner, Crowe Clark Whitehill
Baker commands respect for his technical and interpersonal capabilities, as shown by his invitation to become a Crowe Clark Whitehill partner in April 2008, aged 29.
Baker, based in the Midlands, primarily works with larger corporate and owner-managed businesses, and has grown a good portfolio and earned the respect of both those inside and outside the firm. He is a regular commentator in the pharmaceuticals press on issues affecting that sector, and acts as technical adviser to a number of small firms. He is accredited by the firm as an AIM-listed audit partner and is sought after across the firm as a knowledgeable second partner reviewer. Charged with the responsibility of becoming the firm’s training partner, he is responsible for developing a national training strategy to help future-proof Crowe Clark Whitehill and to develop young talent within the firm.

Graham Boar ACA
Age: 32
Director, UHY WKH Partnership
In 2012 Boar achieved a distinction grade in his diploma examination with The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and as director of taxation services Boar undertakes a variety of tax planning exercises for clients including estate and succession planning as well as transactional structuring work. Boar is also regularly in dialogue with branches of HM Revenue and Customs, defending investigations into clients’ tax affairs, undertaking remedial work or managing interaction between HMRC and our client base.

gemma-clarkGemma Clark ACA
Age: 33
Director, PwC
Clark joined in 2001 following a summer internship. Since then she has quickly progressed through the ranks. Her energy and passion for her clients and teams make her stand out. She has completed a number of secondments over the years including working with PwC’s London Assurance Executive Board and as part of ASDA’s finance function. Clark is an alumni of PwC’s award-winning global leadership programme Genesis Park, aimed at the top 2-5% of the talented and high achieving across the PwC global network, who are on track for partnership. Following her return from Genesis Park in November 2011 Clark now has works on a portfolio of clients specialising in retail and consumer and private equity backed businesses

Richard Collis ACA
Age: 34
Partner, Saffery Champness (London)
A chartered accountant and tax advisor, Collis has developed a practice focused around the owner managed business and its stakeholders. His work spans multiple disciplines and sectors, with experience ranging from supporting a global telecoms company with due diligence and tax planning on a European data centre acquisition to providing accounting and technical support to an AIM listed international mineral exploration company. Collis is also involved in the Nexia International network and is a member of its IFRS Special Interest Group.

James Donegan CPFA
Age: 24
FED (fraud, error and debt) benefits realisation manager, Cabinet Office
Donegan has recently started a new job at the Cabinet Office, prior to this he was a projects assistant at the Metropolitan Policy, where he worked extensively on Olympic security.

Ryan FergusonRyan Ferguson ACA
Age: 31
Audit senior manager, BDO
After qualifying, Ferguson spent two years moving around the firm to get a broad business education, including a secondment to South Africa. Ferguson now manages Randgold Resources – the only FTSE 100 not audited by the Big Four – and FTSE 250 Petra Diamonds. Ferguson spends much of his time in Africa at mines getting his hands dirty including a recent review in Nigeria. Ryan is regarded as technically excellent but also has a strong commercial business understanding.

Mark GillespieMark Gillespie ACA
Age: 31
Director, FTI Consulting
Gillespie achieved promotion to director at the age of 30. He managed a multi-billion dollar valuation in a dispute context, and has received recommendation to testify as an expert witness. He also manages professional qualification training for ICAEW trainees.

sarahSarah Griffiths ACMA, CGMA
Age: 26
Financial Analyst, Sky’s Broadcast Services division
Griffiths joined Deloitte Consulting’s Analyst Programme in 2008. Whilst on secondment to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), she completed her CIMA studies, and achieved the highest mark globally out of nearly 5,000 students for the Performance Management paper. Her role at LOCOG in the run up to the 2012 Olympics was as a Financial Planning Analyst for the Revenue and the Transport Departments. During the Olympic Games, Griffiths was the Deputy Transport Manager for the Wimbledon venue. She left Deloitte in the autumn of 2012 and joined Sky in January 2013. She is now responsible for leading the finance relationship with key stakeholders in Sky’s Broadcast Services division. She is also responsible for all budgeting and forecasting for this area of Sky’s business.

David Hailey JIEB, CPI
Age: 27
Insolvency practitioner, UHY WKH Partnership
Hailey has many years’ experience in providing business and tax planning advice to the firm’s larger corporate clients. He is a member of R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, and now specialises in providing business turnaround and corporate recovery advice for formal insolvency solutions. Hailey has also just been accepted as a member and licence holder of the Insolvency Practitioners Association.

Brian Harvey ACA
Age: 34
Partner, Agricultural Services team, Francis Clark
Cornish-born Harvey joined Francis Clark in 2003, and over the past ten years he has played an instrumental role in the growth and success of the firm’s Truro-based agricultural team. Coming from a farming family in Penzance, Harvey has used his extensive knowledge of the agricultural and rural business sector in the South West to fantastic effect to and is a familiar face within the local farming community.
A member of the ICAEW Farming and Rural Business Group and the ICAEW Audit and Assurance faculty, Brian specialises in financial accounting and taxation issues including IHT, CGT and succession planning for rural businesses and is also highly experienced in statutory auditing and reporting.

Jason HiggsJason Higgs ACA
Age: 28
Senior manager, PwC
Higgs started with PwC in 2005 following two years working in Zermatt in a bar and as a hotel manager. Higgs had a secondary school education and joined as an accounting technician, qualifying as an accountant and auditor as he worked supporting the audits of our complex and challenging mid-FTSE clients. He is heavily involved in his second year of the Emerging Leaders Programme where he led work, reporting to the audit executive team. Further experience includes working on an international IPO in the diamond industry and more recently working closely with senior management on improved planning processes for the whole of PwC’s UK audit division. He is currently engaged with a team working on Lehman Brothers, helping to return billions of dollars to its creditors.

Kevin HopperKevin Hopper ACA
Age: 33
Partner, Forrester Boyd Chartered Accountants
Hopper joined the firm straight from school in 1998, qualified at ACA in 2003 and became one of our youngest ever partners in October 2008. Over the last four years he has become an expert in the academy sector and has driven the firm’s specialism forward, gaining in excess of 50 schools, situated across seven local authorities.
Hopper has provided advice and expertise to consortia at national level and is well known and respected for his specialised knowledge and ability in this sector. He was one of the founder members of the YPLA Audit Advisory Group (now known as the EFA) and has been involved from the start of the new Academies process, and has been able to influence thinking in those areas relating to audit and reporting requirements.

Lisa Huckerby ACA
Age: 28
Manager, RSM Tenon
Huckerby joined the audit team at RSM Tenon in 2004 on a placement year from Loughborough University. She returned in 2006 on completion of her degree and became ACA qualified in 2008. As a result of her strong performance, Huckerby was swiftly promoted through to manager in January 2010. During a three-year period she was a key member of the lead advisory team acting on a variety of disposals, investments and MBOs. In late 2012, she took on a newly-created role within the audit and accounts team which utilises her commercial experience on a variety of strategic advisory projects for small and medium-sized entrepreneurial businesses whilst being actively involved in the business development activities of the firm.

Alex Hutchings ACCA
Age: 26
Senior associate, PwC
Hutchings started with PwC in 2009, joining the assurance practice in St Albans. Having left school, he spent a number of years playing tennis on the men’s world circuit before changing careers. He is now a qualified accountant with ACCA having won three global prizes for exam performance including the bronze medal for his professional level papers and has recently been accepted onto their Leaders of Tomorrow programme. Hutchings has a wide range of audit experience on both listed and private clients across industry sectors that include financial services, entertainment, travel and retail.

Richard Kinney ACMA, CGMA
Age: 29
Commercial planning manager, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Kinney began his career in the Arcadia Group finance graduate scheme, working in a number of roles: from buying and merchandising; to group reporting. His latest role sees him sit within commercial planning at Twentieth Century Fox, part of the wider finance function. However, he works closely with the sales team supporting national account managers of major retailers, including HMV, Amazon and the major grocers.

Peter Leonard ACA
Age: 30
Partner, Rickard Keen
Leonard joined Rickard Keen in 2001 after completing his A-Levels, going on to qualify as a chartered accountant. Promoted to partner in 2013, Peter was previously a manager in the accounts department at the firm’s Basildon office and an associate, working alongside managing partner Alan Worsdale. A business growth expert, Leonard runs his own varied portfolio of clients ranging from printers to international freight forwarders, with the bulk of his portfolio consisting of property related clients including developers, investors and traders.
He recently completed the Developing Leadership in Practice (DLiP) course through the ICAEW to develop and hone his leadership qualities.

denise-mackinnonDenise MacKinnon CA
Age: 30
Business services manager, Campbell Dallas
MacKinnon undertook a lead role following a restructuring of the business advisory service department in Glasgow. She transformed from being a purely client facing manager to successfully running a team of nine, including two school leaver trainees who have now been with the firm for one year and are on a fantastic career path. She also took control of the outsourcing services for the firm and demonstrated mature leadership skills in managing the firm’s payroll and bookkeeping staff. She was key to improving financial results and quality of service, resulting in happier staff and clients.

Sam Mitchell ACA, AAT
Age: 31
Director, Lambert Roper & Horsfield
Mitchell has been an exemplar of ability and application. Joining the firm as a 16 year-old school-leaver, he romped through AAT and ICAEW exams, competing successfully against Big Four graduate candidates. His friendly personality and strong technical skills make him popular with clients and team members alike, and explain why he was promoted from manager to director at the ripe age of 29.

Joe O’Connor
Age: 34
Partner, transaction advisory services, Ernst & Young
O’Connor won Accountant of the Year in 2009 in recognition of his achievements including acting as COO for E&Y in the North West, age 29, and being lead project manager on the Nortel administration across 19 countries and the solvent wind-down of Littlewoods. He has also advised on another high profile residential care home operator, and has been one of those being consulted by government on measures to ensure continuity of care in the adult care sector in the case of another major restructuring. O’Connor is part of the firm’s restructuring leadership, with the key responsibility for people. Overall, his achievements have been significant and his approach includes reflects his passion at about his colleagues, clients and work, while maintaining a good sense of humour.

Gavin Pearson ACA
Age: 34
Forensic accounting partner at RSM Tenon
Pearson leads a range of forensic accounting assignments in the London office, dealing with business valuations, shareholder disputes, financial investigations and criminal cases. He plays a key role in business development, generating work from his external contact base. Pearson is seen as the forensic accountant of choice for a number of legal sector referrers, and has given expert evidence in the Crown Court and the High Court. He undertakes quality assurance reviews for cases run by other forensic accounting partners and directors, and is also responsible for HR and staff development within the London forensic accounting team.

Rebecca Pitt ACCA
Age: 27
Finance business partner – credit and equities, ICAP
The youngest person at her company to become a finance business partner. Rebecca entered the profession on a graduate scheme.

Julia Poulter ACA, AAT
Age: 30
Senior manager, not-for-profit, BDO
Poulter is an established member of BDO’s not-for-profit team, having chosen to specialise full time in the charitable sector six years ago, and has gained knowledge and experience across a variety of sectors. As well as a range of client work, including Girlguiding UK, YMCA England and the Samaritans, she has a keen interest in staff development and takes the lead in organising and delivering specialist training courses for staff working in the charity sector at various levels across the firm’s offices.

Victoria Price FCCA
Age: 30
Senior Manager, Tax, Ernst & Young
Price leads from the front, always taking her team with her and displaying creativity in order to achieve success. For example, she has built a women’s networking group, arranged socials for a variety of stakeholders which has resulted in new business opportunities. She spent a week in Uganda on an E&Y-sponsored Action Learning Programme gaining superb feedback. She has led the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year programme in Liverpool for five years, generating many new clients and contacts for the firm. She is tireless in her work with clients and displays maturity beyond her years, bringing enthusiasm and experience together. Price is the ultimate professional, combining her family life with a dynamic and successful career, managing all her achievements while working a reduced week to balance work with her three young children.

Carl Reader ACA, ACCA
Age: 32
Partner, Dennis & Turnbull
Reader has been in practice since the age of 16, joining Dennis & Turnbull in 2002 and being offered partnership in 2007. Since then, he has been responsible for creating the firm’s strategy, developing and implementing bespoke CRM and practice management systems, and leading the firm to become market leaders in their niche sectors of franchising and tuition – ultimately resulting in a substantial portfolio including household names such as Dyno-Rod, Stagecoach Theatre Arts and MAC Tools (part of Stanley Black and Decker). He has become a recognised speaker, and columnist for various magazines, and has been involved in several other businesses and not-for-profits.

Sheetal Sanghvi ACA
Age: 32
Corporate tax manager, RSM Tenon
Sanghvi started with legacy Tenon in 2002 straight from university on a trainee contract in the audit team. She was seconded into the corporate tax team in 2006 and joined permanently as an assistant manager in March 2007. She was promoted to manager in 2008. He role includes management of the Nottingham tax compliance function, including holding a portfolio of 40 clients, including the office’s largest client; Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, which consists of over 30 companies in the group across the UK and overseas.
Main clients are owner managed businesses and therefore, this involves giving tax advice to the shareholders as well as tax advice at company level. She is involved in business development, and also coaches and mentors staff.

Nicola ShearerNicola Shearer ACA
Age: 24
Audit manager, BDO
Shearer joined BDO straight from school aged 18 and has progressed rapidly through the firm, taking her first senior role on audits aged only 21 and then completing her training to qualify as a chartered accountant. Her enthusiasm and energy to work with overseas clients has marked her out within the firm. Having been fast tracked to manager in March 2013, she already has a portfolio which includes two stock exchange listed plantation clients requiring travel to Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as having responsibility for the APAC operations of a major worldwide media business which has taken her to the USA, Australia and Singapore.
Not content with just delivering quality work to her clients, she has also played an active role in recruiting, counselling and mentoring members of staff, particularly those that like her have joined straight from school.

Louise Sim ACCA
Age: 31
HR partner, Murray Taylor Scotland
Louise began her accountancy career in 2001, when she worked for a medium-sized accountancy practice which had offices in Forfar, Dundee and Perth. She joined Murray Taylor in March 2005 where she was involved in the opening of our Arbroath office in May of that year. She has continued developing her skills in tax and accounts with a small involvement in auditing, and looks after a wide range of clients, assisting them with their statutory obligations and advising on tax planning initiatives available to them. Sim continues to look after our Arbroath office as the resident partner and is part of the team that specialise in doctor’s surgeries. She is also a founder member of the Declaration Chapter of Business Network International, in Arbroath, where she continues to be an enthusiastic member.

Joe Sword Joe Sword ACA
Age: 25
Accountant, strategic business planner and tax strategy planner, Nordens
Since joining Nordens, Sword has proven his capabilities and professionalism as an accountant dedicated to working in the best interests of his clients. In January, he was the proud recipient of the ICAEW award for the Central London Small Practitioners’ Group, Small Firm Prize, receiving the highest marks in the advanced stage examinations. Sword’s hard work and determination has led to him taking responsibility for managing the accounts and tax affairs of more than 100 clients. In addition, he is credited with implementing new administrative systems and databases that have increased efficiency throughout the business.

Gedalia Waldman ACA
Age: 31
Senior manager, Grunberg & Co
Waldman came into the accountancy profession later in life than most, starting his training contract at the age of 25. In 2010, shortly after qualifying and winning the Central London Small Practitioners’ Group Small Firm Prize for his results in the 2009 Advanced Stage exams, he moved to Grunberg & Co and quickly progressed to manager, with the practice recognising his hard work and contribution to the business by awarding him the newly created team member of the year award in 2011. Working primarily in the audit/business advisory arm of the practice, Waldman has built a reputation for leadership excellence, and the ability to rise to any challenge, such as successfully managing the firm’s first AIM listed client, and building up his own portfolio of clients. Waldman specialises in complex audit and accounts issues, and advises businesses in a wide range of sectors from FSA-regulated entities, to marketing and property development companies. He is also in charge of audit training within the firm, turning raw juniors into seasoned auditors.

Bethan Walker ACA, MABRP
Age: 29
Insolvency manager, Harris Lipman
Walker manages the firm’s Cardiff office and is an appointment taking licensed insolvency practitioner, specialising in all aspects of turnaround, restructuring and insolvency. She was a finalist in the New Accountant of the Year Award at the British Accountancy Awards 2011. She is also a member of the ACCA South Wales Members’ Network Panel. Held in high regard at the firm, she is renowned as the technical guru, helping to re-write the firm’s procedures to promote efficiencies and maintain compliance with insolvency legislation and best practice. Walker also maintains the firm’s electronic case management system from an insolvency, management and compliance perspective. She is focused on marketing the Cardiff office, actively seeking new innovative new ways to market the firm, recognising the need to maintain and enhance its profile.

Marie Williams ACA
Age: 33
Director, financial services audit, KPMG
Williams has been with KPMG for 11 years. She is responsible for leading a number of financial services audits with a range of major organisations, with a focus on insurance and investment management. Williams has significant business development experience including acting as lead on local accounts and being a key senior member on national tenders. She is also responsible for financial services internal audit services in the South West. On the internal side, she has previously been responsible for people leadership and management for approximately 40 people in the Bristol financial services team, and leads various people initiatives across FS audit. Still at a young age, she has become a senior member of the team and no doubt has a bright future ahead of her.

Damian Wyatt ACCA
Age: 31
Financial controller, Bibby Offshore
Wyatt is number two in finance for company, with 250 onshore and 600 offshore staff. He formerly served with Grant Thornton in Liverpool.

matt-wyattMatt Wyatt ACA
Age: 34
Partner, Wellers Accountants
Wyatt is ACA-qualified and the youngest partner at Wellers. He joined the firm as a trainee accountant in 1999 and his subsequent rise up the career ladder was swift, achieving partner status just seven years post qualification. Wyatt has established a strong client portfolio across a wide range of sectors, in particular hospitality and charities. Clients appreciate his ability to form an effective working relationship with them, acting as a financial partner whereby compliance tasks are taken off their hands, time and cost savings are achieved and vital reporting information is produced to aid investment decisions. He handles a portfolio of approximately 100 clients ranging from small businesses to large audits.

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