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#AAYP 2015: Accountancy Age’s 35 under 35

WELCOME to the fourth annual ’35 under 35 – Practice’, where we flag up some of the best and brightest accounting practice talent in the UK. Once again, the Accountancy Age/Financial Director editorial team faced an unenviable task. But here it is. Follow #AAYP on Twitter for more discussion on our Young Professionals Day.
We are also delighted to launch our first ’35 under 35 – Finance’, of the best young personnel working within the finance function. This second list can be found on the Financial Director website. Follow on Twitter at #FDYP.

Claire AngellClaire Angell CA ATT
Age: 34
Corporate tax director, KPMG
Angell’s oil and gas industry focus has allowed her to build and lead relationships, drive sales and develop sector specific propositions. She is widely recognised in her industry as a leading oil and gas tax adviser and has a proven track record of delivering multi-functional engagements.
Her achievements were recognised in the Women of the Future Awards where she won the Professional category. Her performance year-end feedback states: “Claire has had a fantastic year as a director. Her feedback, whether from staff working for her, her peers, or her clients, is, without exception, exemplary.”

david-beardDavid Beard ACA
Age: 30
Client manager, Rickard Keen
Beard joined Rickard Keen in September 2002 after completing A-levels in accounting and mathematics. He specialises in providing dedicated accountancy and audit services to medical professionals, charities and not-for-profit organisations.
He acts as Rickard Keen’s in house academy specialist and has spent a lot of time and energy researching, building and sharing this new skill set across the firm. This has allowed Rickard Keen to expand its services to the growing academy sector, which has helped drive turnover within the firm.
Alongside this role, he also acts as a trainer for new accountancy students and has written and delivered a set course framework himself that has helped a number of trainees complete their qualifications. His commitment to this role has secured Rickard Keen the title of Training Firm of the year at the ICAEW Essex Accountancy and Business Awards two years in a row. Kate Bell, a director at Rickard Keen, describes David as an “excellent and diligent member of the team who is valued very much”.

chris-barnardChris Barnard ACCA
Age: 27
Accountancy technical manager, Crunch Accounting
Joined as a senior accountant before moving up to pod manager (Crunch’s term for team leader) before being appointed accountancy technical manager. In this position he spearheads the technical compliance side of our business, making sure all our client-facing staff have a working knowledge of the laws and guidance affecting our clients (e.g. IR35, AWR, EU VAT rules). Barnard issues regular updates to the team, assists our marketing team in making sure all our promotional work is compliant, and helps clients with complex compliance issues understand their options.

dan-gallagher-pwc-aug2013Daniel Gallagher ACA
Age: 33
Director, PwC
Gallagher is part of PwC’s north-west corporate finance team. He has led on some of the region’s most significant completed transactions this year including: the joint venture between Costcutter and P&H, the sale of confectioners Goody Good Stuff to Cloetta and the acquisition of online travel agency On the Beach to Inflexion. Dan was also awarded North West Insider magazine’s Young Dealmaker of the Year 2013 and Made in Manchester’s Young Corporate Financier of the Year 2013.

Chris Gaze ACA
Age: 32
Senior accountant, RIFT Accounting
Gaze believes that accountants should be ‘business bodyguards’, not bean-counters or pen-pushers. He is an expert at spotting and heading off the dangers and mishaps that can lurk around the corner for SMEs and has built a strong reputation with clients for his problem solving skills and insightful views.
At the vanguard of RIFT Accountant’s mission to change the way accountants work with businesses, Chris’s communication skills have led to him becoming a key spokesperson for RIFT and he regularly appears on regional radio to offer advice and tips for small businesses. With thirteen years’ experience, Chris believes in removing the jargon and business-speak that blight the industry and instead focus 100% on helping business owners build their dream.

Matthew Glover, CTA
Age: 28
Tax manager, BDO
Glover plays a major role for the firm, acting as relationship manager for several of BDO’s largest professional services clients.
An expert in partnerships, with a particular focus on professional practices and private equity clients, he has worked with partners with the on-boarding of more than £500,000 of new business this year.
He has received glowing references from clients, who describe him as providing “a service above and beyond that expected” and they now view Glover and BDO as their “most trusted advisor”. Matthew has proactively worked as part of the steering committee to deliver BDO’s ‘Next Generation’ series – a networking and knowledge sharing group.

Jessica Howard ACA
Age: 34
Technical director, financial reporting and accounting advisory, Mazars
Howard specialises in the new financial reporting standards to replace current UK GAAP (FRS 100 to 102), following her secondment with the Financial Reporting Council to assist with the development of new standards.
Recently given the responsibility of leading the FRS 102 service offering, she is a highly regarded lecturer on GAAP developments and has been running technical roadshow events around the UK addressing the latest accounting and financial reporting developments, including IFRS and FRS 102. Client and attendee feedback is consistently excellent. Howard also specialises in providing accounting technical advice to clients operating in the infrastructure sector and has supported many clients with conversion to IFRIC 12, and the new applicable requirements under FRS 102, for service concession arrangements.

John Howarth of Anderson BarrowcliffJohn Howarth ACA
Age: 29
Senior accountant, Anderson Barrowcliff
Has had a leading role in local and national ICAEW student societies over the past four years, and currently chairs the ICAEW Student Council representing 21,000 students across the world.
Howarth represented ICAEW and Chartered Accountants Worldwide at the One Young World conference in Dublin. Dubbed the “Young Davos”, it’s an event for delegates between 18 and 30 years old who have demonstrated leadership potential.
“It shows how much the work he has done with the ICAEW has been valued, and the impact he is having at a national level,” says managing partner Nick Upton.

simon-kaufmanSimon Kaufman, ACA
Age: 28
Associate director, private equity transaction services, deal advisory, KPMG
Kaufman is already performing the role of an experienced associate director having been in the role for only six months, and regularly executes transactions for the partners in the private equity group at KPMG. Kaufman has lead the financial due diligence on complex and cross border PE transactions across a range of deal types (buy-side, sell-side and IPO projects). These include: Terra Firma’s IPO of Infinis, the merger of Gerber Emig and Refresco, and Vitruvian’ s acquisition of CRF Healthcare.

Obaid Khawaja ACCA
Age: 33
Lead senior manager for wealth & asset management, EY
Khawaja is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and ACCA, and has extensive industry experience in the financial services and been with EY for more than 12 years.
He has worked in Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and the UK with global clients across a range of accounting, regulatory, risk, finance and internal/external audit areas and specializes in the asset management and life insurance industry. Khawaja is part of the Accelerated Leadership Programme and the BME Leadership Programme at EY and has developed his leadership style and potential.

rachel-laiRachel Lai ACCA JIEB
Age: 30
Senior manager, Harris Lipman
Lai joined Harris Lipman in August 2007 and is a senior manager in the firm’s insolvency department, heading up the technical committee, as well as working on the more complex transactions and investigations for the insolvency practitioners. This involves managing some of the more high profile appointments, and driving positive outcomes for creditors.

Michael Leeds JIEB
Age: 32
Director, advisory, Grant Thornton
Michael is a director in the Financial Investigation Insolvency and Recoveries team. He is an insolvency practitioner who primarily handles contentious appointments with elements of asset tracing and recovery. He has considerable experience in cross-border asset tracing and recovery involving most of the offshore jurisdictions. He is the trustee in bankruptcy of both the deceased estate of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky and Christos Lemos, a member of the Lemos shipping family in Greece. Leeds is a regular speaker at offshore asset tracing and recovery conferences.

darryl-lightDarryl Light ACA
Age: 27
Audit senior, Haslers
Light first developed his love for accountancy at Cardiff University. While at the university he was heavily involved in the Students’ Union, being on the committee of several sports teams and societies, which lead to him deciding to run in, and win, an election to become the financial and commercial officer at the Union after graduating.
In this year-long sabbatical role, he was involved in overseeing the finances of a company with a turnover of £7.6 million, planning the future direction of the commercial outlets housed inside the building, alongside being a trustee and director of the respective charity and trading company.

Jamie MacKenzieJamie Mackenzie CA
Age: 34
Associate director, pensions advisory and restructuring, Grant Thornton
As a key senior member of the team, Mackenzie works on numerous high profile accounts, notably the innovative global Kodak restructuring. This work led to Grant Thornton winning several awards, including Pensions Team of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards and Turnaround Adviser of the Year at the Institute for Turnaround Awards in 2014. He is on the firm’s Instinct for Leadership programme, a development programme for high-performing, high-potential senior managers and associate directors who are seen as future leaders of the firm.

Hugo Mansfield CA
Age: 33
Corporate finance advisory assistant director, Deloitte
Mansfield joined Deloitte after qualifying with an ICAS and having spent several years handling M&A at an investment bank. During this time, he also became a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. Mansfield specialises in mid-market M&A while maintaining several additional roles within the firm, including national manager for graduate recruitment for corporate finance advisory; and leading and managing the Deloitte South West technology, media and telecommunications marketing and business development efforts.

Steve Mortimer ACMA
Age: 34
Director, business consulting, Grant Thornton
Mortimer has taken on the leadership role for a team providing consulting services focused around the CFO agenda. He started his career in industry as a finance graduate with Geest plc (now Bakkavor) and quickly established himself as highly effective in identifying and delivering major value initiatives from line finance and project roles. His industry experience and commercial insights have been instrumental since taking on the leadership of Grant Thornton’s finance consulting team, with revenues doubling year-on-year and an exciting pipeline of opportunities with new clients across a range of sectors.

Sophie Mottram of PwCSophie Mottram ACA
Age: 26
Manager, PwC
Mottram put herself forward as a new graduate induction tutor and is responsible for introducing new graduates to PwC and providing technical training. She has helped to organise a number of very successful local events including Caring at Christmas campaigns, World Book Night events and a number of office-wide volunteering days. She has built a number of close links with local charities, and also won ICAEW’s Young Accountant of the Year.

becky-moultBecky Moult, ACA
Age: 29
Audit manager, KPMG
She has guided two of her clients through IPOs in the last six months, and has become the ‘go to’ person for the partner group for audit proposals, which she has been integral in winning.
Moult is currently leading the delivery of a joint public – private sector client, where she is tackling some unique challenges with her usual solutions not problems approach. Alongside her audit manager role Becky leads the Midlands KGS offering – the firm’s India outsourcing programme. In the last 6 months the region has seen a step change in our resourcing behaviour due to initiatives Becky has put in place and continues to drive.

Coll Murchison MacDonald CTA
Age: 31
Senior manager, Saffery Champness
MacDonald is a senior manager in Saffery Champness’ Inverness office and has a dual role between the firm’s accounts & audit department and its tax department. He joined the firm in 2008 undertaking a secondment with the firm’s national corporate finance team in 2011. He continues to assist in relation to Scottish deals. He has a large portfolio of clients across a variety of sectors, including landed estates, renewable energy and hospitality, and is a member of the firm’s national Entrepreneur’s Practice Group. A fluent Gaelic speaker, MacDonald is also chair of the audit committee of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, a public body of the Scottish government.

pippa-o-connorPhillippa O’Connor, CA
Age: 32
Partner, PwC
O’Connor joined PwC in 2007 as a manager and progressed quickly to reaching director at just 29. She leads a high value portfolio of engagements, operating as board-level adviser to key FTSE350 clients on reward issues. She is credited with building PwC’s proposition, raising its profile and leading the firm’s work in the field of sales incentives advice in response to new FCA regulations. She has built enduring, trusted relationships with clients and her caring nature has made her instrumental in developing talent in her team.

Matt Oliver of Bessler HendrieMatt Oliver ACA
Age: 26
Partner, Bessler Hendrie
Matt began training after A-Levels and made partner only four years after qualifying as an ICAEW chartered accountant. At the tender age of 26, his career is going from strength to strength.
He joined Bassler Hendrie in February 2007 and achieved first time passes in all exams and qualified in 2010. He was promoted to assistant manager in April 2011, and over the next three years has managed a portfolio of around 100 clients, covering audit, accounts preparation and tax.
Oliver worked through the manager grades of assistant manager, manager and senior manager before being made up to partner on 1 April 2014. He says: “I am dyslexic, and therefore for me the exams where especially challenging, and required a real determination to succeed along with a lot of hard work. This determination and the desire to push myself outside my comfort zone is to some extent what I believe has enabled me to obtain partnership at an early stage in my career.”

Lucy Park of Johnston CarmichaelLucy Park ACCA
Age: 26
Business Solutions senior, Johnston Carmichael
Chartered certified accountant with several years’ experience in providing accountancy services to owner managed businesses; in particular the preparation of statutory accounts and management accounting information to assist businesses across various sectors.

Susanne Parsler CTA
Age: 28
Senior manager, Western European Hub leader for Global Mobility, Mazars
Parsler has displayed coaching and mentoring skills as well as strong leadership of the strategic direction of the Western European Hub. She leads on a number of key clients and business development activities; regularly winning new work. Parsler also manages a number of large expatriate ‎programmes and has specific experience in working across a number of disciplines with internal teams always ensuring her work is client focused. She has significant experience managing tax return programmes, international payrolls, advising on residence and domicile matters and providing advice on reward structuring for international employments. Unquestionably a senior leader of the future, says Mazars.


simon-reed-mrSimon Reed ACA

Age: 30
Partner, Robinson Reed Layton
Originally from Truro, he completed a degree in medical genetics from the University of Leicester in 2005. However, wanting to return to his roots, he returned to Truro to join Robinson Reed Layton as a trainee accountant. He is considered a rising star by the firm’s management as he qualified as a chartered accountant and was appointed a general practice partner, aged 30, in the space of five years. As a new partner he was tasked to grow his own portfolio which has increased, from nothing, to a sizable basis in 12 months.
When not in the office, Simon acts as treasurer to Truro Hockey Club and Chacewater Cricket Club.

marcus-richardsMarcus Richards, CPFA
Age: 30
Financial management senior manager, KPMG
For the past two years, Richards has been commercial lead for KPMG’s largest public sector engagement, managing a global consortium of subcontractors to deliver the largest leadership development programme in the public sector. He is dedicated to nurturing those around him, and is passionate about financial management challenges in the public sector, having authored a number of thought leadership articles published in leading industry journals.

Graham Ricketts ACA
Age: 33
Audit partner, Baker Tilly
Joined Baker Tilly in 2004 as a graduate trainee with the audit team, becoming a ‘responsible individual’ in 2012. He previously acted as audit group manager for the Milton Keynes office, and became partner in 2013.
Following Baker Tilly’s merger with RSM Tenon, Graham became regional compliance partner for the London and East region, using his skills and experience to ensure audit quality remains at the top of the firm’s agenda as the business develops and grows.

Tania RoachTania Roach ACA
Age: 26
Assistant manager, audit, KPMG
Tania is a highly committed and intelligent young woman ‎who goes over and above her role in all circumstances to ensure audit quality and world class client service. She has far excelled her experience to quickly become pivotal in delivering this first year of a FTSE 10 audit in over 100 countries. She has done this with tireless execution and a fantastic ability to build relationships, quickly navigating the global client network and also across KPMG.

Claire Robertson, ICAS CIIA
Age: 30
Internal audit director, BDO
Joining BDO as a senior manager from Deloitte in early 2013, Robertson quickly built a new team and won significant new business from the firm, and was promoted to director in 2014.
She has built a strong team and is highly regarded in the Scottish public sector market. Commercial, a pleasure to deal with and highly driven, Claire is widely tipped to make partner in the near future.

Peter Smith, ICAS
Age: 32
Senior audit manager, BDO
Described as an outstanding member of BDO’s financial services group. After starting his career with the merged BDO/PKF and passing his exams first time, he chose to specialise in one of the more technically-demanding sectors of financial services.
Has helped build a market leading presence in the VCT sector as well as working on a number of significant national and international investment entities.
Smith’s highly regarded technical ability is reflected by his participation with a number of AIC (Association of Investment Companies) working parties and the development of the new SORP (Statement of Recommended Practice). A natural people person, Smith has strong communication skills, and is well liked by clients and work colleagues.

David Soden
Age: 33
Partner, Restructuring Services, Deloitte
Soden joined Deloitte in 2006 and is now a director in the firm’s restructuring services team. He specialises in dealing with complex, multi-jurisdictional restructuring and insolvency assignments. He has led some of Deloitte’s largest restructuring deals, often with debt over £500m, and regularly advises lenders, hedge funds and corporates alike. Since being shortlisted for the rising star category of an industry award campaign in 2010, he has been regarded as one to watch in the restructuring world. He maintains a keen focus on personal development, while also taking a great interest in the development of his team.

Ian Thoroughgood, ACA
Age: 31
Associate director, audit, Grant Thornton
Joined Grant Thornton in 2006 after two years of teaching science in schools in London, qualifying in 2009 and progressing quickly. Thoroughgood was promoted to associate director in March 2015. He has been instrumental in the delivery of high profile events in the local office and been key in ensuring their success is duplicated in other locations. He has delivered great client service as demonstrated by the feedback he has received and his people management skills have been instrumental in our Ipswich office being the most engaged office in the country for the last two years.

Nikki Waldron ACA
Age: 30
Senior manager, audit, Baker Tilly
Waldron is responsible for managing a portfolio of not for profit clients, including some of Baker Tilly’s largest charities. Specialising in external audit, she has been heavily involved in tendering for new clients through competitive tender processes.

Fiona Walker of EYFiona Walker ACCA
Age: 29
Financial accounting adviser, EY
Walker began her career at French Duncan and completed her ACCA studies in 2013 while working for Chiene + Tait as an audit senior. Fiona worked for Lloyds Banking Group in Edinburgh giving advice on sales and debt restructuring, reviewing business valuations and carrying out various reporting for subsidiaries of Bank of Scotland. She moved to EY in February 2015.

Jon Wedge of BKLJon Wedge ACA
Age: 30
Principal, BKL
Wedge joined BKL in 2004 after studying his A-levels, opting to head straight into the profession rather than taking a place at university. Soon afterwards his initiative and determination won him a place on BKL’s graduate trainee scheme, even though he wasn’t a graduate, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2009. He made his way through the ranks at BKL to become our youngest principal in 2014 at the age of 29.
Throughout his career, he has combined his practical skills with his technical knowledge to make a real impact on the performance of his clients’ businesses whilst delivering an excellent service to clients. Wedge also played an instrumental part in the design and implementation of a recent internal restructure to improve client service and efficiency.

Dan Wesolowski ACA
Age: 31
Senior audit manager, BDO
After joining as a non-graduate trainee, Wesolowski now manages a portfolio consisting solely of key listed and international assurance clients supplemented by managing special projects for listed non-audit clients such as IPOs. He consistently demonstrates a strong commitment to the highest levels of audit quality, promoting and contributing to the technical and commercial development of his teams. Being a key member of the bid team in significant new client wins and an active networker with an ever increasing network of professional and corporate contacts means Wesolowski has a bright future in the profession.

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