1. Joe Berardino
Andersenus Horribilis. Andersen suffered one of its most horrible years in 2001, no mean feat considering 2000 saw the firm conclude its painful split from Andersen Consulting. Several multimillion pound settlements and the Enron affair have caused CEO Joe Berardino sleepless nights over the last 12 months. Most significantly he admitted the firm had made mistakes auditing the energy company. Speaking before the US Congress committee, he said ‘there is some explaining to do?. The admission sent reverberations around the accountancy world – and will continue to do so.
2. Stephen Alexander
There’s nothing like being able to punch above your weight and Stephen Alexander at City solicitors Class Law has demonstrated he’s always ready and willing to mix it with the big boys. We go into 2002 with the prospect of Class Law upsetting three of the Big Five by threatening actions against KPMG for its audit work at Independent Insurance and on behalf of Railtrack shareholders possibly against both Ernst & Young, as company adviser or administrator, and the company auditor Deloitte & Touche.
3. Alan Bloom
2001 has been busy for Alan Bloom, the UK’s most prominent insolvency expert. Bloom’s work has consistently hit the headlines and this year has been no exception. Bloom, head of restructuring and insolvency at Ernst & Young, has been associated with high-profile cases, such as Maxwell, Canary Wharf and the ongoing Barings case. He is also the only practitioner on the government’s review of insolvency and company rescue. But it his role as saviour to the nation’s rail infrastructure (his team is administrator to Railtrack) that will dictate his fate in 2002.
4. Ken Hydon
Ken Hydon is the highest paid FD in the country. By a distance. But it isn’t his £3m pay package that’s won him a place on our list. It is his role as Vodafone FD that guarantees him a place on the bridge of the good ship UK plc as it attempts to avoid the rocks of economic uncertainty. Vodafone’s merger with Mannesmann earned Hydon a £2.4m bonus last year. And in as much as the downturn in sentiment towards telecom stocks has taken us to the brink of recession, it falls to Hydon and co. to lead the largest company in this sector, and thereby the UK economy, into positive territory.
5. Ian Buckley
The charismatic Ian Buckley is the guiding light at the helm of Tenon, the consolidator responsible for the most radical shake-up of mid-tier firms ever. His vision and quiet, yet efficient, manner of management has seen Tenon become a top ten firm this year after announcing a string of acquisitions. Buckley remains one to watch next year as he is known to be keen to move into new service lines and geographic areas. Despite recently announcing a profits warning, Buckley remains confident 2002 will be a ‘year of delivery’.
6. Head of anti-terrorist finance unit
The role of heading up the new anti-money laundering and terrorist finance unit, likely to be filled in the first part of this year, has the potential of providing an accountant with one of the highest profile jobs in law enforcement. In the wake of the 11 September attacks and the war on terrorism, Gordon Brown wants an accountant to lead the fight by heading this new unit to be housed with the National Criminal Intelligence Service. It will be a tough post but whoever takes it on can be assured of plenty of publicity and influence.
7. Colin Reeves
Colin Reeves, director of the review board of the Accountancy Foundation, has the job of rebuilding confidence in the fledgling regulator, dented by hold-ups that have delayed the Foundation’s launch until this month. Once that is achieved the former finance chief of the NHS must prove that he is an effective monitor of the key regulatory bodies – principally the six affiliated accountancy bodies.
8. Mark Armour
Stepping into the shoes of John Coombe at the 100 Group of Finance Directors is Reed Elsevier CFO Mark Armour. A former audit partner at Price Waterhouse, Armour was an adviser to Reed Elsevier during the run-up to its merger. Armour is held in high regard by his colleagues and the task of reconciling old and new economy FDs on matters such as accounting for share options and accounting standards falls to him.
9. Howard Davies
With regulatory, business and public sector experience at the highest levels, Howard Davies is still among the most highly qualified people on this list. As head of the Financial Services Authority, it was only last month his full powers kicked in. Now the media (in its influence over share prices) and accountants (who conduct regulatory business) have reason to fear him too. Davies’ working schedule does not interfere with his twin passions: supporting Manchester City and writing book reviews.
10. Mary Keegan
Formerly senior technical partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mary Keegan has carved herself a solid niche in standard setting, pushing the pace at a global level, ensuring the UK’s voice is loud and clear. Her position is a culmination of more than a decade championing the cause of harmonisation in accounting standards. Next year will be testing as the International Accounting Standards Board issues standards to be used by UK plc in 2005. The ASB’s influence in the development of those standards will be crucial.
11. Steve Marshall, Railtrack CEO
There can’t be many accountants around threatening to wreck the career of a cabinet minister, but that’s the position outgoing Railtrack chief executive Steve Marshall finds himself in. CIMA-trained, he continues to pile pressure on transport secretary Stephen Byers over the administration of the rail network operator and this year will show which – if either – can survive.
12. Sir David Tweedie, IASB chairman
The man who would ‘cross a motorway for a punch-up’, took last year’s top slot in the Top 50 without a moment’s hesitation. And although he misses this year’s accolade he continues to be one of the most important and powerful accountants in the profession – now on a worldwide basis as chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board.
13. Peter Wyman, PwC tax partner
Peter Wyman has long fought for a simpler tax system and though there has been no repeat of his very public spat with Gordon Brown a couple of years ago, his influence behind the scenes has not waned. However, this most senior of PricewaterhouseCoopers partners has his sights fixed on perhaps his toughest ordeal yet: in just a few months time he becomes president of the ICAEW. He will have to wrestle with a not inconsiderable deficit as well as convincing members the regional reforms of the last few years are working. It will be a tough job.
14. Gordon Brown, chancellor of the exchequer
Our next prime minister? Maybe, if you believe that the pact with Blair exists. Whatever the future holds for the chancellor, as the economic – and some would say ideological – force behind New Labour, Gordon Brown is one of the figures most likely to influence any accountant’s working day. Through tax reform, spending plans and increasingly through changes to benefits, Brown is a man to watch. The second most powerful man in government politically. The most important from a financial point of view.
15. Nick Land, Ernst & Young senior partner
Ernst & Young’s Nick Land, shortlisted last year for the Accountancy Age Personality of the Year, became the first senior partner to lead his firm into the uncharted waters of limited liability partnership. This year, he will be looking after a firm coping with the twin evils of Railtrack and Equitable Life.
16. Kieran Poynter, PwC senior partner
Although still a rather silent figure despite his position as UK senior partner at PwC, Poynter is expected to emerge next year as a leading figure as he struggles to find a buyer for the UK firm’s consultancy arm. It was rumoured that he was pipped at the post by Sam DiPiazza for the position of PwC’s global CEO.
17. John Coombe, FD GlaxoSmithKline
Life is a little quieter now for John Coombe, FD of drugs giant GSK. He no longer chairs that slightly mysterious but most influential of financial amalgams, the 100 Group of Finance Directors, and he has finalised the tortuous merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. But life is not altogether without incident. He is concentrating on delivering the benefits promised of the merger and, as a member of the Accounting Standards Board, the profession can still count on him wielding considerable influence for some time to come.
18. Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman
Microsoft’s domination of software and operating systems is undisputed, anti-trust lawsuits notwithstanding. But with the purchase of Great Plains completed, 2002 could be the year that Gates pushes his long-standing ambition to be the software of choice for SMEs into action.
19. Sir John Bourn, head of NAO
The publicity shy Sir John Bourn, head of the National Audit Office, is set to spend another year in the public eye, as his investigations continue at the Dome. And he will almost certainly be asked to look at Railtrack. His feared influence will spread further as he takes the reins at the Accountancy Foundation’s Review Board.
20. Robin Young, DTI permanent secretary
‘He seems to understand that business is genuinely ready for change,’ says one FTSE-100 director of Robin Young the (relatively) new permanent secretary of the DTI. Young has long been highly regarded in Whitehall, but few of his civil service colleagues would be able to count on such high praise from business. As successor to Sir Michael Scholar he now has a lot to prove. Patricia Hewitt has said she wants to bring more business experience into the DTI. It will be up to Young to deliver, in his own words, ‘a sharper focus on our priorities and on our relationship with business, employees and consumers’.
21. Mike Rake, KPMG senior partner
Tipped as a possible successor to global chief Stephen Butler, KPMG’s Mike Rake is set to have another influential year as head of the most pro-European Big Five firm. The polo-loving senior partner also has the rare privilege of having his not insubstantial salary (£1m, give or take a few pounds) published.
22. Harvey Pitt, US SEC chairman
As the 26th chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Pitt has a tough act to follow. He has been considerably more muted than his combative predecessor Arthur Levitt, but with the Enron debacle growing ever more controversial, Pitt will be forced out of the shadows. A lawyer by training – indeed Pitt served as an SEC attorney from 1968 until 1978 – his background should equip him well.
23. Karel van Hulle, head of financial reporting and company law unit, European Commission
A determined and astute politician in Brussels, van Hulle is bent on creating a European single market to rival America’s dominance in world trade. He is a major backer of Sir David Tweedie’s mission to create a single set of international accounting standards which in turn will help his belief that the existence of too many standard setters in different EU member states is holding back the creation of a single market.
24. John Connolly, senior partner, Deloittes
Deloitte & Touche bagged the biggest growth in fee income of all the Big Five firms of last year in what appears to be a slightly contracting market. That puts Connolly in the position of being perhaps the best performing senior partner. But his real test is probably still to come if the economy continues to falter.
25. Patricia Hewitt, trade secretary
One of Hewitt’s first acts as head of the DTI was to order a structural review of the organisation. She has also put e-business and small business support on to her packed agenda and this ambitious minister is widely held to be vying with the chancellor for influence in the business world.
26. Roger Davis, partner PwC
An expert in corporate governance issues, the straight-talking Roger Davis has played a pivotal role in the three-year consultation process on how to update UK company law, currently steeped in ‘Victoriana’. Besides being a senior partner at PwC, Davis holds, among other posts, a position at the business forum advising the European Commission on world trade.
27. David McDonnell, chief executive of Grant Thornton International
McDonnell’s plans to merge Grant Thornton with HLB Kidsons may have unravelled, but as leader of Grant Thornton International and a high profile member of the Forum of Firms, McDonnell is at the heart of global debate when it comes to service standards and professionalism.
28. Rosemary Radcliffe, FSA complaints commissioner
Chief economist at PwC and long-time economics expert, Radcliffe has taken a key role at the FSA. As complaints commissioner, she is there to see that the watchdog plays fair in its regulatory dealings and ensure the accountability of the organisation.
29. Tim Allen, Allen & Lee
Very well known at the BBC. Allen has been retained by Oryx to determine how damaging an erroneous BBC report linking the mining company to Osama bin Laden?s terrorist network has been to the company’s business. The affair is set to put forensic accounting firmly onto the UK business agenda.
30. Jeremy Newman, managing partner, BDO Stoy Hayward
He hasn’t been long in the job, but as the firm changes from a regional network to a single national firm, Newman’s tenure at Stoys looks likely to be a dynamic one. Doubtless he will also be spending 2002 casting around Group A for a merger partner. But then isn’t everyone?
31. Professor Sir Andrew Likierman
Having steered central government through the vagaries of resource accounting, which went live last year, Professor Sir Andrew Likierman now presides over the ‘whole of government accounting’ project, an initiative that will bring Whitehall and town hall accounts together under one banner. If it works, he will truly be considered a world leader in his field.
32. Sam DiPiazza, PwC CEO
Named as PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new global chief executive officer, Sam DiPiazza has swiftly worked his way to the top of the world’s largest accountancy firm. He will need all his experience to fight the imminent battle with the US Security and Exchange Commission on auditor independence and find a way of hiving off PwC’s consultancy arm.
33. Alan Milburn, NHS minister
Champion of the hypothecated NHS tax, Alan Milburn will keep tax advisers on their toes this year if he gets his way on funding for the health service. But he’ll have to take on the collective might of Brown and Blair to do so. With health very much at the forefront of the public’s mind, they will have to listen.
34. Lord Sharman, working peer
One of the grandest titled accountants, Lord Colin Sharman is patiently waiting for the Treasury to respond to his central government accounting and accountability report. And former KPMG global chief Sharman is not noted for his patience, so the Treasury had better pull its finger out and reply.
35. Adele Anderson, KPMG finance partner
Adele Anderson has rapidly risen through the ranks to reach the heights of finance partner at KPMG – the first woman to hold such a position in a Big Five firm. Could she become the first female senior partner if and when the incumbent moves on?
36. Jerry Luckett, Sage general manager
As the new general manager of Sage’s accountants division, Jerry Luckett has a tough act in Gavin May to follow. Sage is a company of vast strength, enabling its share price to survive most of the dotcom doom. Despite the shadow of Microsoft hanging over the accountancy software market, never bet against the Newcastle giants.
37. Chris Dickson, JDS executive counsel
Dickson, the affable man with the mischievous sense of humour, has once again spent the year dealing with accountants who bring the profession into disrepute. Doubts over his future continue, with the imminent arrival of the Independent Disciplinary Board maybe as soon as next autumn to replace the JDS.
38. Tony Lomas, PwC partner
Lomas has worked on assignments with substantial operations in the Americas, western, central and eastern Europe as well as south-east Asia. Recent highlights in Lomas’ career include the investigation of the Versailles Group and its subsequent receivership, involving extensive forensic accounting and litigation work. But what has recently pushed him into the limelight was his appointment as joint administrator to the European holding company of the Enron group.
39. John Whiting, CIoT president
As president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, PwC tax supremo John Whiting is set to have another busy year as he continues to do battle with the government and the Inland Revenue. Never one to shy away from publicity, Whiting rivals his colleague Peter Wyman in his ability to court controversy.
40. Sir Nick Montagu, Inland Revenue chief
Sir Nick enters his fifth year as head of the Inland Revenue having won the Accountancy Age Personality of the Year Award in November. With Gordon Brown’s increasing reliance on the Revenue to deliver policy through the payroll, Montagu will continue to be as influential as ever.
41. Jules Muis, EC head of internal audit
Former Ernst & Young senior European partner, alongside Karel van Hulle Muis has been responsible for putting accountancy at the top of the EC’s agenda. After a spell at the World Bank, he is an unconventional Eurocrat.
42. Ray Greatorex, HLB Kidsons national managing partner
As national managing partner Ray Greatorex has turned a depressing year into a triumph for HLB Kidsons. It began 2001 by failing to merge with Grant Thornton. It begins 2002 by successfully joining with Baker Tilly, led by Laurence Longe, to become a firm achieving revenues of £150m and becoming the eighth biggest firm in the country. A solid move into the top ten for HLB.
43. Louise Brittain, Baker Tilly partner
Louise Brittain shot to prominence last year when she was appointed as trustee in bankruptcy for disgraced ‘cash for questions’ former Tory minister Neil Hamilton, a case that will rumble on for sometime. No stranger to disgraced MPs, Brittain is also looking after Jonathan Aitken’s creditors.
44. Eduardo Lorrigi, Exchequer MD
Under Lorrigi’s leadership, Exchequer, the accountancy software vendor, has continued to go from strength to strength. This was confirmed when its Enterprise package won the mid-range software category at the 2001 Accountancy Age awards for the third year running, not to mention Lorrigi’s commitment to industry issues like EMU accreditation.
45. Hamish Davidson, head of PwC’s Executive Search and Selection
When Birmingham, the UK’s largest council, launched a hunt for a chief executive last October it was no surprise councillors turned to PricewaterhouseCoopers executive search and selection partner Hamish Davidson. Known as a public sector kingmaker, Davidson is responsible for many of the highest profile public sector appointments of recent years. It was Davidson who found London mayor Ken Livingstone a new transport commissioner in Bob Kiley, it was Davidson who found both Lambeth and Hackney councils new chief executives when they were at their lowest ebbs and it was Davidson whose job it was to find members for the new-look House of Lords.
46. John Vickers, director general of the Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading produced its report into the professions this year mainly targeting lawyers but making significant proposals for changing the way accountants do business. Academic, shrewd and tough, it falls to John Vickers to enforce those changes.
47. Sir Andrew Foster, controller of the Audit Commission
Knighted last June, under Sir Andrew’s wise stewardship the commission has extended its influence through local government and the health service. He also sits on a number of government taskforces, including the HM Treasury public service productivity panel, and in 1999 joined the Cabinet Office’s modernising government policy board. More recently, he was an adviser to the prime minister on reform of the NHS.
48. David Phillips, PwC partner
Forging a path to revolutionising companies’ financial reporting, David Phillips, partner at PwC, has set the pace for change with his annual analysis of companies around the world that have begun to include non-financial data in their reports. Heralding the PwC model of ValueReporting, Phillips’ name will grow in prominence as more companies face up to the growing trend to include non-financial data.
49. Rosalind Wright, SFO director
Wright has overseen some busy years at the Serious Fraud Office, but her commitment to deal with increasingly complex cases – both criminal and civil – in a more accessible and transparent way has led to technological innovations in presenting evidence and a kinder public reception.
50. Mrs Doyle, face of the Revenue
Go on, go on, go on, admit it. Mrs Doyle, the Inland Revenue’s replacement for Hector, has to be in this year’s top 50. The tea lady from TV show Father Ted has spearheaded the Revenue’s attempts to ensure taxpayers file returns. She stands down this month. But expect her replacement to fill this slot next year. What money Bob the Builder?
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