Africa veteran leads field in PwC boss contest

Kieran Poynter, managing partner at PwC

Kieran Poynter, managing partner at PwC

A tax adviser who helped implement tax regimes in war-torn African countries
is one of the front-runners to take Kieran Poynter’s crown at

Richard Collier-Keywood, the firm’s head of tax, is one of two front-runners
in the race to head up the UK’s largest firm according to insiders, the other
being Glyn Barker, managing partner for clients and markets.

Four candidates have been nominated for the position of PwC managing partner.
The other two are Richard Sexton, head of assurance, and Ian Powell, head of
advisory, Accountancy Age can reveal.

The breadth and backgrounds of the candidates will mean a colourful contest
for the top job.

Collier-Keywood worked in Uganda in the early 1990s and was once ambushed
with the local revenue’s commissioner of investigations by a gang of men waving
The tax chief is a former Coopers & Lybrand partner.

Powell was an administrator of MG Rover, one of the most high-profile
corporate collapses of recent years.

In July 2006, Barker, previously head of assurance, was appointed a managing
partner reporting directly to incumbent managing partner Kieran Poynter in what
was called a tightening of the governance structure. He became head of audit and
business advisory in 2002.

Partners are set to vote on the candidates using a single transferable vote
system, with the winner set to be unveiled on 18 April.

All four candidates have a window of four weeks to set out their manifesto
and vision for the UK business of the world’s largest accounting firm, with the
opportunity to hold a series of meetings with partners.

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