Clash of the titans

The ICAEW has appointed a recruitment consultant to find it a new chief executive. So far, so logical, you might think. The only problem is, it’s the same headhunter being used by ACCA to find it a new boss.

Is that a problem? Well it wouldn’t be if, say, the ICAEW was insisting on a candidate that was a chartered accountant while ACCA wanted anything but. That, however, is not the case.

That leaves the consultant – Whitehead Mann – in an awkward situation.

It has been engaged by ACCA for some time in its (so far) fruitless search for a leader. So if it finds the ICAEW a new chief as swiftly as Moorgate Place hopes (by September), it might look like it hadn’t been as vigorous in its work for ACCA.

If, on the other hand, it fills the ACCA vacancy first then members might reasonably ask why it required the ICAEW to join the party to finally resolve the issue.

Whatever the outcome it should be entertaining to keep an eye on developments.

For now many accountants might enjoy watching someone else afflicted with the problem that has affected the industry over the last 18 months. Whitehead Mann might not have done anything wrong in taking on the ICAEW contract.

But sometimes it’s perception – not reality – that counts.

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