Government names advisory group for audit regulator review

Two ICAEW members are among the panel of 11 senior figures from business, the investment community, governance and regulation that will support Sir John Kingman’s review into the audit regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC)

Members of the independent advisory group include Dame Mary Keegan, a former chair of the Accounting Standards Board, a predecessor to the Financial Reporting Council, and PwC’s first woman audit partner, founder member of the International Forum on Accountancy Development and the Treasury’s former managing director for government financial management.

Teresa Graham is chair of Salix Finance and the HMRC administrative burdens advisory board, former deputy chair of the Better Regulation Commission, former Baker Tilly (now RSM) partner, former NED of the British Business Bank and author of the review of pre-pack administration.

The other members of the group drawn from business are Lucinda Bell, formerly CFO at British Land and non-executive director and audit chair, Rotork; Sir Peter Gershon, who is chairman, National Grid and formerly chair, Tate & Lyle, and chief executive, Office of Government Commerce; and Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the London Stock Exchange.

The investment community is represented in Mark Burgess, deputy global chief investment officer, and chief investment officer EMEA, Columbia Threadneedle; Dame Amelia Fawcett, deputy chair of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik, non-executive board member at the Treasury, and non-executive director at State Street Corporation (US), and formerly chair, Guardian Media Group;  Simon Fraser, chair of F&C Investment Trust and the Investor Forum and  formerly chief investment officer of Fidelity International Ltd; and Anne Richards, who is CEO, M&G Investments.

Other members with a policy background are John Cridland, who is chair, Transport for the North, leading the state pension age review and a former CBI director-general; and Amelia Fletcher, professor of competition policy, University of East Anglia, and non-executive director, Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Competition and Markets Authority.

Launched in April 2018, the Kingman review is assessing FRC’s governance, impact and powers, to ensure it is fit for the future, and is due for completion by the end of 2018.

In accordance with its terms of reference, the advisory group will be responsible for scrutinising and challenging the review’s findings and recommendations, as well as advising on the direction of the review and sources of evidence.

The review will include a consultation, asking for views on the FRC’s role.

This comes as MPs call for a second competition review of the statutory audit market following the collapse of Carillion and concerns about the influence and reach of the Big Four accounting firms, and questions about whether the regulator is effective.

Report by Pat Sweet

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