People in the news: Armstrong Watson, Smith & Williamson, PKF, EY, Azets

In this week’s accountancy career moves, partner promotions at Armstrong Watson, Azets, French Duncan and EY, and raft of hires and promotions at Gravitate, Thomas Westcott and Wylie & Bisset

Armstrong Watson LLP has promoted Becky Bowness to tax partner just two years after joining the firm as corporate tax director from PwC in 2019 and has since played an integral role in the development of Armstrong Watson’s services to significant regional corporate businesses across the North East and Cumbria. She has extensive experience advising entrepreneurial businesses of all sizes including listed businesses and international groups across all sectors and now leads the firm’s corporate tax practice.

Smith & Williamson, part of wealth management and professional services group Tilney Smith & Williamson, has appointed Tom Kellaway as tax director in its employer solutions team. He joins from PwC where he spent over 10 years and worked as a senior manager in its global mobility services team. He will be primarily responsible for driving the growth and development of the firm’s global mobility service offering, specifically the provision of tax advisory and compliance services to support employers with internationally-mobile workforces that operate across multiple jurisdictions.

Scottish chartered accountancy firm French Duncan has promoted VAT director Maria McConnell to partner, following significant growth in this area of tax over the past six years. McConnell has led the firm’s VAT team since joining the firm in 2015. In that time, she has driven a significant increase in VAT revenue and expanded the team by 200 per cent. She specialises in VAT and its applications for business, with a particular focus on the charity sector, land and property, manufacturing, leisure and international business.

PKF has appointed Martin Watson as a partner in its financial services team. He is based in the firm’s Leeds office, working closely with the London insurance team, and will work with clients across the UK. Watson specialises in providing audit and advisory services to life and general insurers, and insurance intermediaries. In addition to external audit, his expertise includes advising on regulatory and financial change, process transformation and control frameworks. He joins PKF after 13 years at Deloitte.

EY has strengthened its private tax practice with the appointment of David Bowen as a partner to lead its family office consulting team. He joins from Deloitte, where he was head of private office consulting and built a sizeable private office consulting business. His remit is to build EY’s family office consulting team and associated offering to deliver a full range of services to help high net worth families professionalise and institutionalise their family office and wider organisational structures.

Haysmacintyre has promoted Vikram Sandhu to director RI in the charity and not for profit team. He joined the firm in 2019 from a mid-tier charity specialist firm, having helped build their extensive audit and internal assurance services offering. Sandhu now specialises in delivering audit, assurance, and advisory services to the charity and not for profit sector.

Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants has promoted three new partners and three directors as part of the south west accountancy firm’s investment in staff and strategic expansion across the region. Alison Watts, head of the firm’s corporate finance team, has been made a partner. With more than 30 years’ corporate finance experience, Watts joined Thomas Westcott in 2017. Cat Williams has been promoted to partner and head of charities and not for profit, following the recent retirement of Steve Cresswell. She joined Thomas Westcott as a trainee in 2006 and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2012. Plymouth-based Adam Croney has also been promoted to partner and has 10 years’ accountancy experience, having joined the firm from PwC as a senior manager in 2018, before being promoted to director the following year. Heather Davis has been promoted to director at the firm’s Weston-super-Mare office. She has nearly 20 years’ accountancy experience and advises a diverse mix of businesses, from sole traders to large companies. In the specialist tax team, Annette Stone has been promoted to director. With more than 20 years’ tax experience, Stone joined the firm in 2017 and is best known for advising high net worth individuals and business owners. Chartered financial planner Simon Lake has also been promoted to the position of director.

Chartered accountants Wylie & Bisset has promoted Claire Dalrymple from senior audit manager to director of corporate services. The promotion follows Dalrymple’s audit qualification ratified by ICAS, making her a responsible individual able to sign off audits alongside partners Scott Gillon and Jenny Simpson in the firm’s corporate services department. Specialising in providing audit services and business advice covering a variety of SME business sectors, Dalrymple will focus on food and drink manufacturing businesses; a market segment of growing importance to the firm.

Accountancy firm Thomas Coombs has promoted Tom Bond to head of audit and in his day-to-day role, he manages the audit and accounts department and is also the senior statutory auditor for a portfolio of the firm’s small and medium-sized audit clients. Bond initially joined Thomas Coombs in 2015 through the firm’s graduate scheme.

Azets has appointed another senior partner in the south east as Paul Attridge joins the firm as regional tax partner for the north Thames and south Midlands offices, and will be based in Azets’ Hertford office. Attridge trained as a tax adviser in a small firm in South Hertfordshire where he attained his professional qualifications. He has gained great experience in both corporate and personal tax, advising small and medium owner managed businesses as well as some larger corporates.  He joins Azets from accountancy firm Bright Grahame Murray. 

KPMG is set to appoint Huw Evans, director general at the Association of British Insurers (ABI), to its insurance practice. Evans, who will join KPMG as a partner in January 2022, has been director general at the ABI for more than six years. During his time with the organisation, he has represented the industry through Brexit, Solvency II implementation, pension freedoms and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sheffield-based Gravitate Accounting, which specialises in Xero cloud software, digital accounting and outsourced finance director services, has hired six people and moved into a new office after a successful first 18 months of trading. The firm has now hired digital assistant Vicki Westwood and five accountancy specialists; digital accountants Claire Conley, Zara Farr, Callum Smith, Josh Clarke and client FD Jonathan Carr. The business has plans to hire a further three staff this year.

Carey Olsen has strengthened its dispute resolution and litigation, and trusts and private wealth teams in Guernsey with the appointments of associates Sarah Kett, Acsah Nel and Shumona Neswar. Kett, who trained at the Manchester office of Clarke Willmott LLP before joining Carey Olsen, advises local and international clients on a range of matters including corporate and company law disputes, trust disputes, employment law, intellectual property and commercial litigation. Nel specialises in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious aspects of corporate and company law, including contractual disputes. Prior to joining Carey Olsen, she practised with Norton Rose Fulbright in South Africa defending medical malpractice claims and advising on various aspect of healthcare regulation. Neswar, who previously worked in the private client team at Knights in the UK, joined the Guernsey trusts and private wealth team earlier this year. She advises trustees and high net worth individuals on a wide range of trust and private wealth matters, with a particular focus on wills, trusts and estate planning.

Bourn Hall Clinic, an IVF clinic, has appointed John Arthur as finance director. He is a fellow member of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA) and has worked for a range of organisations across different industry sectors, including healthcare consultancy. Most recently he was finance and operations director at Thriplow-based Clarion UK. He is replacing Simon Barton, who is retiring after nearly 30 years at the company.

Alvarez & Marsal has announced that Olle Lundqvist has joined the firm as a managing director to head the private equity performance improvement (PEPI) group covering the Nordic region. Lundqvist joins A&M from Platinum Equity, where he most recently served as a senior vice president M&A operations in London.

Matt Ellery has joined Allica Bank as a relationship manager to grow its asset finance division in the south east and Midlands. He will sit on the bank’s direct-to-SME team, giving personal and tailored support to established small and medium-sized businesses. He joins the bank from Propel Finance.

Hawksford, a provider of corporate, private client and funds services, has hired Darren Toudic, who has 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, as a director while Sophie Hay has joined as a manager. Working with the global head of corporate and the wider team, Toudic will contribute to the firm’s corporate services offering, ensuring the delivery of end-to-end corporate services to international clients. He was most recently a director at Fairway Group. Hay joins Hawksford from JTC Group and has previously held roles at Minerva and TMF Group.

Forensic Risk Alliance, a forensic accounting and data governance consultancy, has appointed Uriel Goldberg as a director in the firm’s global forensic accounting team, based in Paris. Goldberg joins after five years as forensic accounting expert in the French National Financial Prosecutor’s Office.

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