People in the news: Fortus, Mercer & Hole, Grant Thornton, FRP

In this week’s accountancy career moves, hires and promotions at Mercer & Hole, Grant Thornton, FRP and Quantuma, and board director for Fair Tax Mark for starters

Accountants Mercer & Hole has promoted Charmain Alway to director, continuing to build upon its strong private client practice. Alway, who joined Mercer & Hole in 2008, specialises in all aspects of estate planning, probate, inheritance tax and trusts. A chartered tax adviser, Charmain has a strong track record advising on high value probate and estate work. Mercer & Hole is a 24-partner firm working across four locations - London, St Albans, Rickmansworth and Milton Keynes.

Grant Thornton has strengthened its south east team with the promotion of Andrew Frame, who will work across its corporate finance team as the mergers and acquisitions director in the Gatwick office. Frame has extensive experience of mid-market entrepreneurial businesses, including trade sales, private equity investments, acquisition search and business fundraising.

DTE Business Advisers has appointed Derek Armstrong as partner to enhance its support for current and new clients, and to assist with the growth and strategy of the practice. Armstrong joined DTE’s Accounts & Audit department on 1 February 2021 and is based primarily at the company’s Bury office. An experienced partner with over 20 years in practice, he specialises in advising the SME market in planning, business advisory, corporate and personal tax planning, and business strategy.

Smith & Williamson LLP, part of the Tilney Smith & Williamson group, has named Avi Heeralall as partner and head of technology audit. Heeralall joins from Grant Thornton’s TMT division and has an additional 10 years’ experience working in Big Four firms. He has joined Smith & Williamson LLP as an audit specialist in the technology sector and will lead the firm’s growth plans in this area.

Untied, the personal tax app, has appointed Jonathan Yeomans, a senior HMRC professional, as its tax technical officer. In this role, Jonathan will help ensure untied’s offering is at the leading edge of tax transformation by making sure the untied app is clearly understandable for users. Before joining untied, Jonathan worked at HMRC for 32 years including as inspector of taxes. Most recently he was HMRC tax technical risk lead and a member of the HMRC national project board responsible for the strategic direction of corporation tax and income tax technical risk within the individuals and small business compliance sector.

Business advisory firm Quantuma has strengthened its London team with the appointment of director, Yin Lee. Lee joins Quantuma from David Rubin and Partners, a boutique insolvency practice where she acted on a range of corporate insolvencies. She will be an appointment taking director based in Quantuma’s London office and will work with the firm’s restructuring and insolvency team across several sectors including sport, hospitality, and real estate. She is also a board member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA) and sits on the Serious Disciplinary Panel at the Football Association.

Specialist business advisory firm FRP has strengthened its restructuring advisory offering with the appointment of two new directors. Robert Wheeldon and Tony Sturge both join the firm’s London office and collectively bring more than 30 years’ experience. Wheeldon has spent more than 20 years tackling corporate restructuring and personal insolvency cases, predominantly involving complex investigations, the tracing of undisclosed assets and identifying recovery claims against various parties. Sturge has specialised in restructuring matters since 2008 and has an extensive background in providing clients and their stakeholders with sound advice during times of distress.

Sunny Accountants has taken on three staff members to deal with the growing demand for its advice and support. Joanne Wall, Rebecca Beresford and Samuel Skelton have all joined the firm based in Sutton in Ashfield in 2021, as part of its plans to expand its services to more businesses locally. Wall has been hired as client manager and is the most experienced recruit, having spent more than 20 years working in the accountancy profession. She is specialised in the preparation of accounts and VAT returns for several sectors, including the pub trade, motor industry and building trade. Beresford joins the firm as part of its accounts team, where she is training towards the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification. The final recruit is Skelton, who joins the firm as an accounts apprentice straight from college, where he excelled in his maths and accountancy A-levels.

Fortus Business Advisors & Accountants has appointed senior accountancy and recovery specialist, Gordon Johnston, to its executive board. With over 20 years’ experience running business advisory companies, Johnston began his career by training as a chartered accountant with Grant Thornton and later launched his own accountancy firm, in 1995. The firm has since expanded into multi-disciplinary client offerings, including technology, HR and recovery services. Fortus currently operates UK wide with 12 offices including London, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Peterborough, York and Leeds.

Gardner Leader has appointed a new finance director, Trevor Hall, to support the law firm during its sustained growth from its offices in Newbury. A commercially astute finance leader previously at Deloitte, Hall will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s business performance and its financial trajectory. He qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in 2005 and is a member of the ICAEW. He has extensive finance experience gained working with Siemens, Man Group and Red Bee Media. 

DFK International has named Marco Vermin as vice-president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Vermin, a member of the board of directors at Alfa Accountants - a top 10 accountancy practice in the Netherlands, has taken over from Anne Brady, director at Crowleys DFK chartered accountants, based in Dublin, Ireland.

Harriet Lamb CBE has joined the Fair Tax Mark’s board of directors. She brings a global Fairtrade accreditation perspective to the organisation as they prepare to expand internationally and provide the Fair Tax Mark certification around the world. Currently CEO of Ashden, the climate solutions charity, Lamb previously headed up Fairtrade in both the UK and internationally.

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