People in the news: HMRC, RSM, ICAEW, PwC

In this week's accountancy career moves, there are top-tier changes at HMRC and ICAEW, as well as a round of promotions and external hires at firms across the UK

Melissa Tatton has been appointed as HMRC’s tax assurance commissioner, taking over from Jim Harra following his appointment as HMRC interim chief executive. She also becomes chair of the professional standards committee and head of the tax profession. Tatton will retain her current responsibilities as chief executive of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an executive agency of HMRC, which she took up in 2017. In her new role, she will be overseeing the assurance and dispute governance arrangements that ensure HMRC secures the right tax under the law when resolving tax disputes.  Tatton joined the Inland Revenue as a graduate tax inspector and was previously HMRC director for individuals and small business compliance; director, large business service and deputy director, business international.

RSM has announced 13 promotions to director across the UK with effect from 1 October 2019. There have been five promotions in the firm’s transactional faculty, Amy Lewis (Leeds) and Nick Wyatt (Manchester) in the merger & acquisitions team; Thorin Ward (Milton Keynes) in the financial due diligence team; Chris Chittleborough (London) in the financial modelling team; and Gordon Thomson (London) in the restructuring advisory team.

The firm's national risk assurance practice sees internal audit specialists Anna Simmonds (London) and Asam Hussain (Birmingham) promoted to director. Consultant Adil Rehman (London), corporate tax specialist Andrew Lutton (London), accounting and financial reporting expert Sharon Monteith (Milton Keynes), forensics and fraud specialist Andrea Deegan (Leeds), quality assurance expert Jodie Robinson and creditor services professional Steve Walsh (London) are also promoted to director.

In addition, RSM has appointed Neil Griggs as an audit partner in its financial services team. He joins the firm from BDO, prior to which he worked at both Big Four and boutique firms. Griggs has 20 years of financial services experience gained across all sectors, notably investment firms, asset managers, hedge funds, private equity, broker dealers and fintech.

Drew Stevenson has been appointed energy sector leader at PwC UK, succeeding Alan McCrae, while the energy tax team has been bolstered with the appointment of David Lewis, who joins the UK partnership from PwC Australia. The firm’s deals leader for the energy sector since 2014, Stevenson has more than 25 years’ experience of deals and transaction services across a wide range of industries and global territories. He joined the firm in 1989, and went on to set up the Scottish transaction services team in 1997. Lewis joins the UK firm as a partner from PwC Australia where he previously led the PwC Australia Energy & Resources Tax practice for three years and the Perth Tax practice (of more than 100 practitioners) for two and a half years. 

 Julia Penny has been announced as new ICAEW Vice-President for 2020-21. An audit, accounting and anti-money laundering technical specialist, Penny has worked at organisations including Wilmington, Wolters Kluwer and Baker Tilly. In 2013 she joined ICAEW council. She was a member of the ICAEW technical strategy board until June 2017, when she joined the ICAEW ethics advisory committee, which she currently chairs. Penny has also been a member of the ICAEW board since June 2017.  Penny will be Vice-President for the year from June 2020 to June 2021, subject to her formal election at the June 2020 council meeting. She will be Deputy President from June 2021 to June 2022 then become ICAEW President from June 2022 to June 2023.

Mazars has made five additions to its senior team in Scotland with four promotions and one external appointment. The two partners and three directors commenced their roles on 1 September. Jennifer Allison becomes a partnertax, in Edinburgh, having joined the firm in 2014. Neil Strong is promoted to partner – tax, in Glasgow.  He also joined the firm is 2014 and has been responsible for developing the Mazars’ client base across Scotland, via his network in the local market and provision of bespoke tax planning solutions. Craig Reid is a new director – accounting and business advisory. He joins Mazars from French Duncan, and specialises in advising an extensive range of clients from small family-owned companies to sizeable limited companies. Sean Cockburn is named director – tax, in Edinburgh. Specialising in personal tax matters for families, entrepreneurs, trustees and partners, he joined Mazars in 2017. Paul Turner, who joined Mazars in 2014, is named director – deal advisory, Edinburgh. He provides expert M&A advisory services to entrepreneurial businesses, management teams, banks and private equity houses to support them through a wide range of corporate transactions including company sales, corporate acquisitions, buy-outs and fund raising.

Harris Lacey and Swain, a Hull-based accountancy firm with clients all over the UK, which was established in 1870, has appointed a new partner. Richard Tucker has 18 years' experience working as an accountant with the Hessle-based firm since leaving school, and will now join current partner Richard Lacey, utilising his knowledge to assist with the business as well as supporting the development and training of team members.

By Pat Sweet

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