Honours update: Former KPMG chief knighted

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Contrary to previous versions of this story, a prominent accountant was knighted in the 2012 New Year's Honours (see comments below - Ed).

The very first name on the published list of honours was that of former KPMG UK senior partner Gerry Acher "for charitable services".

After retiring from KPMG at the end of 2001, Acher became treasurer for the trust that oversaw the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations in June 2002, for which he was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO). He was made a CBE in 1998 for his work with charities including Motability.

Nigel Eastaway, BDO's Tax partner, received an OBE for services to taxation law.

Otherwise accountants were hard to spot in this year's honours list, but one who was recognised was PKF East Anglia’s partner Michael Muskett, who got an MBE for services to social enterprise aid and to the local community. Muskett, who celebrated 50 years with the firm last year, helped raise thousands of pounds for local and regional charities, including Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal British Legion. The PKF partner also served as chairman of NWES for 25 years, helping start-up businesses with finance, advice, training and premises.

David Ashman, partnership chairman at Reeves, was also awarded an OBE for his voluntary work as national honorary treasurer of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). Ashman, who is one of Reeves' charity and not for profit sector specialists, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be recognised with this honour and for being part of such a deserving charity. The work SSAFA does is amazing and really makes a difference to people’s lives.” 

The most controversial award was probably the CBE bestowed on property tycoon Gerald Ronson, who was sentenced to one year in prison in 1990 for his part in the Guinness share-trading scandal and fined £5m for false accounting and conspiracy to contravene the 1958 Prevention of Fraud Act. He served six months and always maintained his innocence. The CBE was for his work raising more than £100m for charities and his personal donations of more than £30m to the Community Security Trust, the NSPCC and the Prince’s Trust that he received the award.

Further controversy arose over the MBE awarded to businessman Rod Aldridge, who resigned from his role as chairman of Capita in 2006 after it was revealed he secretly lent the Labour party £1m in the “cash for peerages” scandal. He was given a knighthood for his work as chairman of The Aldridge Foundation, which helps young people through entrepreneurship and education.

Despite HMRC hitting the headlines in December with the damning Commons Public Accounts Committee report, the government rewarded 18 HMRC employees with honours. The compliance area of the  scooped half the awards with personal tax accounting for the rest. The list of awardees include Mike Wells, HMRC's director of risk and intelligence; Roderick Stone, HMRC's MTIC deputy national; and Gordon Smith, director of Debt Management & Banking. 

Do you know anyone else within the profession who was honoured this year? If so, let us know by commenting below. 

About Natalie Brandweiner


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By fcablog
04th Jan 2012 13:17

Um, Gerry Acher?

He's first on the list of Knighthoods. Former senior partner at KPMG, of course.

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04th Jan 2012 15:01

You got us there!

Story is now being amended. Thanks for coming to our rescue/humiliation!

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04th Jan 2012 15:01

Thanks, fcablog.

I've updated the article with the information. 

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04th Jan 2012 16:51

ICAS members

Former Tesco chairman David Reid, who joined the supermarket chain as FD in 1985, was given a knighthood for services to business and charity. Reid was chairman of Tesco Charity Trust and worked with the charity Whizz-Kidz.  

Prof Niall Lothian, who served as ICAS president from 1995-1996, was also among those who received an honours in the New Year’s list. Lothian was awarded an OBE for services to corporate and civic governance in Scotland.

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05th Jan 2012 11:23

Ruby McGregor-Smith

Chartered accountant and Mitie chief executive Ruby McGregor-Smith was awarded a CBE for her services to business and diversity in business.

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05th Jan 2012 12:02

What does services to tax law mean exactly?

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to cheekychappy
05th Jan 2012 15:51

Nigel Eastaway's services to tax law

My knowledge of Nigel goes all the way back to the late 1990s when I worked on Accountancy Age and he was banging on regularly about the need to simplify tax law as the head of the CIOT's technical committee.

He got his way in the end, and his name shows up a lot on Google in parliamentary evidence around the rewrite project, for which I suspect he has been thanked with an OBE. After bringing forward a package of new laws, the rewrite project has now been overtaken by the Office of Tax Simplification, which is being steered by Nigel's CIOT compadre John Whiting.

I hadn't seen Nigel for years, but was pleased to bump into him at a BDO tax seminar in the autumn. Again, I'm sorry I missed him in my trawl through the honours list, and it's good to see some more names coming forward. For the moment, it looks like HMRC has bagged the biggest haul (as usual), but could ICAS be ahead of the ICAEW in the honours medal table? If we hear from the other institutes, perhaps well draw one up as a bit of fun.

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06th Jan 2012 10:49


One other accountant who received an honour is Peter Muxworthy

of Swansea who is a former senior partner of Bevan & Buckland in South Wales and is still a consultant with us.

He received an MBE for services to the community.

Cuan O'Shea

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