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FRC inquiry gathering steam

21st May 2018
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Sir John Kingman, the man charged with leading an inquiry into the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), has named his A-team of personal advisers to help his work.

The 11-person independent advisory group features a who’s who of the British accounting and corporate spheres. But notably, the list doesn’t feature a single current senior staff member from the Big Four accounting firms.

The list includes Lucinda Bell, the former CFO of British Land and the audit chair at a manufacturing firm Rotork, Teresa Graham, a partner at Baker Tilly, and Nikhil Rathi, the CEO of the London Stock Exchange.

Another notable member of the panel is John Cridland, who led the state pension age review last year. The advisory group is responsible for scrutinising Kingman’s findings and recommendations, as well as advising on how the review is carried out

The review will include a consultation period, asking for views on the FRC’s role, and the report itself will be published later this year.

The Kingman Review will examine the role and powers of the UK’s accounting watchdog. The FRC has experienced a barrage of criticism after a string of accounting scandals, most notably the collapse of Carillion.

The second joint report into the Carillion affair labelled the FRC as feeble and timid, and lamented that the body is too content with "apportioning blame once disaster has struck" rather than proactively challenging companies.

The government said the Kingman Review “aims to make the FRC the best in class for corporate governance and transparency, while helping it fulfil its role of safeguarding the UK’s leading business environment”.

Kingman is chairman of Legal & General, the UK’s largest institutional investor and he is also chair of UK Research & Innovation. Kingman’s official review is joined by the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s own inquiry, led by frequent AccountingWEB contributor Prem Sikka.

The full list of the advisory group:

  • Lucinda Bell: Formerly CFO at British Land; Non-Executive Director and Audit Chair, Rotork plc

  • Mark Burgess: Deputy Global Chief Investment Officer, and Chief Investment Officer EMEA, Columbia Threadneedle

  • John Cridland: Chair, Transport for the North, leading the State Pension Age review; formerly Director-General, Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

  • Dame Amelia Fawcett: Deputy Chair of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik; non-executive board member at HM Treasury, and non-executive director at State Street Corporation (US); formerly chair, Guardian Media Group

  • Amelia Fletcher: Professor of competition policy, University of East Anglia; non-executive director, Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator, and Competition and Markets Authority

  • Simon Fraser: Chair of F&C Investment Trust and the Investor Forum; formerly chief investment officer of Fidelity International Ltd

  • Sir Peter Gershon: Chairman, National Grid plc. Formerly chair, Tate & Lyle plc, and chief executive, office of Government Commerce

  • Teresa Graham: Chair, Salix Finance; chair, HMRC Administrative Burdens Advisory Board; previously deputy chair of the government’s Better Regulation Commission (BRC), and a partner at accounting firm Baker Tilly (now RSM)

  • Dame Mary Keegan: Former chair, Accounting Standards Board; previously PWC’s first female audit partner; founding member, International Forum on Accountancy Development, and HM Treasury’s former managing director for Government Financial Management

  • Nikhil Rathi: Chief executive officer, London Stock Exchange Plc at London Stock Exchange Group plc

  • Anne Richards: Chief executive officer, M&G Investments


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