Practice news: Catax hires R&D heavyweight

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A round-up of the latest news, appointments, executive moves and acquisitions from the world of practice during April 2017.

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Catax hires R&D heavyweight

19 April - Manchester-based Catax has announced has appointed Nigel Holmes senior R&D consultant as part of the firm’s plans to grow its R&D division.  

Holmes joins the firm with more than 16 years’ experience in research and development. Holmes climbed the ladder with Armstrong Watson since qualifying as an accountant in 1994, reaching tax partner in 2014.  

Commenting on his new position, Holmes said that he will be advising more SMEs who do not realise that they can make a claim to take advantage of R&D.  Mark Tighe, CEO, Catax, echoed Holme’s goal to raise awareness of the tax relief: “With our new brand providing real impetus, we are seeking to significantly scale the business in the months and years ahead — and hiring someone of Nigel’s experience is one of the first major steps in that direction.”

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ACCA issues 2017 exam results

19 April - ACCA has announced that over 90,000 students worldwide entered an exam sitting during March 2017, with 3,864 of those students completing their final exam.

The exam announcement marks the second year ACCA has offered computer based exams to the qualification. Corporate and business law had the highest pass rate, with 86%; followed by the accountant in business (knowledge) exam, where 83% passed.   

 ACCA’s Alan Hatfield, executive director strategy and development said: “We are pleased with our latest exam results, which are comparable to the results in March 2016. With the continued success of the CBE rollout and the four exam sessions introduced last year, we have created more opportunities for students to sit the exams, and they have made tremendous strides.”

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EY appoints independent non-executive

13 April - EY has announced the appointment of Sir Peter Westmacott as an independent non-executive .

Westmacott replaces Sir Richard Lambert who steps down at the end of the month. Sir Peter will sit on EY’s UK Independent Non-Executive Oversight Committee, which is chaired by David Thorburn and reports to the UK board. The third member is Rosemary Martin. Along with the other independent non-executives Sir Peter will also attend the UK board meetings, chaired by UK chairman, Steve Varley.

Varley said: “Sir Peter brings a global perspective with a detailed appreciation of geopolitical and economic developments which will help guide EY through the uncertainty the UK could face over the coming years. During his time in Washington DC, he actively promoted US-UK trade and investment and the TTIP free trade agreement across the fifty states. Sir Peter’s experience makes him ideal for this role and he will challenge us appropriately to ensure our overall governance is of the highest standard. Sir Peter will contribute to the way we run our business and help strengthen stakeholder dialogue and confidence.”

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HW Fisher & Company creates six new partners

12 April - Accounting firm HW Fisher & Company has appointed Ross Fabian as an audit partner within its corporate team as part of a growth strategy that has also seen five existing staff promoted to partner.

Fabian joins the firm from Blick Rothenberg, where he worked for 18 years, having been made partner aged just 29 back in 2008.

His specific areas of expertise are UK owner-managed businesses and UK subsidiaries of international companies. With broad industry experience, he has a particular interest in the technology, property and recruitment sectors.

One of his main remits will be to enhance HW Fisher’s existing technology sector team: He has worked with and advised some exciting, high profile technology companies including a number of UK and NASDAQ-listed brands.

In addition, the firm is making a number of internal promotions to partner as part of its ongoing push for growth. As of 1 May:

  • Helen James becomes a corporate finance partner
  • Mandy Janes becomes an audit partner
  • Gilles Siow becomes an audit partner
  • Joel Courts becomes an audit partner
  • Tim Walford-Fitzgerald becomes a private client tax partner

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Hall Morrice launches corporate finance division

10 April - Hall Morrice has appointed Tom Faichnie as the managing director of its new corporate finance division and Melanie Gilmour takes the manager post.

Faichnie and Gilmour join Hall Morrice from RSM Aberdeen and will bring their knowledge of the energy sector to the position which largely focuses on oilfield services companies and corporate entities.     

Faichnie previously worked as the director of leveraged finance for Barclays bank before joining Campbell Dallas as a partner. Meanwhile Gilmour gained transactional services experience working with KPMG. The new division will also undertake corporate finance and financial due diligence services for existing Hall Morrice clients.

Hall Morrice partner Bob Bain believes now is the right time to launch a new division. “The marketplace has been volatile for the past two years, but despite that we are confident that there is a now a requirement - and more so in the future - to service corporate entities and private equity houses from a diligence capacity.”

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EY announces new infrastructure lead

5 April – Patrick Bossert will lead EY’s infrastructure asset intelligence practice across the UK, the firm has announced.

Bossert spent the last six years leading Network Rail’s asset information and digital workforce transformation. Commenting on his appointment Bossert said: I am delighted to take on this role and for the opportunity to help a broader range of clients get the most out of their infrastructure investments and contribute more to economic growth as part of the UK’s industrial strategy.

“Harnessing better asset intelligence helps control risks, reduce costs for asset owners and can give greater autonomy to staff on the ground.”

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Number 13 is lucky for 13 new RSM partners

4 AprilRSM has promoted 13 new partners across its audit, tax and corporate finance practices.

The 13 partner promotions comprises of four appointments within the firm’s tax practice, five promotions in the firm’s audit faculty, two from the firm’s food and drink sector and also promotions in the firm’s corporate finance practice in Birmingham, and one within the firm’s accounting and business advisory practice.

Laurence Longe, RSM’s UK CEO said: I’m delighted that our ongoing commitment to training and development is helping to nurture that talent internally and I’d like to congratulate all 13 colleagues on their promotion to partnership. Each of them will now play an even more important role in enhancing our service offering to clients in the UK and across our international network.’

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Raft of PKF Francis Clark appointments

3 Apr - Chartered accountants and business advisers PKF Francis Clark has revealed a raft of senior appointments.

The firm now has a team of more than 600 people and 60 partners across eight offices in the South and South West.

The latest appointments, taking effect from 1 April, include new partners and directors across the business.

PKF Francis Clark managing partner Andrew Richards said: “The scale of our recent recruitment at a senior level has been unprecedented for the firm and we are very excited about the future.

“Over the past six months we've recruited some highly experienced people into this practice - and we have also seen a number of promotions of extremely skilled members of staff. This investment has been driven by continued growth in key areas, undoubtedly assisted and driven by our membership of PKF.”

For the full list of new appointments, visit the PKF Francis Clark website.

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Raffingers makes new hires

3 Apr - Top 100 firm Raffingers has appointed two associate partners to develop and enhance the delivery of its services to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Essex-based accounting firm has seen significant growth in new clients in the last 12 months due to the progression of cloud accounting practices and increased profiling of Making Tax Digital.

Jebtha Kapirial joined Raffingers in December 2016 after spending five years at Haines Watts. Kapirial specialises in SMEs and owner managed business for the creative and property sectors.

Mehul Thaker followed in January 2017 after leaving Smith & Williamson where he specialised on SMEs and AIM listed clients where is focus was audits, accountants and tax. Both Thaker and Kapirial will take on the development of SME and owner managed businesses.

Raffingers partner Lee Manning said: “This is the first time we have recruited associate partners and having both Jebtha and Mehul join Roy, really helps to affirm what we are trying to achieve here at Raffingers.  All our associate partners bring a wealth of experience and fresh ideas and we at the firm are excited to see their contribution to our growing success.”

About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist


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