Whiteman has been chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) since 2013 after a career working for Newham, Lewisham and Barking and Dagenham borough councils in London. He was chief executive of the UK Border Agency for two years before taking up the CIPFA job.
Two figures from the world of accountancy were knighted alongside a selection that included Tory MPs Iain Duncan Smith and Robert Neil, West Indian cricket legend Clive Lloyd and playwright Christopher Hampton.
GlaxoSmithKlein chairman Jonathan Symonds FCA earned his knighthood for services to UK life sciences and finance. He has been a non-executive director at HSBC Holdings and was appointed deputy group chairman there in August 2018.
Previously he chaired HSBC’s European subsidiary and before that was CFO at Novartis and AstraZeneca. Before that he had been a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs and a partner at KPMG.
While not an accountant, the other knight to catch the profession’s eye was Graham Wylie, who helped shape the lives of a generation of accountants as the founder of PC accounting software giant Sage.
Wylie left Sage in 2003 and set up Technology Services Group, a successful and acquisitive tech reseller. He took an interest in horse-racing, becoming an owner of several successful horses. He also set up a fitness company, SpeedFlex and bought Close House, a manor house with two championship-standard golf courses on the outskirts of Newcastle.
He was knighted both for his role as a tech entrepreneur and for services to charity through the Graham Wylie Foundation, which supports a wide range of children’s causes in the North East.
Along with CIPFA’s Rob Whiteman, HMRC deputy director Richard Las and former Edrington CEO Ian Curle were made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBEs). Curle retired in March after 32 years with Edrington, which he helped to build into a Scotch powerhouse around brands that include Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse. He also served as chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association.
The next rung down on the ladder, OBE, went to former PwC partner Paul Cleal, who now operates as an independent board director and consultant advising organisations on their people and diversity strategies.
HMRC officials Nancy Gillespie (head of payment card services) and Patricia Wilkinson won similar awards,
Kevin Parkinson, the former CFO and director of governance at Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group was awarded an MBE for services to the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Accountant Yogesh Patel and founder of Consultants4VAT was awarded an MBE for services to literature. When not advising small businesses and championing their cause on VAT issues, he also finds time to edit the poety journal ‘Skylark’ and run Skylark Publications. He is the founder of several literary charities including the Gujarati Literary Academy.
Our list is unlikely to be complete. If you know of any other accountants who were honoured this year, let us know by commenting below.
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.