Financial Power List 2019: 40-36 revealed


Compiled by the Accountancy Age editorial team, the Financial Power List 2019 ranks the 50 individuals who we believe will make the biggest difference in the accountancy industry over the next 12 months.  Individuals considered for the list span government, practice and business. Their status or role does not guarantee their position in this ranking, but rather we have chosen individuals who we think will have an impact in one way or another based on what changes they are predicted to spearhead, whether that be in government policy, tax changes, regulation, firm growth, or industry diversity.

Make sure you check back to view the full rankings, which will be released on 15 February, with five individuals announced every day between now and then.

Here, we reveal the individuals who have made positions 40-36 on this year’s list.

36. Win Bischoff, Chairman, FRC

Being described as “toothless” and “useless” in a parliamentary hearing was a low point for the FRC. The collapse of Carillion and subsequent review into the watchdog by Sir John Kingman have heralded in big changes at the organisation. Bischoff has officially welcomed Kingman’s calls to break up the organisation, including finding new funding, new powers and a new leader. Yet while the stage has been set for radical change, Bischoff is still at the helm while MPs busy themselves with exiting the EU.

37. Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA, Chief Executive of Management Accounting, AICPA-CIMA

Having been with CIMA since 2009, Andrew Harding is still a vital asset to the body a decade later. Harding started his accountancy career at Deloitte as a trainee auditor, before beginning his professional body work in 1991. When moving over to CIMA in 2009, Harding joined as their executive director for global markets. He quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed as managing director in 2011, until 2016. Harding has always had a focus on driving value for CIMA members.

38. Les Burnett, Chair of PKF UK and Ireland 

Appointed as chair of PKF in the UK and Ireland, Burnett sits at the helm of PKF BBA, PKF Cooper Parry, PKF FPM, PKF Francis Clark, Johnston Carmichael, PKF KLSA, PKF Littlejohn and PKF O’Connor, Leddy & Holmes.  He began his career with PKF Francis Clark in Torquay in 1981, becoming partner in 1983 and managing partner of the firm in 1999. From that position, Burnett grew the firm until it was the leading firm of chartered accountants and business advisers in the South West. He is future-focused and has won an award for innovation. Burnett leads the PKF brand at an exciting time for mid-tier firms.

39. Melissa Geiger, Head of International KPMG

Throughout her career, Melissa Geiger has touched base with Big Four firm, KPMG—the firm in which she trained and qualified as a chartered tax advisor. After a spell in Hong Kong, she returned to KPMG in 2005 and was appointed the firm’s youngest female equity partner in 2008. Aside from KPMG, Geiger has amassed an incredible amount of experience all over the globe. She has acted as a lead tax partner to a number of global banks.

In 2014, Geiger was appointed the global head of tax at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – therefore she was responsible for their worldwide tax strategy – and in 2016 she was acting group treasurer, too. She returned again to KPMG in 2017 to set up in London to lead their international tax group and will be one to watch in 2019.

40. Susan Ball, Partner at Crowe and Board Member at CIOT

Ball has her fingers in many pies and, with over 25 years of experience in the industry. She has previously held positions in HMRC, the Big Four, and with a firm of solicitors and her specialisms include employment tax, investigations, and reward.

Crowe continue to live up to their place as 14th biggest firm according to our Top 50+50 Ranking. This year in particular we expect their power to make a difference as they are already a key player in the Brexit debate, unafraid to make predictions around what may happen, including the fact that 2019 could be the year of the ‘Brexit Inspired Company Voluntary Arrangement’ (BiCVA). As Partner, Head of Employers Advisory Services, Ball will help Crowe in their dedication to assisting clients in the months following March’s big decision.

With unavoidable changes looming, from MTD and April tax changes to the ‘B’ word, we are sure Ball will be one to watch and listen to in the months to come.






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