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 45 to 41 on this year’s list.
41. Donald Brydon, Chair of the London Stock Exchange and the Sage Group
Donald Brydon CBE is chair of the London Stock Exchange and the Sage Group. As an ex-Barclays businessman, Brydon has been chair of several big organisations including Royal Mail and the London Metal Exchange. He has just been appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2019 New Years Honours List.
Brydon is actually the outgoing chair of the LSE, so why is he in this year’s power list? Answer: he’s been asked to lead a review on what we want from the future of audit.
The responsibility is a weighty but necessary one, following the collapse of big corporations like Carillion leading to questions about the quality of audit. Will Brydon take the Kingman review and CMA report suggestions into account? Will he work closely with investors and stakeholders to find out what they want from audit? And will he consider the role of technology in bettering audit quality going forwards? We’ll have to wait and see, but what’s certain is that his work will have a significant impact on the accounting industry this year.
42. Amanda Digne-Malcolm, Technical Advisor, ICAEW
Having joined ICAEW in 1997 as a technical advisor, Amanda Digne-Malcolm has been in various member service roles at ICAEW and is now responsible for practice member support and engagement . Digne-Malcolm has significant experience in the practice sector, but also looks to the future of accountancy. She has been instrumental in ICAEW’s exploration of AI development to support member and student enquiries and she also led the accounting body’s Tomorrow’s Practice project.
43. Matthew Burton, Managing Partner, Saffery Champness
Elected as managing partner in April last year, Burton has been quick to embrace the change that is encompassing the industry. Sectors which Saffery Champness specialises in, such as landed estates, may not seem the most forward-looking, but they have demanded that the firm keep up with the pace of technological advancement. To that end, Saffery Champness has employed an IT partner and a change management specialist. In times of upheaval among the Top 20, there is all to play for for mid-tier firms like Saffery Champness.
44. Simon Wolfson, CEO Next plc
Simon Wolf, the CEO of Next, has proven that there are ways of navigating the increasingly difficult landscape of the retail sector. For example, how to work with the digitilisation of the economy. Wolfson is an advocate of Brexit, believing that radical change is necessary in order to avoid a long period of low growth after the UK’s departure from the EU. He is forward-thinking in his approach to business, and it will be interesting to see how Next fares in 2019.
45. Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Greg Clark has been secretary of state for business, energy, and industrial strategy since 2016, and has further experience as financial secretary (2012 to 2013) and shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change (2008). In his current role, Clark focuses on comprehensive industrial strategy and spearheads the government’s relationship with UK businesses—a vital role when navigating through Brexit uncertainty.
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