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Natalie Binstead becomes ICAEW West of England President

Author: ICAEW

Published: 09 Jun 2021

Natalie was elected President for 2021-22 at the AGM on 9 June. We wanted to find out a little more about Natalie and her plans for the year ahead.
Natalie Binstead

Tell us about your career to date

Any particular highlights in your working life to date?

I set up my own accountancy practice, BW Business Accountants & Advisers, in April 2021. This was a huge leap, but I have enjoyed every minute of it so far. I really enjoy being my own boss and speaking to business owners regularly. During the various lockdowns, so many people have set up their own businesses and its fascinating to hear all about them.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Where’s home? Are you a “local”?

I have lived in Bristol for 10 years, so I consider it home now. We moved around a bit when I was a child, but I grew up in and around Bridgwater in Somerset.

Family?

I live with my fiancé Matt and our 8-month-old cockapoo puppy Bruce. Matt and I are getting married in May 2022.

Any hobbies?

My main hobby is attending gigs and festivals, something which I have very much missed over the last year or so. Unfortunately, a lot of this summer’s festivals have already been cancelled but I’m hoping that I might be lucky enough to attend one or two later in the summer.

Tell us about your typical weekend

My weekend’s usually start with a steak dinner and a glass or two of red wine on a Friday night, coupled with the Bristol Bears match if it’s a Friday night game.  The rest of the weekend is usually centered around walking Bruce as we try to take him somewhere a little more exciting than just the area around our house. Now that hospitality businesses are back open, there’s also nothing better than going out for brunch or a roast dinner on a Sunday!   Pre-COVID, there was usually at least one gig in a weekend so I can’t wait to get back to that in due course.

What’s your favourite book?

Like most people my age, I am a huge Harry Potter fan having grown up with the series. I can vividly remember the excitement of a new book coming out and having to read it quickly so that no-one in my class could spoil it! My favourite book of the series is Prisoner of Azkaban but I will happily read them all!  

Musical tastes?

I am a huge music fan and I mainly listen to rock/metal. There is always music playing in our house, in particular our favourite band, Iron Maiden. They are due to headline Download Festival next year and we can’t wait to see them live again!

Your involvement with ICAEW West of England

How relevant has ICAEW been to you in your career?

ICAEW has been massively relevant in my career, which is a little strange considering I was always adamant that I wasn’t going to be an accountant! However, I realised I was rather good at it and so the rest, as they say, is history!

Why did you join the West of England committee?

I was the President of BADCASS (Bristol and District Chartered Accountants’ Student Society) when I was a trainee and so the West of England committee was the next natural step. I really wanted to ensure that younger members had a voice and representation on the committee as they make up a substantial proportion of our membership.

What persuaded you to put yourself forward as an office-holder on the committee?

I wanted to have a seat at the table and a voice to really influence ICAEW West of England’s involvement in the region. I was already a very active member of the committee and so it was a no brainer to take the next step and become an office holder!

What is your priority for the coming year as President?

The three themes that I would like to focus on this year are community, sustainability and diversity, all of which are interlinked. I would like ICAEW West of England to be at the forefront of creating a fairer and greener West of England region.

What do you think ICAEW West of England does well?

We have a very diverse and forward-thinking committee, always willing to try something new! This means that we have been able to organise a multitude of events for our broad range of members in the region. 

What would you like ICAEW West of England to do more of (if anything)?

We tend to be very Bristol-centric (something that we are very aware of) and I would like us to have a broader reach in the region. I would also like us to build stronger relationships with schools in the region, something which did not happen this year due to COVID.

You took over from Jon Brown as President at the AGM. What do you think was his standout contribution this year that he will be remembered for?

I think Jon will be remembered as the ICAEW West of England President who steered us all through the various lockdowns without ever attending a face-to-face meeting or event! Jon has been an exceptional leader in what has been a difficult 12 months and I applaud him for it. Aside from that, Jon has really driven our engagement with key stakeholders in the region, something which I am hoping to continue in my Presidential year.

In 12 months’, time Ololade Adesanya will take over from you as President. If we asked her the same question about you, what would you want her answer to be? (i.e. what do you want to be remembered for doing?)

I would like to be remembered for promoting sustainability and ensuring that this is embedded in all the events that we are holding. Not just in terms of our environmental impact but thinking about how we can contribute to as many of the 17 UN sustainable development goals as possible.

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