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2022 Chartered Stars

The winners of our 2021 Chartered Star competition, who attended the summit in 2022, are James Skilton and Mariee Payne. Here's a bit about them and a look at their winning entries.

James Skilton

James Skilton

James Skilton is an Audit and Accounts Semi-Senior in his third year at Wilson Wright, an independent accounting, tax and business advisory firm based in the City of London. 

Having taken a more unconventional route into accountancy, James graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2017 with a degree in Biochemistry. Following his graduation, James spent the next five months travelling across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It was during this time, he says that ‘his eyes were really opened’ to the measure of issues faced globally surrounding sustainability, education and economic injustice.

Upon his return, James spent 18 months working at an international environmental consultancy before joining Wilson Wright in September 2019, where he has secured first-time passes in all exams to date. 

James said: “I am delighted to have been selected as the ICAEW ambassador for the One Young World Summit in Manchester. Sitting in the wake of a global pandemic highlights the necessity, now more than ever, for young professionals to collaborate, reflect and develop proactive strategies for future crises. In the meantime, I look forward to the role that chartered accountants will have to play in the return of economic prosperity and I can’t wait to share my experiences on this global platform.”

Adam Cramer, CEO & Partner at Wilson Wright added “Young professionals such as James are shaking up the public perception of what it means to be a Chartered Accountant – breaking down outdated and unhelpful stereotypes, while giving reason for optimism about the future of the profession and the planet. As people around the world work to rebuild their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is incredibly reassuring that Chartered Accountants of the future will have the likes of James in their midst.”

“We are excited to be celebrating James’ achievement with him.”


Mariee Payne

Mariee Payne

Mariee Payne is an assistant manager within the audit department at Mazars in Poole having qualified in 2021. Mariee specialises in working with charities and not for profits. This is an area which she really enjoys being part of as she loves getting to see the difference that each charity is making, and loves to find ways to help these charities if she can. She finds it very rewarding being able to meet people who are so passionate about the work they are doing.

Professionally, Mariee gets involved with many different initiatives. She is a member of the office's diversity and wellbeing committee. One of their key focuses is mental health and as part of this Mariee organised a 'Time to Talk' day in the office to get people discussing mental health in an open environment. With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their lives, Mariee thinks that speaking about this openly in a work environment is very important.

Mariee is also the green champion for her office which consists of getting people involved with both local and national initiatives within the firm. Currently she is planning an office event for National Marine Week to help raise more awareness of issues being faced here. 

Another area Mariee is involved in is working with local schools on different projects, from supporting a Young Enterprise team, to giving talks on apprenticeships and careers in accounting and giving general career advice. Having not gone to University herself, and instead taking the school leaver path to becoming a qualified accountant, Mariee is keen to make sure that everybody is aware of all the different options they have available to them.

Outside of work Mariee loves being out on the water and enjoys a range of watersports including surfing, rowing and stand up paddle boarding. It’s very likely you will find her at the beach! She's always keen to give anything a try and has recently begun learning aerial silks which is completely different but very exciting.



One Young World: How do ACA students want to change the world?

We asked shortlisted entrants to our One Young World competition to tell us how accountants can help address some of our most important economic, environmental and social issues.