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In this Insights In Focus episode, we discuss how accountants can build the skills needed to take on leadership and executive roles during their careers.

In a recent report by the Financial Times, one anonymous headhunter was quoted as saying: “If America is run by lawyers, then the UK is run by accountants.” It’s backed up by the data, too: around one-third of today’s FTSE 100 CEOs have previously served as CFOs in their careers. But what makes finance professionals a good fit for the top spot? And what skills beyond financial prowess will help them make a success of it? 

To answer those questions, host Philippa Lamb is joined by Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of legal and professional services group Ampa; Joe Dubbin, Managing Director of executive search firm Cripps Leadership Advisors; and Melanie Coeshott, career coach and mentor at Blue Diamond. 

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Philippa Lamb


  • Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO, Ampa
  • Joe Dubbin, Managing Director, Cripps Leadership Advisors
  • Melanie Coeshott, career coach, Blue Diamond


Natalie Chisholm

Episode first published: 17 April 2024
Podcast recorded: 12 April 2024

All views expressed on this podcast are those of the contributors and don’t necessarily reflect those of ICAEW or its members.

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