Honourable mentions for ICAEW members
29 January 2020: a former Lord Mayor of London, a small business guru and a 92-year-old fundraiser for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are among 11 ICAEW members who received awards in the New Year’s Honours.
The former Lord Mayor is Peter Estlin, who stepped down last November after a year as the City of London’s ambassador. He has been knighted for services to international business, inclusion and skills.
He used his time as Lord Mayor to advance the work of OnSide Youth Zones, which works with young people from the most deprived areas around the UK. Thanks in part to him, there are now three state-of-the-art youth zones built in London and around 20 across the country.
He also took on a mayoral theme, Shape Tomorrow’s City Today, promoting the need for digital skills and a more inclusive society. He was behind last year’s launch of future.now, a coalition of businesses “intent on boosting digital skills, both to drive productivity but also to help the near 12 million people in the UK who lack the essential digital skills we now take for granted”.
He remains the chair of future.now and a founder patron of OnSide, and is working on the launch of a national body to provide a network for apprentices.
“It is truly a huge honour to be awarded any honour, let alone a knighthood,” he says. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet but the sense of motivation to do more is enormous.”
The small business guru is Teresa Graham, first female winner of Young Accountant of the Year (1988), first woman Chair of the London Society of Chartered Accountants and the first woman to receive the ICAEW Outstanding Achievement Award.
She has been made a Dame for services to small businesses, a sector that she has championed throughout her career. She currently works independently, focusing, she says, on her three passions: “strategic advice to ambitious, growing businesses, liberating them from the fetters of red tape, and ‘head of parties and fun’ at The Lexi Cinema”, a social enterprise covenanting 100% of its profits to the Sustainability Institute Trust, a South African charity.
“I am thrilled that my work with and for SMEs has been recognised in this way,” she says. “I truly believe that SMEs are the drivers of the UK's economic engine and government must always think of the social as well as the financial impacts on them in the formulation of its regulatory and legislative programmes.
“My roots as an Italian Geordie, from an entrepreneurial ice-cream making family, prepared me well for a lifetime of work on behalf of SMEs, as well as a passion for vanilla ice-cream!”
Retired chartered accountant Gordon Schofield, who receives a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his services to the RNLI and charity, has fundraised for the lifeboat charity for more than 50 years after experiencing their service first-hand. He still volunteers for the Stockport Fundraising Branch which he chaired for several years.
“I am just astounded, I really can’t believe it,” he commented. “After being rescued by an RNLI coxswain in the 1960s, I just knew I had to get involved with fundraising for the charity.”
Fellow ICAEW Chartered Accountant Jonathan Symonds, Chair of Genomics England and Deputy Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings, has been knighted for services to life sciences and finance.
A former KPMG partner, he was CFO at Astra Zeneca before joining Goldman Sachs as a partner and managing director, and then moving on to become CFO at Novartis AG. He was also Chair of HSBC Bank plc, HSBC’s European subsidiary.
Two ICAEW members awarded OBEs are: Major Kim Humberstone, Deputy Director of Financial Reporting and Control at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for public service and services to young people through the Army Cadet Force; and David Roberts for services to aviation.
Roberts is a glider pilot and has been Chairman of the British Gliding Association, first Vice-President of the European Gliding Union, Chairman of the Royal Aero Club, and President of Europe Air Sports.
MBEs go to:
- Saqib Bhatti, recently elected MP for Meriden and the youngest ever President of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, for services to diversity and inclusion in business communities;
- John Chapman, a retired chartered accountant and serial volunteer, for services to the community in Marlow, Buckinghamshire;
- Heidi Fisher, Founder of Make an Impact Community Interest Company and mentor to would-be social entrepreneurs, for services to innovation in social enterprise and impact measurement; and
- Paul Harbard, Founder of Pocket Living, the private sector developer of affordable housing for singles and couples in London, for services to innovative housing delivery in London and to charity.
Like Gordon Schofield, Kevin Johns has been awarded the BEM, in his case for services to the community in Solihull, West Midlands. A director at Prime Accountants, Chairman of the Solihull Business Improvement District (Solihull BID) and charity fundraiser, he said that he was very humbled to receive the medal.
“It’s certainly not something I was expecting, and it was a huge shock when I received the letter.
“I’ve been involved in lots of groups and clubs in Solihull over the years and I have only ever wanted to do my best to help the town shine.”