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ICAEW announces new Regulatory Board Chair

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 17 Jan 2022

Philip Nicol-Gent has stepped up to the role of Chair of the ICAEW Regulatory Board with immediate effect after his predecessor in the role, Jenny Watson CBE, was forced to stand down for unforeseen personal reasons after just two months in the role.

Nicol-Gent has been a member of the ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) since 2016 and vice-chair since 2017, paving the way for a seamless transition given his clear understanding of the role and the effective functioning of the Board.

The IRB is an independent board responsible for oversight of the regulatory and disciplinary work undertaken by ICAEW’s Professional Standards Department, to ensure it is carried out in the public interest. The board, which has parity of lay and chartered accountant members, was established in 2015 to enhance the distinction between ICAEW’s representative and regulatory roles following an independent review of its regulatory governance in 2014.

A highly experienced lawyer, Nicol-Gent was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1991 and practised as a barrister until 2000 when he moved to Guernsey to work for the Attorney-General. Nicol-Gent was called to the Guernsey Bar in 2003 and has since acted for both the Government and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission as well as holding appointments from the Royal Court as an amicus curiae in complex cases.

In 2011, Philip moved to the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, where he works on a part-time basis as a Senior Counsel. Philip was also a delegate of HM Solicitor-General for Guernsey between 2009 and 2012. In 2021, Philip joined the Audit Committee of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Commenting on his appointment, Philip Nicol-Gent, incoming chair of the IRB, said: "I am looking forward to my time as Chair of the IRB. The public interest has been at the heart of the Board's deliberations. As changes across the accountancy sector unfold over the coming months, we will make sure the IRB plays a central role and ensures that the public interest is reflected in that work.”

Jenny Watson CBE, outgoing chair of the IRB, said: “I’m sorry to have had to stand aside from this role but delighted to hear that the Regulatory and Conduct Appointments Committee has asked Philip to succeed me. I know he will do an excellent job and I send him and the IRB my good wishes for the future.” 

The appointment of Philip was approved by the Regulatory and Conduct Appointments Committee.

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