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The future of accountancy revealed: 35 under 35

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 13 Oct 2022

Underlining once again the value of the chartered accountancy qualification, many of the accountants in this year’s 35 under 35 ranking published by Accountancy Age are ACAs.

The Accountancy Age 35 under 35 list highlights the rising stars of accountancy, showcasing individuals who have achieved stellar accomplishments and contributions to the profession early in their careers.

Of the 35 people in this year’s ranking, a substantial 19 were ICAEW chartered accountants, further highlighting the significance of the qualification.

Louise Sleightholm, Corporate Finance Manager at KPMG, made the cut this year, having worked on several high-profile deals, including the initial public offering of The Hut Group and MADE.com.

Despite her workload, Sleightholm found time to co-found networking group Leeds Young Professionals. She is also poised to launch a female careers networking group that will support women in finance, legal and banking – the future of women in the finance sector has become a passion of hers. Sleightholm also mentors students to help promote more women in financial roles in and around Leeds.

Sleightholm says: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been named one of Accountancy Age’s 35 under 35. Being recognised for my commitment to the accountancy profession and the other wider initiatives I am involved in has been a significant milestone in my career, helping me to connect with a wide and diverse range of individuals, which will no doubt support me in my career.”

Natalie Binstead-Wey, who founded BW Business Accountants & Advisers in April 2021, also made the ranking this year. It’s no surprise either. Among her other achievements, she is the ICAEW West of England President for 2021-22, representing thousands of ICAEW members. In her role, she has supported chartered accountants in her region to adapt to life during and after the pandemic.

Binstead-Wey says: “The 35 under 35 ranking is something that I have followed for many years, and it is an honour to be included on such a prestigious list. Many of the other winners work for large accountancy firms and so it is humbling to be recognised as one of the few sole practitioners on the list. 

“I believe that having founded a successful accountancy firm at the age of 30 and being one of the youngest ICAEW District Society Presidents ever made me stand out from the crowd. I am passionate about the accountancy profession and nurturing future talent, and I think that must have shone through in my nomination,” Binstead-Wey adds.

Becoming a Director at Murrells Chartered Accountants at age 29, Grant Miles has helped transform the paper-based practice into a fully digital one, implementing a practice management system as well as other new digital tools. This has ensured his place among the 35 under 35 this year.

Miles says: “I find it supportive and comforting to be recognised industry-wide for the contributions I make and for the hard work that is going into our practice. I feel I’ve risen through the ranks quickly – however it’s down to working smartly and taking the time to learn the industry and identifying what works and what doesn’t, and applying that to our practice. To be recognised in the industry is a big achievement as part of that.”

At the age of 29, Jack Moore became a Partner at Page Kirk, seven years after qualifying as an ACA in 2014. Since then, Moore has focused his efforts at the firm on implementing the right technology and team to fully embed digital for a new era of accountancy. 

Moore says: “I’ve known about the 35 under 35 rankings for years and have kept an eye on the list each year throughout my career, and I had always hoped that one day I would be fortunate enough to be one of the names recognised. The rankings are well known throughout the industry, so it is an absolute honour and a privilege to be acknowledged, and I am truly humbled to have been selected for this year’s list.”

Sarah Ghaffari, Director, Communities, Business and Practice, says: “We are delighted to see so many ICAEW members in the 35 under 35. It is great to see their achievements being recognised and I am excited to see how their careers progress.”

The ACAs on the list

  • Melissa Ng, Director, Alvarez & Marsal Taxand UK
  • Jamie Seaford, Partner, Moore Kingston Smith
  • Louise Sleightholm, Corporate Finance Manager, KPMG
  • Jake Standing, Partner, Kreston Reeves
  • Eddi Taylor, Partner, Azets
  • Tom Warner, Associate Director, Evelyn Partners
  • Sam Inkersole, Tax Manager, BKL
  • Charlotte Lishman, Audit and Accounts Manager, Grunberg & Co
  • Ross Lomas, Partner, Saffery Champness
  • Yuan Chen, Senior Manager, PwC
  • Craig Ewins-Jones, manager, Rickard Luckin
  • Dan Firmager, Audit Senior, Kreston Reeves
  • Franki Hackett, Head of Audit and Ethics, Engine B
  • Alex Hird, Director of Technical and Innovation, Azets
  • John Atkins, Partner, Larking Gowen
  • Natalie Binstead-Wey, Founder and CEO, BW Business Accountants & Advisers
  • Isobelle Bristol, Adviser, Old Mill
  • Grant Miles, Director, Murrells
  • Jack Moore, Partner, Page Kirk

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