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ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty held its 25th Anniversary Reception on 22 February 2023 at Mansion House.

Crowd with ICAEW president meets members and guests at the 25th Anniversary Reception
Julia Penny, ICAEW President meets members and guests

More than 300 guests packed into the Mansion House for the Corporate Finance Faculty’s 25th Anniversary Reception. ICAEW’s biggest networking event since the pandemic provided an opportunity to celebrate the many successes and hard work of the faculty on behalf of its members.

ICAEW head of corporate finance David Petrie introduced Michael Izza, ICAEW chief executive, who delivered the opening address: “I think it’s fair to say that ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty is one of the jewels in our Institute’s crown. Over the past 25 years, the faculty has grown into the UK’s largest network of corporate finance professionals – with a substantial reach and influence in a hugely significant area of business responsibility, and indeed income for ICAEW member firms.”

Members enjoying the speeches

Members enjoying the speeches

He pointed out that corporate finance was a growing part of  the work of the global community of chartered accountants and as a result was a big priority for the Institute: “We know that building the necessary skills and knowledge must remain at the heart of the ACA and of continuing professional development. In particular, with those involved in deals continually seeking new ways of adding value to their clients and transactions, the technical knowledge and skills of ICAEW chartered accountants in this area must remain relevant and continue to evolve.”

Mo Merali, chair of the Corporate Finance Faculty and head of transaction services and private equity at Grant Thornton, then highlighted the role the faculty continues to play for its members. “For many of us in this room, the past year has proved to be a period of volatility, variability and uncertainty, with conditions proving challenging to confidence and, consequently, deals. In response to all these challenges, the faculty team has worked hard to deliver initiatives of real value to members.”

From left to right: Mo Merali, Chair, John Flint, UKIB, Chief Executive , Michael Izza, CEO and David Petrie, Head of Faculty
From left to right: Mo Merali, Chair, John Flint, UKIB, Chief Executive , Michael Izza, CEO and David Petrie, Head of Faculty

Our guest speaker

Guest speaker John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank – who was profiled in the December 2022 issue of Corporate Financier – outlined the important role that infrastructure investing will have for the UK’s future competitiveness and for meeting its net-zero ambitions.

Flint, who was previously HSBC group CEO, set out the high-level aims of the bank. With £22bn of capital to invest in its first five years, the UKIB is aiming to crowd in private capital, so that around £150bn will be invested in total. Based in Leeds, the UK Infrastructure Bank’s goals are to bring in investment to address climate change and the ‘levelling-up agenda’.

He said the bank hoped to lay the foundations for the UK meeting its net-zero targets over the next 10 years. The 10 years after that would be more down to the private sector, and the following 10 to consumers. “Because the net-zero challenge is so acute there has been a lot of comment and debate, which can be useful, but there is a point where it is not helpful. We, at the Infrastructure Bank, are not building a think tank or shaping public policy. We need to be judged on building a high-quality bank and balance sheet.”

John Flint, UKIB, Chief Executive
John Flint, UK Infrastructure Bank, Chief Executive 

Recognising excellence in corporate finance

Lord Leigh of Hurley, a former chair of the Corporate Finance Faculty, and senior partner at finnCap Cavendish, presented RS Group with this year’s Corporate Development award.

Collecting the award on behalf of the FTSE100 company was its chair, Baroness Rona Fairhead, and acting CEO David Egan.

Lord Leigh said: “When we established the faculty 25 years ago, our ambition was to provide a range of services and a network for ICAEW members carrying out corporate finance work, which we did. We also developed a unique qualification for corporate financiers.

“The current team, led by David Petrie, has achieved far more than the founders of the faculty ever thought possible. They understand and represent the views of deal advisers, and extend those views – and with it the influence of ICAEW – with regulators and policymakers. Today, the faculty stands as the largest and most notable network of corporate financiers and deal advisers. It has become established as the ‘voice of corporate finance’, interacting with Westminster and Whitehall to help shape the environment in which deal work is conducted.

The two prize winners for the Diploma in Corporate Finance – Kuhan Kanapathy and Henry Williams – received their prizes presented by Henry Whorwood from sponsor Beauhurst, and ICAEW president Julia Penny.

The evening ended with the opportunity for members to network. The anniversary reception was supported by sponsors Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based LendingBeauhurst and Marsh.

RS Group receiving the Corporate Development prize
From left to right:  Lord Leigh of Hurley, Baroness Fairhead, Chair RS Group, Ed Partridge, Marsh and David Egan, Acting CEO RS Group
Student prize for Diploma in Corporate Finance
From left to right: Julia Penny, President ICAEW,  Henry Williams,  Evelyn Partners, winner,  Henry Whorwood, Beahurst and Kuhan Kanapathy, Deloitte, winner.

Corporate Financier: The Anniversary Issue

In this special 25th anniversary edition, as the UK's largest network of corporate finance professionals, the Corporate Finance Faculty has much to celebrate in its 25th year. David Petrie discusses its relevance and influence in this issue of the magazine.

I am delighted to report that my successor will find the faculty in great shape. It continues to grow and develop the nature and extent of its work and services on behalf of all its members, including in 2023 developing a digital and interactive version of its highly popular flagship publication, Corporate Financier

Corporate Finance Faculty Chair Mo Merali Speech at the AGM

Gallery of photographs

Photos by Errol Jones

About the Corporate Finance Faculty

ICAEW connects more than 195,300 chartered accountants and students worldwide, providing this community of professionals with the power to build and sustain strong economies.

The Corporate Finance Faculty is the ICAEW’s centre of professional excellence. It contributes to policy development and many consultations by international organisations, governments, regulators and other professional bodies. It provides a wide range of services, events and media to its members.

The faculty’s network includes more than 80 member organisations. More than 40 per cent of the faculty’s membership is from beyond ICAEW.

Join the Corporate Finance Faculty

Join the largest network of professionals involved in corporate finance and access a range of authoritative best-practice and technical guidelines. Keep on top of emerging trends and policy issues.

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