31 Dec 2013 12:13pm

Forthright ACAs win honours

Former ICAEW president Mark Spofforth is among a number of business people to be recognised in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list

He was awarded an OBE for services to the accountancy profession.

A general practitioner and partner in his family firm, Spofforths, during his time as president (2012 – 2013) Spofforth concentrated on raising trust in the profession. He also campaigned for the simplification of accounts and deregulation of business.

He has advised government on deregulation as a member of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills’ Deregulatory Strategy Group and has also served as a member of the Takeover Panel.

He was not the only ICAEW member to be honoured. Alison Carnwath, who is currently the only female chair in the FTSE 100 – she heads up property group Land Securities, becomes a dame for services to business.

Carnwath hit the headlines in 2012 when she revealed that, as a non-executive director of Barclays and chair of its remuneration committee, she had been outvoted by the board over the bonus to be paid to (now former) chief executive Bob Diamond. She had recommended a zero bonus: he ended up with 80% of the maximum he could be entitled to which pushed his overall annual pay package up to £17m.

Fellow ICAEW member Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, receives a CBE for services to banking and voluntary service. She is the only commercial banker to receive an honour out of the list of nearly 1,200 names.

Known as the “big bossy blonde” (she is 6ft 2), she has been with Virgin Money since 2007 and describes her leadership style as “no-nonsense” and “collective but decisive”.

ICAEW member David Bernstein, who stepped down as chairman of the Football Association last July, also gets a CBE for services to football.

One-time chairman of clothing chain French Connection, he chaired Manchester City FC from 1998 to 2003. He has forthright views on football, most recently targeted at football managers who, he says, set a terrible example both to players and the general public with their behaviour on the touchline.

No less outspoken is fellow ICAEW member Peter Hargreaves, co-founder of investment broker Hargreaves Landsdown, who also receives a CBE, this time for services to business, innovation, financial services and to the City of Bristol.

He started his business 30 years ago, trading from the bedroom of his Bristol flat. It is now in the FTSE 100 and Hargreaves, who stepped down as chief executive in 2010 but remains on the HL board, is a billionaire, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Last month, he was quoted on Mail Online as querying why companies should pay tax at all. “I never understood why companies should pay tax,” he said. “They don’t have a vote. If they didn’t have to pay tax, they would come here in droves and employ millions of people who would pay loads of tax.”

Jeremy Davies, senior adviser, Verdexchange Institute was appointed an OBE for services to British business interests in the USA. He is a former managing partner of the US firm of PwC and former national chairman and president of the British American Business Council, the largest transatlantic business association.

Last, but certainly not least, is Stephen Jack who received an OBE for services to disabled people. He has been chairman of the Independent Living Fund for the past seven years.

Among other people in the business community who receive honours, CBEs went to: former Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker for services to central banking; Joanna Shields, chief executive of Tech City UK, for services to the digital industries and internet-related businesses; Professor John Kay for services to economics; and Karren Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham football club and David Cameron’s small business tsar, for services to entrepreneurship and women in business.

CBEs for services to business also went to Warren East, former CEO of chipmaker Arm Holdings, Katherine Garrett-Cox, CEO of investment group Alliance Trust, and Cressida Hogg, managing partner at venture capital business 3i.

Both Ian Cheshire, CEO of Kingfisher, and Alan Parker, founder and chairman of City PR firm Brunswick, receive knighthoods.

This year, for the first time, more than half (610) of the 1,195 people named in the list are women. They include 16 who become dames and 39 who receive CBEs.

Julia Irvine


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