22 Oct 2013 01:35pm

Accountants prove OUTstanding in business

Circle Housing Groups FD Rob Kerse is one of the most inspirational LGBT role models among business leaders, according to OUTstanding in Business

He came 19th in OUTstanding's first ever Top 50 list, which recognises the important role that gay and lesbian business leaders play in bringing diversity to the world's boardrooms and executive management teams.

ICAEW member Kerse is one of several accountants in the top 50. Beth Brooke, EY’s global vice chair – public and policy, was placed second in the list behind overall winner Antonio Simoes, HSBC’s head of UK banking, while Rachel Harper, director of internal audit at BP and ICAEW member, was 25th.

EY partner Liz Bingham, who is currently president of R3, the insolvency practitioners’ trade body, came eighteenth.

Kerse joined Circle Housing in July this year and leads a team of nearly 300 people in finance, treasury, information services and technology, and facilities management. The group is the UK’s third largest provider of affordable housing.

“I am very flattered to be part of this list and am committed to being a positive role model for all LGBT staff both in and outside of Circle,” he said.

“I was attracted to Circle as our values resonate when it comes to equality and opportunity. I hope the list will confirm to current and potential executives that, as long as you’ve got the talent and drive, your private life simply doesn’t matter. I’m happy to be helping to build a truly meritocratic organisation.”

Suki Sandhu, founder of OUTstanding in Business, believes that, in order to provide authentic leadership, business leaders need to be themselves, both inside and outside their professional working environment.

“The phenomenal quality of our Top 50 list proves that you can come out and succeed professionally without being held back by your sexuality. At OUTstanding in Business, our hope is this list will inspire others to embrace who they are, paving the way for change in the corporate world.  

“Authentic leadership contributes to the development of diverse culture within companies, helping them achieve their business goals and improve the bottom line.” 

Julia Irvine


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