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We deliver the best recruitment news and advice to the Tax, Legal, Finance and HR sectors, including market updates, CV tips, interview advice, and exclusive interviews.


Why I Chose a Career As a Finance Recruiter

"I made the right decision and I can’t wait to see what the future holds…" Having completed an intensive four-week training program designed to introduce new colleagues to the 360 processes of recruitment, Aaron Scott was given the task of choosing his sector specialism and ultimately his new team. Here are the reasons why he decided to choose a career in finance recruitment. After four insightful weeks, my rigorous training had finished and I was now a fully fledged Associate Consultant. It was time to move into a team and while for some it may have been a difficult decision, it was a no-brainer for me. I had known for some time that I had wanted to join Pro-Finance. I immediately established a great relationship with the team and they really helped me settle in and find my feet. Whilst the Finance Team played a part in my decision, I believe the role itself was the most suited to myself. I based this off of my experience working with the team during my training, Finance was the industry I picked up the quickest and felt most confident about. I felt comfortable with talking to candidates and clients in the finance industry at such an early stage in my recruitment career. The team has such a diverse portfolio, recruiting Finance Analysts, Financial Controllers, Accounts Assistants through to Audit Seniors. I’m now specialising in placing Auditors and Accountants into a range of Accountancy practices, from the Big 4 to specialist boutiques. Currently, I'm working with a variety of candidates from Trainee level to Partners. All of this ultimately made my decision a lot easier (let’s just hope I made the right one!) Since joining the team, it’s been intense but on a completely different level. To be honest, I don’t think I would want it any other way. I’m glad I have one industry to focus all my attention on now instead of trying to split my time between Finance, Tax, Legal and HR. I’ve learned more about the world of Finance and Accountancy Practices as well as the client side of recruitment. I can’t wait to start forging my own successful client relationships in the future. The training I've had at Pro has been excellent. We’ve had continuous monthly training sessions with Jim Atkins at Enabling Change which has been very beneficial. He has taught me so much we’ve had sessions on headhunting, candidate obstacles along with how to sell solutions to clients and candidates. He is truly an excellent trainer and I wouldn’t have progressed so quickly without his training. Thanks Jim! I made the right decision and I can’t wait to see what the future holds… If you're looking to make a move into recruitment, I highly recommend you speak to Loren von Sternberg, who can offer a great insight into opportunities available at Pro-Group.


Charity Times - 16/10/18

DIGITAL Labour MP criticises Big Lottery Fund Labour’s shadow minister for civil society has criticised the Big Lottery Fund ’s new £15m digital fund for not focusing on small charities. Steve Reed said he was unhappy about the first funding strand's exclusion of “over four in five UK charities who have an income below £500,000," adding “Smaller charities are best placed to pilot new technologies, so . . . I urge the Big Lottery Fund to look urgently at how they can support smaller charities to use digital technology to become more effective.” The Small Charities Coalition also made known its disappointment about the first strand's targeting of charities with an income of at least £500,000. The coalition posted on social media: “Strand 1 excludes 80% of UK charities, Strand 2 requires charities to already be 'highly digital'. This is not the case for lots of #smallbutvital charities.” A spokesperson for the Big Lottery Fund responded: "We work with small charities every day, and understand and value the work they do . . . Through National Lottery Awards for All we provide around £90m of funding every year, the majority of which goes to small grassroots organisations, including to support digital activities." Civil Society Sector's first Digital Code of Practice More than 100 charities have contributed to the UK’s first Charity Digital Code of Practice , which is due to launch on November 15th. The Code, which will be voluntary and free to access for all charities, will seek to help charities improve their digital skills and increase their take up of digital activity. The consultation revealed strong enthusiasm for the Code, with 79% of respondents saying they will ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ use it. It is funded by Lloyds Banking Group and the Co-op Foundation and managed by a steering group of representatives from across the sector. Age UK chief digital and technology officer, Lara Burns, said: “As a sector, there is much more we can do to fully embrace the opportunities that digital technology offers and the Charity Digital Code of Practice will provide a welcome structure for this . . . It will give a helpful direction for leadership and governance, and a potential framework for collaborating across the sector and sharing learnings, whilst the resources will provide practical help for delivering programmes.” Charity Times UKFundraising Charities unprepared for digital tax requirements Attendees at last week's Charity Finance Summit heard that charities are confused and unprepared for the government’s digital tax requirements ahead of their introduction next year. Richard Bray, regulatory and taxes manager at Cancer Research UK and vice-chair of the Charity Tax Group , asked the audience of about 300 charity finance professionals whether they were comfortable that they will be able to comply with the government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) scheme for VAT returns. Only a handful said they were, reports Civil Society. Civil Society LEGAL UC charities hit by ‘gagging orders’ The Times reports that at least 22 organisations that work with Universal Credit claimants have been forced to agree to “pay the utmost regard to the standing and reputation” of Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, and must “not do anything which may attract adverse publicity to her or harm public confidence in her.” The contracts, totalling £1.8bn, have been condemned by charities, with Shelter’s chief executive Polly Neate saying it was “deeply troubling that the government might seek to use services contracted for the most vulnerable to influence fair criticism of their policies,” while mental health charity Mind warned that “gagging clauses” prevent charities from campaigning independently. Labour’s Margaret Greenwood has written to Ms McVey to warn that gagging clauses for charities are “unacceptable in modern Britain.” The Times Third Sector Civil Society GOVERNANCE Guidance on reporting serious wrongdoing Revised guidance on whistleblowing and reporting incidents of serious harm has been published by the Charity Commission . A spokeswoman for the commission said: “As regulator we place great importance in whistleblowers who often bring vital information that helps us hold charities to account . . . We have updated our guidance on whistleblowing to help people better understand when, and how, they can report wrongdoing to us. These changes are designed to make our guidance more accessible. We want to make it as easy as possible for people who make what is often a brave decision to come to us with concerns.” The commission said examples of serious harm include if an individual’s health or safety is in danger, a criminal offence such as theft or fraud, substantive loss of funds, or failure to meet legal obligations. Civil Society FUNDRAISING JustGiving scraps fees for major incident and disaster campaigns JustGiving is ditching its fees from all pages set up in response to major incidents and disasters. Platform users will now only have to pay a third-party processing fee on card payments and will be given the option of making a contribution to support the operation of the platform. Peter Lewis, CEO at the Institute of Fundraising said: “We are pleased to see JustGiving continuing to develop its model and responding proactively to enable donors’ money to go even further, especially at times of major incidents.” Civil Society notes that the move comes in the wake of a critical report on BBC 5 Live Investigates about fundraising platforms' fee structures. Civil Society UKFundraising London Marathon Events appoints first head of charities London Marathon Events has appointed Kenneth Foreman as its first head of charities to develop partnerships to ensure fundraising opportunities are developed and maximised at all the trust's events. Mr Foreman, who was formerly senior sporting events and partnerships manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK , said: “With my background in sporting event fundraising, I will look to bring my charity experience to London Marathon Events and help us continue to provide charities with a significant opportunity to raise much needed funds for their causes." Civil Society eBay's first 'Give Day' supports the Princes Trust eBay is to donate up to £150k to the Princes Trust after its inaugural 24-hour 'Give Day.' Any item shoppers placed in an eBay basket throughout the day saw the e-commerce site contribute 5p to the charity's Enterprise programme, which supports young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. eBay UK’s vice president Rob Hattrell said: “We’re so excited to support the brilliant Prince’s Trust. The UK is powered by small businesses and we want to give the next generation as much support as we can." Retail Gazette Third Sector FINANCE Vodafone launches social innovation award programme Vodafone is inviting innovative start-ups and early-stage ventures to apply for potential funding after unveiling a UK social innovation award programme - branded Vodafone Techstarter. The initiative aims to uncover and develop ideas that can "harness the power of technology, connectivity and innovation to improve health, education, environmental protection or social mobility". The £300,000 fund is open to UK-based inventors, innovators, charities, social enterprises, businesses and entrepreneurs. The Scotsman CAMPAIGNS Four-city charity sleep-out to tackle homelessness A four-city charity sleep-out is aiming to raise funds to help eradicate homelessness.Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn MBE said the charity was trying something new: “This year we’re doing something that’s never been done before – holding a simultaneous multi-city sleep-out in four of Scotland’s major cities, and we’re looking for the people of Dundee to get behind the cause and join our movement to eradicate homelessness.” Along with Dundee, events will be held on the same night, December 8th, in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Mr Littlejohn added that he was “so grateful to Dundee City Council for pledging 100 homes as part of our Housing First initiative.” Dundee Courier Charity urges retailers to ban home dopplers sales Stillbirth charity Kicks Count has urged eBay, Amazon and Facebook to ban the sale of home dopplers from their websites, claiming the devices, which can pick up a baby’s heartbeat, provide pregnant women with a false sense of security when something goes wrong. Kicks Count chief executive Elizabeth Hutton, said: “Foetal dopplers are complex pieces of medical equipment and should not be available to the general public.” Daily Mail Charity shops to offer inexpensive interview clothes Over 650 charity shops across the UK are supporting the ‘dress to impress’ initiative launched by careers app Debut, with stores to offer clothes suitable for a job interview for £ 10. Charlie Taylor, founder of the app, said: "Everyone in the UK can benefit from this campaign - jobseekers can pick up a great outfit on a budget and feel interview-ready, while everyone else can get involved and donate their own pre-loved interview attire that they no longer need to help a number of fantastic causes.” The Independent Mums who lost teens to suicide start mental health charity Charity Safaplace has paid more than £15,000 for mental health experts to give talks to pupils and to train teachers to spot signs of distress. The charity was founded by Rose White and Sarah Finke, two mothers who both lost children at Stoke Newington School in north east London to suicide. The aim is to expand beyond the school, which the mothers praised for being “supportive and respectful” following the tragedies. Evening Standard OTHER Children’s charity founder is honoured Carmel McConnell MBE, the founder of children's charity Magic Breakfast, which provides free breakfasts for children in primary and secondary schools, has been named the campaigner of the year at the Women of the Year awards. Alex Cunningham, chief executive of the charity, said: “Carmel . . . is an amazing inspiration to all of us and we know that she will not stop campaigning for school breakfasts until there is no child in the UK starting their school day too hungry to learn." Anne-Marie Imafidon, the founder of Stemettes, a social enterprise which encourages girls into science, was also among the Women of the Year winners. The i


Making the Move From Big 4 to Mid-tier: Genevieve Moore

I sat down with Genevieve Moore, Head of Corporate Tax at Blick Rothenberg to discuss the differences between the Big 4 and Mid-Tier Accountancy Practices. Genevieve made the move from Deloitte in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. How does the culture at Blick Rothenberg compare to your time in the Big 4? I think size does lead to a different culture. We are about 325 people now, across two offices and although we are growing rapidly, there is a family feel at Blick Rothenberg and I think this comes because you form deep working relationships with people, so you understand who they are as people and what is important in their life. This helps me manage staff better and get the best out of people, by understanding what makes them “tick” and letting them get on with what they are good at and enjoy. I’ve got to know people from other departments very well and worked closely with them, rather than only operate within one large Big 4 team. Our CEO meets personally with every new member of staff, and since his appointment in the role has arranged a half hour one to one with every member of staff to get to know them better and understand more about their views on the firm, their career and what we can do better. I can’t imagine many firms where the CEO would have this much involvement with the staff, but it certainly helps improve working relationships and staff engagement. Another key difference is the hands-on partner approach at Blick Rothenberg. I have day to day contact with my clients, from the first meeting to delivering the ultimate piece of advice, and all stages in between. Work isn’t over-delegated, and the partners are still tax advisors, not salespeople. We don’t have tax technical teams in London reviewing new legislation and sending out internal communications, we are the tax technical teams! This won’t be for everyone, and when I first joined Blick Rothenberg I opened my legislation more times in six months than I had in the previous two years at Deloitte. I really valued this experience and although I’m more involved in management now, I still have daily contact with my clients and the tax legislation! How does the quality of the work and team compare to the Big 4? I have clients which range from pre-revenue tech start-ups to UK listed (full and AIM), and international groups turning over billions. It’s certainly not true that a smaller firm doesn’t have good quality clients or work. Being in a mid-tier firm in London means we are well placed to attract excellent clients, and every day is varied with a number of different and unique situations for our clients, whether this is setting up a fund, helping a client design their overseas corporate structure, transfer pricing and supply chain advice, or implementing an employee incentive plan. One of our opportunities is that we can provide the independent tax advice for businesses which are audited by one of the Big 4 and need separate tax advisors, or simply want a different view. Many of our larger listed clients are audited by the Big 4 or Top 10 firms. The quality of the team is also very high, we have less staff, so it is very more important to make sure we recruit the right people and that they will be a good fit with the team and the firm's values. One of the differences I have noticed is that we are very good at allowing people to do the things they are good at, rather than trying to make everyone the same, or push people into sales/marketing if that’s really not their cup of tea. This allows us to get the best out of people and retain our staff with higher engagement. What surprised you the most after making the move? I’d been told during interviews that Blick Rothenberg had an exceptional client base, but I don’t think I really believed it until I got there and started working on these clients, from top brands to household names. I was also pleasantly surprised by the pace at which you can get things done in a smaller organisation. Shortly after I joined I suggested when we should recruit some A-level students into the team, something which I had suggested at Deloitte and then been involved in designing and implementing their A-level recruitment path. At Deloitte, it took over five years from the day I suggested it until they recruited their first A-level students. At Blick Rothenberg, it took less than three months! The same is true with new markets and business ideas, as a smaller organisation and fewer tiers of management, we can be very quick to adapt to change and access new markets and technology. Was a move into the Mid-Tier a good move for you and would you recommend it? I had worked in the Top 10/ Big 4 for 12 years, always based in the regions before taking the jump to a mid-tier firm based in London. I’d done well in the Big 4 but it was after the jump to London that my career took off. In six months, I was made Partner, and two years later Head of Corporate Tax. The mentoring I have had from our CEO (previously head of tax) and the support from the firm has enabled me to really grow and develop as a person and I am sure I would not have been able to achieve all this if I hadn’t made the move to Blick Rothenberg. People shouldn’t be scared to leave the Big 4 brand behind them, the mid-tier firms do attract top quality clients, work and staff, but the environment is different to the Big 4 and won’t be suited to everyone. My advice if you thinking about making the move is to go and talk to them, there is nothing lost but an hour of time and you’ll very quickly get a feel for whether or not it is for you. If after reading this, you’d like to know a bit more about what opportunities are currently out there then please do reach out. I am working exclusively with a number of mid-tier firms and as Genevieve has stated, there is nothing lost but an hour of your time to find out if this is the right career move for you.


Charity Times - 09/10/18

GOVERNANCE Regulator reveals five-year strategy The Charity Commission has a new five-year strategy that signals a move towards more collaborative working and calls for better standards of behaviour from the sector. Baroness Stowell last week told an audience at the Royal Society of Arts that charities must do more to set a good example, and that both the sector and the regulator need to “promote what is special about charity, and to meet legitimate public expectations of charity,” or else “risk being complicit in its decline.” Third Sector editor Andy Hillier, in reflecting upon the commission's new strategy, says a "completely new form of regulation" may be needed following recent scandals that have seen it relegated to the shadows during ensuing investigations. On Friday, Baroness Stowell spoke to Radio 4's Today programme and said charities have “the potential to do a whole lot better.” She told Justin Webb: “All char ities, n ot just the big ones, have to recognise that they have to demonstrate charitable behaviour and charitable attitude . . . My main requirement right now is for charities themselves to recognise that they have a responsibility in making this change. It can’t all be down to the regulator, it can’t all be down to somebody else, it’s got to be charities themselves.” Third Sector Civil Society FUNDRAISING Millennials' favourite charities A new survey from YouGov suggests the National Trust is the most popular charity in the UK with millennials. Mind placed second in the rankings based on YouGov's 'Word of mouth' metric, with The Dogs Trust in third place, followed by Battersea and Guide Dogs. Rounding out the top ten are Macmillan Cancer Support, British Heart Foundation, Children in Need, Cancer Research, and RSPCA. Briony Gunstone, director of public sector works for YouGov, said the findings challenged preconceptions that the National Trust is for “older generations.” Civil Society FINANCE Charity investment returns have halved A survey of 97 UK charities, with assets of over £11bn, has found that in the year to March 31st 2018, the average total return for charities was 4.2% compared to 10.9% last time. Meanwhile, almost a quarter of charities took a withdrawal of 5% or more to invest in their charitable activities, compared to an eighth of charities in the survey for the previous twelve months. The survey also suggests charities becoming increasingly concerned about a toughening regulatory and legal environment, and responses elsewhere to the survey indicate a lack of diversity on trustee boards. Civil Society Charities' core functions are under-resourced A study by Charity Finance magazine to mark the inaugural Charity Finance Weeksuggests that nearly two-thirds (63%) of charities think their core functions including finance, human resources, IT, safeguarding and legal support, are under-resourced. Reasons given for the situation included a failure to keep on top of growth; under-representation of finance on the senior management team; and increased regulation. Charity Finance Civil Society DIGITAL Charities scoop chatbot cash Two charities have netted £300,000 each to develop AI chatbot support. The grants will help CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably) and Missing People to handle more enquiries and broaden the online support they offer vulnerable people. The two charities were among 76 entries for the Worshipful Company of Information Technologies (WCIT) Charity IT Award 2018. The judges decided to divide the £600,000 award between the two charities because of the high quality of both bids. Missing People offers free round the clock support to people who are missing and their families, and CALM works to prevent male suicide and provides free anonymous and confidential support online and by phone. WCIT will also now help more charities develop artificial intelligence with the creation of a sector-wide artificial intelligence expert group that will seek to use WCIT members ’ AI skills to create momentum for effective use of this ground-breaking technology by charities. Charity Digital News Solicitor general's concern about digital skills A fringe meeting on the subject of charities and technology at last week's Conservative Party Conference heard solicitor general Robert Buckland voice his concern about a perceived lack of digital skills in the sector. The Conservative MP for South Swindon noted that the “digital revolution has empowered people to have more knowledge about the sector than ever before.” He also used his platform at the even organised by theCharities Aid Foundation to say that “no charity has a permanent right to exist or enjoy trust” and that those which are well managed should “have nothing to fear from increased transparency.” Civil Society £15m charity digital fund is launched The Big Lottery Fund is launching a new £15m digital fund on October 22nd to offer dedicated digital funding support to the third sector. The fund will operate for two years and will award grants of up to £500,000. Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are delighted to launch our new £15m Digital Fund today. It will help both digital natives and digital pioneers maximise their impact, by putting people at the heart of their digital services.” Third Force News Civil Society RISK Russian hackers targeted cancer charity An anonymous Russian group of cyber-criminals sought to steal the card details of people in the UK who had brought items through online gift shop of Cancer Research UK, according to cybersecurity experts. The hackers planted malicious code into the charity's website that was designed to compromise the credit card information of people who made purchases online. Nigel Armitt, chief financial officer at CRUK, said: “The online store services were immediately disabled to ensure the exposure was limited and a subsequent investigation conducted by a third-party firm confirmed that there were no supporters impacted by the event," adding “We reported the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office, who were fully apprised of the situation and took no further action.” The Daily Telegraph Daily Mail Looking ahead to Charity Fraud Awareness Week The third annual Charity Fraud Awareness Week takes place from October 22nd-26th. The main aims of the Charity Commission-supported week are to raise awareness of the key risks affecting the sector, promote and share good counter-fraud practices, and promote honesty and openness about fraud. More than 40 charities, regulatory agencies, professional bodies and stakeholders will partner to help combat fraud which is targeted at charities. UKFundraising DIVERSITY Corporate parallels the third sector can learn from Don Bawtree, writing for Third Sector, suggests charities that have yet to get to grips with the requirement to include a diversity statement in their annual report should take note of the Financial Reporting Council’s research on FTSE 350 companies, which showed how far they need to go to develop clearer strategies to drive greater diversity at senior management level. Third Sector CAMPAIGNS Getting peacebuilding in the dictionary International Alert is campaigning to get the word 'peacebuilding' in to the Oxford English Dictionary, Harper Collins and Merriam Webster dictionaries. The word is used by the United Nations, the World Bank and by governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations and peacebuilders globally, and the charity believes its inclusion in dictionaries will aid understanding of the concept. International Alert Peace News Amazon scheme supports extremists The Times claims that Amazon is funding the Muslim Research and Development Foundation, a British charity which it alleges backs child marriage, female genital mutilation and stoning adulterers. The charity reportedly receives donations when supporters buy products under the Amazon Smile programme. The case has been referred to the Charity Commission due to the “serious concerns.” The Times The Sun State schools make their way into the debate The Economist explores how many schools in the state sector have taken up debating in recent years, traditionally a preserve of the private school sector. The charity Debate Mate now works with 240 schools serving deprived areas, while another 180 take part in six regional championships set up three years ago by PiXL, a non-profit organisation, and Noisy Classroom, which promotes speaking skills. Meanwhile last year the English-Speaking Union (ESU), Britain’s main debating organisation, began to provide free help to 100 schools with a high proportion of disadvantaged pupils. The Economist


10 Things You Didn't Know About: Tracy Madgwick, HR Consultant at Crafnant Consulting

With a 28 year career in Human Resources, Tracy Madgwick has amassed a broad and deep experience of all aspects of HR. A former HR director, she has worked for both smaller businesses and large corporate organisations, including those in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. What three traits define you? Enthusiasm, patience and getting things done. What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had? The weirdest job I ever had has to be having to sign off a risk assessment to take some young people on an overseas trip that involved a visit to a crocodile farm. How do you define success? I'd have to say going to bed at night knowing you have done the best that you possibly could that day What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? If I wasn't in HR I think I'd like to be creating those way marked trails in National Trust properties What is your personal philosophy? It's a classic but it's got to be Carpe Diem – seize the day How do you start your day? I like to start the day with a bit of exercise, really helps get you in the right mindset and start the day off on a positive note. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? One of the benefits of working as a consultant is the flexibility. Being able to choose my schedule and clients is a fantastic perk of my work. What are the secrets to good leadership? Having a clear sense of direction; being willing to take feedback and admit you were wrong; as well as a genuine care for the people you lead. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet? Martin Luther King – Because he had the ability to move people without the technology we have today. Who do you most admire in your industry? One person that I do admire within the industry has to be Ken Blanchard, his views on servant leadership are very challenging. For more information about this article, or to speak to Stacey about your recruiting needs, contact her on 02072696335 or


Charity Times - 02/10/18

FUNDRAISING Tapping for change in people’s giving habits New data show people in the UK donate an average of £6.15 when giving through a contactless Tap for Change box. In the last three months, the terminals have been used to make 16,250 charitable donations. UKFundraising notes that Royal Trinity Hospice in London has seen a five-fold increase in donations since it replaced static collection tins with 10 Tap For Change terminals. Alessandra Novelli, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Royal Trinity Hospice, said: “Tap For Change has transformed our fundraising . . . It would take years to raise the same amount from people emptying their pockets of loose change, and it would require a logistical army to collect and bank those donations." She added: “The technology has also allowed us to successfully approach high street partners where customers don’t handle cash . . . Those partners would have previously been reluctant to host a coin collec tion box .” UKFundraising Brain study could provide clues on donors' mind-sets Researchers from the University of Sussex say completely altruistic generosity gives donors more of a 'warm glow' than generosity which expects reward. The study found that acts of altruism activate some reward areas of the brain more intensely than when people act with strategic kindness – ie, when there is an opportunity for others to return a favour. Jo Cutler, the PhD student who co-authored the study, said: "The finding of different motivations for giving raises all sorts of questions, including what charities and organisations can learn about what motivates their donors . . . Organisations looking for contributions should think about how they want their customers to feel. Do they want them to feel altruistic, and experience a warm glow, or do they want them to enter with a transactional mind-set?" Third Sector EurekAlert Cancer charities in battle for funds Cancer Research UK (CRUK) is staging its Dryathlon mass participation fundraising event next month in a move that puts it in direct competition with Macmillan's annual Go Sober for October drive. CRUK normally runs Dryathlon, where people are urged to give up alcohol for a month, in January. Go Sober is placed fifth in a recent index of the top mass fundraising events in the UK, raising £5.2m. Dryathlon, meanwhile, did not appear among the biggest mass fundraising events for 2017. Sarah Pickersgill, head of fundraising products at CRUK, said: This year we are trialling Dryathlon in October as an initial step to keeping the campaign open all year round so that people can give up alcohol at any point to raise money for Cancer Research UK. This is something we will be looking to do across all our fundraising campaigns.” Third Force News Charity bag fraud warning The Fundraising Regulator and Local Government Association have issued a joint warning about fraudulent charity clothing collections, calling on the public "to do some basic checks to help them tell a genuine charity clothing collection from a potential fraud.” A checklist on the Fundraising Regulator's website for genuine charity collections warns members of the public to "be wary of donating if the wording on the bag has poor spelling, punctuation or grammar” and to “be cautious if the bag collection is for general charitable causes, such as ‘for local sick children’, instead of a named charity”. Civil Society FINANCE Many small charities provide inaccurate financial data A Charity Commission report suggests that 38% of small charities provide inaccurate financial information in their financial returns. The study says too many charities rely on people with inadequate knowledge to complete the necessary documents. Some charities compiled annual accounts based on the wrong guidance and others did not correctly match their annual return to their statement of financial activities. “Not providing accurate financial information is misleading and can have an impact on public trust . . . People want to know how charities spend their money; so this result is clearly not good enough,” said Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the commission. Third Sector Civil Society UKFundraising Public Finance Leading ethical tourism charity closes down Tourism Concern , the UK-based charity campaigning for ethical and sustainable travel around the world, has closed after three decades because of a lack of financial support. A statement from the charity said: “Funding from charitable foundations, which sustained us in the past, is no longer available. The trustees were determined that Tourism Concern should not become a zombie charity, raising money simply to exist.” Hannah Hesford of tour operator Rickshaw said: “It’s a great loss to the industry . . . Currently, we don’t know of [another] charity that operates in the same way they did.” The Guardian DIGITAL Debt charity plans tech overhaul Debt charity StepChange is planning a digital revamp as it seeks to double the number of people it helps. Technology improvements under consideration include integrating the charity’s automated online debt advice service with its telephone service to avoid duplication of user input. The charity's four-year strategy states: “If we’re to keep up with the needs of our clients then we need to change too . . . This will mean better services for our clients and a better workplace for our colleagues. It’s also a vital investment to make sure we have the flexibility and agility to gear up our service in line with demand.” Charity Digital News Government urged to help charities with digital skills Speaking at a fringe event hosted by the Charities Aid Foundation at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool last week, Labour MP Chi Onwurah has urged the government and the Charity Commission to help boost charities’ data skills. The shadow minister for industrial strategy, science and innovation said charities must be included in any framework for using and sharing data “otherwise it will be dominated by the interests of the tech giants who have both the voice and the resources.” Civil Society GOVERNANCE Regulator wants change in attitudes and behaviour Responding to a consultation on a voluntary code of conduct called by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Charity Commission has urged change in both the sector's organisational culture and individuals' attitudes and behaviour. The regulator said it welcomed the suggestion of a voluntary code and noted: "As recent events have shown, ensuring that charities live up to their purpose and the public’s high expectations is about more than compliance with minimum legal requirements." The commission went on to underscore the importance of moral leadership, the need for a proactive approach to inclusion, and for the risk environment to be considered when approaching safeguarding issues. Accountancy Daily Small Charities Coalition chief resigns Mandy Johnson is stepping down as chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition(SCC). She had been in post for just over a year. The SCC said that it will be appointing an interim CEO as soon as possible and that Rachel Harding, head of services and Lizzie Walmsley, head of communications and external affairs, will continue to manage the office with the support of the board. UKFundraising Civil Society Interim manager appointed to the Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust, a Birmingham based mosque charity which is under investigation after an imam was convicted of six counts of encouraging terrorism. The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the charity earlier this year to look into a number of concerns including the use of the charity’s premises to support or condone terrorism. Jonathan Burchfield of law firm Stone King will now assume the management and administration of the charity. Civil Society GOV.UK SUPPORT Cash boost for charitable prison and probation projects The government has awarded £2.4m grant funding to 13 new voluntary projects across England and Wales which promote wellbeing, improve rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. Evidence shows having sustainable work on release significantly reduces reoffending; the support provided by these charities will help prisons promote employment opportunities for those who have been in custody. Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said: "Charities and social enterprises are crucial in helping us to provide better rehabilitation, promote wellbeing and ultimately reduce reoffending and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of these grants over the coming years." GOV.UK RISK Latest regulatory guidance on safeguarding Tabitha Cave, a partner and the head of regulatory compliance at London law firm VWV, considers the latest regulatory guidance on safeguarding and what charities should be doing. She advises trustees to measure aspects of the charity's culture as they are with a view to assessing the current position and monitoring change over time. Metrics including statistics about recorded issues, stakeholder confidence (for example from discussion/surveys/appraisal) and third-party data, including inspection reports, audits and feedback, and triangulation of data from these different sources, can be used in this assessment. Civil Society RETAIL Decline in charity shop numbers The 27th edition of The Charity Shops Survey from Charity Finance magazine in association with Fundraising Magazine shows that the number of charity shops has fallen for the first time in 15 years. Data collected from 71 charities saw them end the twelve month period under review with a total 12 fewer stores than they started the year with. But after two years of decline the 2018 survey shows a record level of volunteer hours per shop and the average wages of charity shops staff have increased by 3.3%. Civil Society CAMPAIGNS Mental health campaign targets freshers Celebrities and social media influencers are participating in an Instagram campaign launched by two charities aimed at addressing mental health problems faced by young people when they start university. The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), which supports men at risk of suicide, and The Mix, a crisis support charity for young people, have created an Instagram zine to help those starting university feel more emotionally secure. Chris Martin, chief executive officer at The Mix, said: "With this latest issue of #GramFam, we want to make sure all students have access to all the advice and support they need before they start their courses . . . We’re really excited to be working with CALM and Instagram." Charity Digital News


10 Things You Didn't Know About: David Gibbs, International Corporate Tax Partner at Alliotts

David Gibbs is an International Corporate Tax specialist at Alliotts. He has over 20 years’ experience in providing commercially focused tax advice and support to a wide range of clients, from technology start-ups to large inward investing corporates. What three traits define you? Fairness, honesty and hopefully a sense of humour. What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had? Not the strangest job as such, but a strange experience when I was an audit trainee – I spent one cold Sunday morning counting lorry trailers with a client as part of a due diligence exercise, only for me and the client to suddenly spot the unleashed guard dogs, who then promptly chased us, leaving us to literally have to dive through a hedge to escape. How do you define success? I think success is a personal thing, so if you set yourself a goal, for example running a marathon, and achieve it, that’s success. In business, it can be completing a successful piece of work, recruiting the right person, winning a new client, many many things. What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? If I had the talent, it would definitely be something creative in the music industry, ideally a guitarist or keyboard player, which many years ago I had aspirations to do. What is your personal philosophy? You only get out of life what you put in. If we work hard at something, I think that gives us most reward, be it work, home life or hobbies. Conversely, we can’t expect success if we don’t try at it. How do you start your day? On a working day, I like to spend the first 10 or 15 minutes setting my goals for the day and listing the actions I need to achieve. I was once told that as a partner you should only plan about 30% of your day as inevitably the unexpected crops up and will need instantly dealing with. What’s your favourite thing about working for your current company? We do genuinely have a great client base which is constantly providing interesting, challenging and rewarding client work. We’ve also built up a good reputation in some specialist sectors, such as media and technology, which are fast-moving and almost daily bring us new opportunities which hopefully makes it exciting for our team to work with. What are the secrets to good leadership? You have to have a clear vision for your firm, you have to be able to articulate it well and then bring people along with you. To do this I believe you need empathy and understanding of what motivates and drives individuals, and then make the connection with what they can do and your vision. What makes your company unique? We’re an entrepreneurial firm, we can move quickly to achieve things and we have a very light decision-making process. The partners trust each other and get on well, so if we want to do things we usually back each other to get on with it. Who do you most admire in your industry? I was fortunate to work for Sir Ian Powell when I was at PwC who took over as senior partner in 2008, just before the financial crisis hit. He managed to steer the firm not only into relative safety but innovated and grew what was already a huge business into an impressive wide-reaching firm whilst also giving back to the community. His style was one of being able to take tough decisions yet always being able to communicate and empathise with anyone, from major political leaders to a new trainee.


10 Things you didn't know about: Andrew Pannell, Senior Associate at MJ Hudson

Andrew joined MJ Hudson as a lawyer within the venture capital practice in 2017. He has extensive experience advising venture capital, private equity and corporate clients on venture and growth capital transactions. What made you want to become a lawyer? Honestly … growing up reading the likes of John Grisham and watching various low-grade legal dramas such as Perry Mason and Kavanagh QC - seeing them strut their stuff in the Courtroom! Suffice to say that the reality of life as a corporate lawyer is somewhat different… On a more serious note, I have always had an interest in law and feel it plays such a significant role in our day-to-day lives. I always hoped that the work as a lawyer would be interesting, intellectually stimulating and challenging and I haven’t been disappointed in that regard. What does MJ Hudson do well? A dedicated focus on the asset management community, providing a multi-faceted, complimentary package of legal and non-legal services to our fund management and investor client base – this specialist focus on the asset management sector has been, and will continue to be, a key differentiator for us. Within MJ Hudson’s legal services, venture capital is one of our core areas, being the practice in which I operate. We typically act on both the investor and investee side. Central to our strategy is to support our VC clients throughout their entire fund cycle – from fund formation/structuring to the downstream investment work, through to exit. Clients benefit from the continuity of the same team throughout this journey. What’s your favourite thing about working for MJ Hudson? MJ Hudson has a clear identity and stands for something genuinely different from the rest of the legal market. It is also a young, dynamic and energetic place to work, entrepreneurial and free of bureaucracy and no egos. What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to shape your career? Ask as many (preferably intelligent) questions as you can from the start and do not be afraid by what you don’t know. Stretch yourself and continually strive to push yourself out of your comfort zone. When is the right time to start building your network and how is best to achieve this? From day one. Of course, as a junior lawyer, your primary focus should be on development of your technical skills (something we should all keep developing irrespective of seniority) but there is no reason why, in the meantime, you shouldn’t also be developing your network – whether that is existing or new contacts that you may encounter e.g. on a transaction that you are working on. That way, as you progress through the ranks and are looking to build your own business, you will not be starting from scratch. Who has had the greatest influence on your career? While having role models that you can learn from is clearly valuable, it is also important to determine your own identity and a style that best suits you. So, by all means, learn as much as you can from others but at the same time have the conviction to be your own person. One person who does stand out, however, is Andrew Harrison – at the time, a Partner at what was then Wragge & Co. Aside from being one of the best technical, but at the same time commercially savvy, lawyers that I have worked for, I remember him setting me a drafting exercise as a trainee to prepare the rules of knots and crosses - an elementary task you might think and one which he started out by complimenting me for a job well done … and then proceeded to unpick my drafting with a significant amount of red ink – a good learning experience I suppose! What qualities do you look for in potential candidates hoping to join your team? Speaking with my VC hat on for a moment (rather than for the wider MJ Hudson platform), an interest in working in the VC/start-up environment is certainly important. Other qualities include: · A positive, can-do attitude and a willingness to learn and stretch yourself · An ability and willingness, even at a comparatively junior level, to take the responsibility of running with a deal (with an appropriate level of supervision of course) · Attention to detail and accuracy and getting the basics right · Speed of delivery/turnaround to clients (without sacrificing on quality), plus an ability to multi-task several deals at any given time · An ability to combine strong technical skills with pragmatic and commercial advice as one gets more senior · Being a good egg What do you think will be some of the major changes to the legal profession in the future? There has been a clear trend (which I suspect will continue) of law firms adopting an expansionist strategy (whether that be through merger or organic growth) to turn themselves into full service, global players or, at the other end of the spectrum, keeping themselves more boutique and focused on what they excel at. I think there is a place for both strategies in the market, however, for those firms who occupy the space somewhere in the middle, this may prove challenging unless they have a clear identity, value-add that they can market to clients. At MJ Hudson, we are clearly positioned at the boutique/focused end of the spectrum, albeit with ambitious growth plans, which is an exciting place to be. How will flexible and agile working impact law firms in the future? This is an increasingly important dynamic and a key part of balancing the demands of work with home life. Being someone who lives outside London and commutes into the City daily, having the flexibility of working from home from time to time makes a huge difference to my life at home with the family. As far as I am concerned it is irrelevant where people work from and what hours they keep, provided that we, as a firm/team, are able to keep our clients happy and excel at what we do. The more we can treat people as grown-ups (as we all are) and put trust in them to work productively in the manner that they see fit – whether that is in the office or remotely – all the better. How can lawyers and firms ensure they are at the forefront of progress and innovation in the legal market? As a profession, we have probably been a bit slow in embracing technology within law and there is no doubt that we need to do more to adapt to the developments in technology that will undoubtedly have (and is already having) a significant impact on the legal market and how our services are provided to clients. Within the venture sector, a number of our VC clients are interested in, and already investing in, businesses with a focus on AI in law so there is no doubt that technology is going to play a significant role in future innovation in the legal market – one therefore for us all to embrace and see as an opportunity (not a threat).


60 Seconds with: Stephen Moore, Managing Director at Princelet Partners

Stephen Moore, Managing Director at Princelet Partners has completed a number of transactions in advisory, Venture Capital and corporate M&A. He has managed the generation and execution of deals including sell-side, buy-side and private placements in a number of sectors Prior to founding Princelet Partners, Stephen was the Managing Director of Motorola Ventures, the second largest TMT Corporate Venture Capital group and participated in 9 exits, 10 board roles and 10 investments including cash to cash experience. - What career advice would you give yourself 10 years ago? I would recommend working in a smaller business asap - at the time I worked for Motorola and whilst I had very interesting roles I think that small companies are where I should be working - on the other hand however large company experience has been invaluable so, like many things, the balance of both is important. - If you were able to invite 4 people to dinner (alive or dead), who would you invite and why? Winston Churchill (pm) William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) Seamus Heaney (Irish poet) My wife Why - I think the mix would be fun and interesting and I like the drive for positive change from these people (and I have to invite my wife :-) - What does Princelet Partners do well? Princelet works hard on what we believe are the right things in corporate finance. Detailed compelling market leading materials (in our opinion) are produced for clients. In these materials and research, we work out the key selling points for the business and where the emphasis needs to be in conversations with counter-parties. Thorough buyers lists are produced with at least 65 -70 names and every call or meeting has appropriate focus. Corporate finance is best served well through thorough processes and very hard work rather than the odd contact or introduction. That is what princelet does well. - How would your team describe you? Focused - Who is your hero and why? I like people who are ordinary and flawed yet do extraordinary things in trying circumstances. I would like to think I would be inspired to do the same but doubt I would be so brave. Oskar Schindler was one of these kinds of people and as such is one of my hero-like figures. - What is your biggest superstition/fear? I fear not getting enough done in life - What is your morning routine before work? Check emails and messages first thing and try to get to the gym if I have time - What is your life hack / top tip? Remembering priorities - There are things more important than work and it's always important to get perspective. faith, in spirituality, humanity or organised religion can be very valuable - If you were not doing your current job, what would you like to have done? I would like to have worked in socially focused development activities (hopefully I can still do so at some stage) - What is the biggest challenge facing the finance world at present? Like other industries, finance is proliferated with increasing amounts of data. Using this data effectively and not being overwhelmed by it remains a significant challenge.


A Look into 2018 Candidate Recruitment Trends So Far…

It’s been the story of 2018, we are in a candidate short market. But what does this mean? The September IHS Markit/REC Report on Jobs data highlights once again that: Strong expansion in permanent placements, but temp billings growth softens Starting salaries increase at the second-fastest rate in over three years Staff vacancies continue to rise at a historically marked pace Steep increases in the demand for both permanent and temporary job categories were seen, with vacancies expanding at a rate only slightly behind July’s eight-month record; the demand for staff is notably strong and is driving starting salaries higher. Average starting salaries awarded to newly-placed permanent staff rose at the second-sharpest pace for over three years in August. Neil Carberry, Chief Executive at the REC says: “Businesses are getting on with it driving Britain’s growth – jobs are being created and starting salaries are rising. There are big opportunities out there for candidates right now looking for a new role. In the UK, the recruitment industry saw a total revenue of £32.2 billion in 2017 (Sonovate) with 41% of recruitment agencies reporting that candidate acquisition is their top priority (Bullhorn) which is leading recruiters and employers to look for new and innovative ways to attract and secure the right talent. Skillsets and Demand are Driving Salaries With more and more vacancies being created coupled with lower unemployment rates, and companies really focussing on staff retention; salaries are being driven higher and higher. New Ways of Working ‘Flexible working’ is no longer a term filled with stigma and is now hugely common throughout the workplace. Whether this be altered times around the core hours, working from home or part-time setups; it is now a working norm for most environments that are being offered. The market has a new way of working and thinking and much more happily adaptable to attract and retain the top talent. Technology Plays a Vital Part The search platforms are changing and long gone is the time of scouring the job sections of the paper. Even the emphasis on traditional job boards has evolved and newer generations of candidates are far more savvy with social media stages such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Adverts are now linked to pictures and videos, they’re accompanied by immediate web spaces, links to websites and further detailed job descriptions. Adverts are having to be bolder and brighter, more dynamic in approach to stand out amongst the rest in a very competitive market. According to a report; ‘How often do people change jobs?’; on average, a person changes jobs 10 to 15 times during their career and typically stays within a job 4.2 years, so there is candidate availability and continuous movement on the market but will often come down to a company’s recruitment process with how whether someone will change jobs. “People who enjoy the candidate experiences are 38% more likely to accept a job offer”. (IBM, The Far-Reaching Impact of Candidate Experience, 2017) Here at Pro-Tax we are constantly looking at new ways to reach out and speak to the top talent in the market and with more new roles coming in every day across all our clients and regions and committed to working in a manner that puts your needs at the heart of the process, now really is a truly exciting time for candidates to be exploring new positions. For more information about this article, or to speak to Rebecca about your recruiting needs, contact Rebecca on 02072696320 or


8 Key parts to hiring, retaining and developing the best team around you

Recruitment Process We all know that hiring that amazing team can be a daunting task but we’ve compiled a list of 8 key parts to hiring, retaining and developing the best team. In our experience, a key part of creating your perfect team is getting the decision right at this stage. A few very important things to consider are; 1. What Is Your Process>> 2. Take References>> 3. Hire People That Raise the Average>> 4. Its Ok to Ask a Second Opinion>> 5. Give Them Room to Grow>> 6. Show Them Some Love>> 7. Remuneration Fairness>> 8. Personal Needs>> 1. What is Your Hiring Process? - Ensure there is a thorough interview process, is just one stage enough for you to make an informed decision - Have the key people in your team met with and approved with your decision - Do you complete a competency-based interview, if not, know what your competencies are and test these thoroughly at interview 2. Take References - Have you taken references, not just HR references but have you picked up the phone to the person's old employer to see if there are any positive/negative indicators. (Ask at interview who the potential candidate would recommend you call from their jobs) 3. Hire People That Raise The Average - An age-old saying is recruit people that will one day be better than you, don’t be worried about people being better than you or wanting your job, they will make you look good if they come on board and do a great job. - Constantly look to improve your team, upskill and raise the average 4. It's Ok to Ask for a Second Opinion - Never “take a punt”, if you are slightly on the fence about recruiting then either it is a no or you need a second opinion, if you are working with a recruiter you trust they will listen to you and will advise against a hire as they don’t want things to come back and haunt them at a later date if you get this wrong. Retaining the best team Companies with employee engagement programs achieve 26% greater year-over-year increase in annual company revenue, compared those who do not have formal programs. Staff members are just the same as you and I, think about the basics and put them into practice; 5. Give Them Room to Grow - You need to be able to offer development, opportunity to learn and interesting work/projects for them to get involved in. - Your best people are the ones that want to develop and better themselves, these are the people you want to keep, think back to the start of your career and how you went about developing and getting further in your career. 6. Show Them Some Love - It’s the little things that count for many people, offering small incentives that can range from an early finish on a Friday for a good week's work, ice creams on a hot day, pizza lunches for the office right through to buying them and a friend/spouse dinner one Friday evening. 7. Remuneration Fairness - Do your research when it comes to salary, all employees really want is to be paid market rate and have fairness in accordance with the rest of the business, if you have huge disparities at the same level you will get disgruntlement and unhappiness - Equally, don’t become an easy hunting ground for your competitors, yes you do need to pay market rate but understand what benefits you offer over and above the salary - Consider car allowance, bonus, salary, overtime, holidays and pension contributions 8. Personal Needs - The biggest thing to offer your employees is an understanding of their personal circumstances. Having a genuine interest in their life, what makes them tick, is it the gym, their family, a sport or a hobby. If you don’t know this then you can’t meet their basic personal needs. - Most people in life need their personal needs met to the point that sometimes just allowing someone routine and time makes them very happy in their working life. Recruitment is a network of sharing knowledge so if you have any of your own groundbreaking tips I'd love to hear them. For more information about this article, or to speak to Alison about your recruiting needs, contact Alison on 02072696312 or



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