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Callum MacRae

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Callum MacRae

Senior Consultant - Finance

I am an experienced recruiter who has enjoyed multiple successes recruiting into specialised and generalist roles within the London market. I have helped candidates move at all levels from Trainee up to Partner and successfully completed a number of both retained and contingent assignments. My key areas of focus are audit, accounts and outsourcing however I have also worked on specialist transaction services, due diligence and pensions roles.  


Recent placements have been made in my dedicated client base which ranges from the Big 4, through the Top 100 and more specialised boutique firms. Whatever you are looking for in your next move I will have existing relationships to help realise your ambitions.


Coming from a strong sales background dealing with high wealth individuals, my career path has covered a broad range of clientele. I take real pride in fully understanding my candidates and clients’ motivations and matching people to their next exciting job role. 


Outside of work I have a passion for football. Living in Essex I support my local team Manchester United (ahem!) and play for two slightly more local teams. When not on the football field or golf course you will find me with my five-year-old daughter Evelyn. 


If I was not a recruitment consultant I would play up front for Manchester United breaking all existing records. Failing that, anything that allows me to assist people realise their goals and maximise opportunities. I enjoy sharing in the success of others and seeing happy clients and candidates makes me a happy consultant!

callum's articles

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March 2020: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in March 2020: EY have announced the appointment of Hywel Ball as EY UK & Ireland Regional Managing Partner and UK Chair, effective 1st July 2020. Ball will be responsible for leading the business in the UK and Ireland, succeeding Steve Varley, who has been appointed as the first EY Global Vice Chair – Sustainability. Financemoves.co.uk Thomas Westcott has appointed Ian Pring as Partner based in the firm’s Plymouth office. Pring has joined following a 30-year career at PKF Francis Clark, where he was Director of the firm’s Property and Wealth teams. Accountancydaily.co UHY Hacker Young have appointed Tracey Moore as Head of Charities and Not-for-Profit. She takes over from Subarna Banerjee who has headed the group for the last five years. Moore joined UHY Hacker Young in 2019 from BDO and has over 20 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. Financemoves.co.uk Hugo Parson has joined Deloitte as a Partner to lead its Origination team for Private Equity. Parson was previously Global Head of Origination for Private Equity at EY, where he worked for over seven years. Prior to this Parson worked at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. Accountancydaily.co Dominic Treays has been appointed as Commercial Director (Global Business Services – Tax & Accounting) at TMF Group. He joins from Cragus Group in Dubai where he was Managing Director and spent 12 years. Financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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What is Company Culture and What Impact Does it Have on your Business Model?

Posted by Callum MacRae

Company culture is one of the real buzzwords currently but have you ever stepped back to think what a “company culture” is? So often I speak with clients, candidates and even competitors who simply fail to grasp the importance of getting a company culture right. They will lay on some beers on a Friday, relax the dress code and call it a culture. For me, one of the things that all at Pro-Recruitment Group do well is explain what a corporate culture really is, and all of the staff know that by working in the right way, culture will breed performance. The definition of company culture encompasses the beliefs and behaviors of a business, as well as interactions between management, employees, and clients. It is implied, not defined, as culture exists in our everyday lives as well. A successful corporate culture improves the quality of employees, employee turnover rate, and productivity. A question often asked to me by candidates is; "What is the culture like?" And whilst I have no issues with this as a question, I will often flip back and ask, "what is a culture to you?" Candidates can often feel that the culture is something to entice them in - talks about the social clubs, the pubs they go to, where people take lunch on a Friday - that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, all of those do contribute to company culture, but what is so often overlooked within culture is a company's ethos and values. So, how does company culture affect performance? A group of employees focused on individual goals will quite simply not breed the same results as those working towards a shared goal and vision. Again, one of the biggest pitfalls is that employees do not understand their organisations vision. By being open and clear about the companies overall vision, what the company is looking to achieve outside of financial goals, and how it plans on achieving these, the sense of inclusion, shared responsibility and ownership will naturally drive performance. Company culture should not just be a directive from the top to junior staff, nor a rigid and arbitrary tick list of what your competitors are doing. Company culture should be malleable, visual to all, shared by all and, where possible, created by all for all. By all means, put some money behind the bar on a Friday and reward people for achievements, but make sure they know why they work for your company and not your competitors. An engaged employee is a valuable and profitable employee. For more information on company culture and the value it adds, contact Callum MacRae on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk.

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February 2020: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in February 2020: James Cowper Kreston is shaking up its management structure with a joint managing partnership model. Alex Peal and Sue Staunton have been elected as joint Managing Partners with effect from 1 May 2020, replacing Robert Holland who is stepping down after six years. This marks a significant shift from the traditional approach to running an accountancy firm, using a hybrid management model to grow the partnership Accountancydaily.co KPMG has completed the sale of its former pensions advisory practice, marking one of the first major steps by a Big Four firm to separate out non-audit work. KPMG UK’s current Pensions Partners have been backed by private equity firm Exponent, which is believed to have paid some £200m. Accountancydaily.co Wilkins Kennedy has appointed Paul Barwick as a Forensic Accounting Partner. Barwick, who has more than 13 years’ experience in forensic accounting, joins from Mazars where he spent seven years, and earlier in his career spent six years with Charles River Associates. Financemoves.co.uk Quantuma Restructuring has appointed Nick Parsk as an Appointmenttaking Director in the Thames Valley region. Parsk joins Quantuma from Wilkins Kennedy, where he spent 18 months as a Director, specialising in corporate insolvency and restructuring across the South of England. Financemoves.co.uk Tracey Moore joins UHY Hacker Young as Head of Charities and Not-for-Profit. Moore previously worked at BDO as Director for Charities and Not-for-Profit. Accountancydaily.co For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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January 2020: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in January 2020: Crowe has appointed Julia Poulter as a specialist Not-For-Profit Partner. She has over 15 years’ experience working with charities and social housing providers, offering both assurance and advisory services. Poulter previously spent over six years with BDO and before that nearly 12 years with PKF. financemoves.co.uk Mercer & Hole has appointed Dominic Dumville as a Corporate Advisory Partner. Dumville, a licensed insolvency practitioner, qualified accountant and corporate finance professional, joins the firm from Haslers, where he was an Insolvency Partner. financemoves.co.uk Jeffreys Henry has promoted Bhimal Hira to Business Development Partner, effective 6th January 2020. Hira joined the firm in 2008. Justin Randall, Managing Partner at Jeffreys Henry LLP, commented: “It is highly unusual for non-accountants to be promoted to Partner, but this is a testimony to the impact Bhimal has had at Jeffreys Henry LLP. Jeffreyshenry.com Roffe Swayne has appointed Alex Temlett as an Audit Partner. Temlett joins the firm from Rawlinson & Hunter and has over 18 years’ combined experience there and at Ernst & Young (EY) where he trained. He is a member of ICAS and a CIOT associate. He has particular experience in the pharmaceutical sector. financemoves.co.uk UHY Hacker Young has appointed Robert Kidson as Managing Director in the Corporate Finance team. Kidson joins from MHA MacIntyre Hudson, where he spent over four years and was Partner and Managing Director in Corporate Finance. financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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December 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in December 2019: Baldwins have appointed Malcolm Cook as a Partner in the Corporate Finance team based in Birmingham. Cook, who has more than 20 years’ transaction services experience, joins from Clairfield International and before this was a Partner at BDO. Financemoves.co.uk RSM have appointed Andrew Mason as Partner in the East Anglia office. Mason joins RSM from Price Bailey where he was a Director, having spent most of his 25-year career working in the Cambridgeshire market for mid-tier firms. Accountancydaily.co PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has named Dame Fiona Kendrick as the new Chair of its Public Interest Body (PIB). Kendrick, the former chief executive and chairman of Nestle UK, joined as an independent nonexecutive in July 2019. She will take over as chair from Lord Gus O’Donnell, who is stepping down after four years on the PIB. Financemoves.co.uk PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has appointed Michael Stewart to the newly created role of Global Leader, Corporate Affairs and Communications. He has also become a member of PwC’s global markets leadership team and chairs PwC’s global public policy board based in London. Financemoves.co.uk Alvarez & Marsal has appointed Wayne Jephson as a London-based Managing Director in the Global Transaction Advisory Group. Jephson, who has 18 years’ experience, will specialise in providing financial due diligence services with a specific focus on infrastructure investors and private equity transactions. He joins from Ernst & Young (EY) where he most recently served as a Director within its Infrastructure Transactions Group. Financemoves.co.uk For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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Finance - What's in Store for 2020?

Posted by Callum MacRae

2019 was a year of change for the finance market. From the Bryndon and Kingman reviews raising issues around audit quality, to recommendations to separate audit and non-audit services of accounting firms, to the introduction of the PCAOB and Making Tax Digital, the past year has undoubtedly shaped the finance, audit and accounting sectors. 2020 will prove to be no different, with changes in regulation and technology promising to reshape the market as we move forward into the next decade. 2019 Review: The Bryndon report was undoubtedly one of the biggest things to happen within the audit and accountancy sector in 2019. Sir Donald Bryndon’s year-long review into the British audit industry recommended a breakaway from the accounting profession and the formation of a separate industry with its own governing principles, and also gave recommendations on how to increase confidence in the audit sector and ways to prevent unnecessary corporate collapses. Simon Dingemans, the new chairman of the Financial Reporting Committee (FRC), also called on the government to enforce the separation of audit and consulting at the Big 4 accounting firms, stating that breaking up Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC was a ‘critical’ measure to improve the quality of their audits. However, these recommendations have been resisted by the Big 4 as well as mid-tier firms across the industry who believe this break-up would challenge firms’ resilience. Additionally, John Kingman’s independent review of the FRC recommended that the governing body should be replaced with an independent statutory regulator called the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Business Secretary Greg Clark has responded that the government will take forward the recommendations from the Kingman Review and replace the FRC with the ARGA, a body which will “build on our status as a great place to do business and form an essential part of the government’s continued efforts to grow trust and public confidence in business and the regulations that govern them.” Specifically, both the Bryndon and Kingman review raised issues around audit quality, the current role of the FRC and the position of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) - the new quality oversight body to check audit quality. Both Kingman and Bryndon also used their reports to call on ARGA, the audit governing body that is set to replace the FRC, to set new qualifications for the sector. The various reviews and reports focusing on the accounting and audit industries undertaken in the past year, have collectively recommended so many changes that could reshape the profession going forward. 2019 also saw the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD). As of Monday 1st April 2019, we became fully cemented into the digital era. VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold of £85,000 are now required to use the MTD service to keep records digitally and use competitive software to submit their VAT returns for VAT periods that started on or after 1st April 2019. Looking forward into 2020: As mentioned above, the implementation of the PCAOB as the new quality oversight body will reshape the audit sector. UK audit firms who play a substantial role in the audit of US issuers, brokers and dealers can now grant access to their audit working papers if requested by the US authorities, and the PCAOB will establish auditing and related professional practice standards for registered public accounting firms to follow in the preparation and issuance of audit reports. Firms registered with the PCAOB will range from sole proprietorships to large firms with extensive global networks, and the governing body will use its investigative authority to address serious audit deficiencies and impose sanctions and penalties. The implementation of IR35 will inevitably affect contractors in the coming year. As well as this, the new rules of IR35 in the private sector will apply from 6 April 2020 to medium and large businesses. Although the legislation will not come into play until April of this year, audit and accountancy businesses need to start considering the potential impact of IR35 and ensure they are managing their PAYE compliance effectively. Last year saw a multitude of uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Going forward into 2020, due to the outcome of the election we can predict more stability around the subject on the basis that Brexit will be going ahead, and we are likely to see investors starting to invest at a higher rate. There was inevitably a hold on stock investments into the UK for a period, but now people are looking at how to best spread their money and in turn, are utilising accountants to provide advice on the best route to invest. Companies are also likely to see Brexit as an opportunity and we predict that there will be plenty of activity in the market fuelled by private equity money, particularly in the region of mid-market entrepreneurial businesses. As touched upon in the 2019 recap, Making Tax Digital is undoubtedly another area to watch in 2020. MTD for income tax went off the agenda due to the hung parliament but it is a key part of HMRC;s strategy to digitise which means that it will be a key focus going forward this year. Moving away from matters of regulation, technology and automation will continue to cause issues for those in the accounting and audit sectors. Going forward into 2020 we will inevitably see even more investments in technology and AI, which means more automating processes. These new technologies are revolutionizing finance and accounting work, which means that it will become even more important for finance professionals to ensure that their soft skills and technical skills are up to scratch. There is certainly a lot ahead of us for 2020 and in the finance market; here’s to a new year and many new and exciting beginnings. For more information on this article, or to discuss your recruiting needs for 2020, please contact Callum MacRae on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk.

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November 2019: Finance Movers and Shakers

Posted by Callum MacRae

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the finance sector. Here are the key movements in November 2019: Former Nestlé UK chair and CEO Dame Fiona Kendrick is the new Chair of PWC’s Public Interest Body (PIB). She will take over from Lord Gus O’Donnell who is leaving at the end of December after four years in the role. Dame Fiona left Nestlé last December after a career of nearly 40 years during which she held a variety of posts both in the UK and overseas. economia.icaew.com Andrew Johnston joins FRC Conduct Committee. The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Conduct Committee oversees the audit regulator’s enforcement work. Andrew Johnston took his seat on the committee on 9 November. As well as government actuary he was also a member of the management board administering the World Trade Organisation pension plan. economia.icaew.com RSM has appointed Greg Moreton as a Partner to lead its National Debt Advisory practice. Moreton has over 20 years’ experience as a specialist debt advisory professional, with a core focus on assisting middle-market businesses to raise and renegotiate debt finance. financemoves.co.uk BDO has appointed Oliver Back as a Partner and Head of the new Contract and Commercial Risk practice based in the London office. Back will help clients to manage risk and achieve greater value from their third party relationships on both the buy and sell-side. Back joins BDO from PWC and has also worked at EY. Financemoves.co.uk Specialist business advisory firm FRP has promoted Alex Sargeant to Director in the Corporate Finance team based in the Bristol office. He has 10 years’ experience and joined the firm in 2017 having previously specialised in financial due diligence at Deloitte. He specialises in sell-side and buy-side corporate finance advisory, primarily for business owners and private equity investors accountancydaily.co For more information about this article, or to speak to Callum about your recruiting needs or Finance jobs in London or Nationwide, contact him on 02072696369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk. Back to Finance Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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The Perfect Finance CV

Posted by Callum MacRae

Creating the ideal CV can be a tricky task, but the perfect Finance CV is the very first step towards your dream job. To avoid your CV being dismissed and missing out on that all-important job interview, there are things you need to consider, and our specialist finance recruiters have provided all the information you need to create that perfect CV! Unlike ticking the ‘open to opportunities’ box on LinkedIn, submitting your CV symbolises an active interest in a role. Best to avoid the mentality of “just send my CV and see what they come back with”. If the role is worth applying for at all, then this is presumably worth doing with your best foot forward. A specialist finance recruiter will likely see over 100 CVs each week. With both your experience and motivations in mind, they should be able to consult on: (1) the common mistakes to avoid and (2) how best to tailor your CV and exhibit your strengths. We have provided a general step-by-step guide on how to format your CV in the candidate-scarce and technically-niche finance market, which includes: General formatting: keep it simple The executive summary: lose the fluff Employment history: bullet point what you did The application: tailor your CV before applying Quick disclaimer: ‘the perfect CV’ does not reference a stereotypically perfect career as it may appear on paper, though exemplar excerpts have been included below for illustration. 1. General CV formatting: keep it simple. Your experience should speak for itself in a way that is easily comparable with other CVs. Send your CV to your recruiter in Word (not PDF) format and say goodbye to: Flashy fonts (keep it to black, Arial size 11) Convoluted layouts (stay away from using any kind of columns) Photographs Charts/images ranking your skills The length of your CV is entirely dependent on your seniority. You would ideally want about half a page per role, outlining your key achievements, responsibilities, and clients. This means that the CV of a newly-qualified accountant who has just completed their training is likely to be 1-2 pages long, whereas a Senior Manager or Director's CV is more likely to be up to 6 pages long depending on the number of moves and responsibilities they have had throughout their finance career. 2. The executive summary: lose the fluff. Put yourself in the hiring Partners shoes - what would you want to see from the CV of a potential employee? Within the first half-page, your CV should provide an overview of the most important details, including the cost and relevance of your candidacy: Your name Desired location Right to work Relevant qualifications and education Notice period Languages spoken Systems experience Promises of personal qualities are near impossible to make credible if written in the first-person. Recognise the benefits of having your CV written in the third person - using the pronouns “I”, “me”, “my”, “mine”, “our” or “we” on your CV dampens the third-party ‘sell’ before you really need to. In the niche and candidate-scarce finance market, employers are generally just not that interested in the finer details of your education. Key things to include in the education section of your CV are: Focus on the credentials themselves Grade for your degree A-Level subjects and grades Awards/scholarships Places and year of study CANDIDATE: [NAME] LOCATION: London RIGHT TO WORK: UK Citizen QUALIFICATIONS: ACA (2015) – 1st Time Passes AAT (2012) - 1st Time Passes EDUCATION: University of Sheffield BSc, Mathematics (2011): 1st Class Honours [Sixth Form College] A-Levels (2008): A - Mathematics A - Economics B - German AVAILABILITY: 3 Months (negotiable) LANGUAGES: German SYSTEMS EXPERIENCE: Sage Xero, Quickbooks and Caseware 3. Employment history: bullet-point what you did. This section should be in bullet-points for ease of accessibility, similar to the format you would ordinarily see in job specifications. Showcase your most relevant experiences and achievements, and even if you've worked at one company, be sure to show your progression internally. This section should not detail what your team did - bullet pointing what ‘you’ did means focusing on your own actions/achievements. In instances where a collaborative effort was made, the focus should be on your personal contribution to the wider effort. Include client examples and turnovers, as well as how many engagements you have led or been involved with, as this will provide insight into your working routine. In bullet pointing what you ‘did’, it is important to realise what can and cannot be demonstrated on a CV. Steer away from an emphasis what you ‘learned’, ‘developed’ or ‘demonstrated’, which are not only difficult to bring to life on a CV credibly, but are also more relevant at interview stage. Keep the content to the job you performed, responsibilities fulfilled and value-added. Your CV will often need to get past a generalist finance researcher/HR professional before even being seen by a finance specialist. Include buzzwords from the person specification, such as “IFRS”, “ACA” or “leading audits” for instance. Consider the buzzwords seen on the type of job specifications you are interested in and be sure to include those on your CV where applicable. Other general points for this section: Keep it chronological, in descending order of recency Format promotions/secondments under the same employment term where possible Include the location (city) where each position was held Consider omitting roles held prior to your beginning your formal qualification 4. The application: tailor your CV before applying. No one job or company is the same, so make sure that your finance CV is tailored to the position and firm that you are applying to, whether is this is one of the Big 4, Top 20, or a boutique firm. Highlight the main reasons you would be suitable for the position, and try to echo the organisation's corporate values and what the job specification says they are looking for throughout your application. In summary, your finance CV is first and foremost a sales document highlighting your strengths and skillsets. Ensure that it is formatted in the most easily readable and accessible manner, and make sure it plays to your strengths and is targeted to the role you are applying to. This is the case no matter the role, whether you are a Corporate Finance Associate or an Audit & Accounts Senior Manager. Last but not least, don't forget to check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation throughout. Looking for advice on tailoring your CV, options in your search, or have a request for our next blog? Contact Callum MacRae on 020 7269 6369 or callum.macrae@pro-finance.co.uk.

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