New West of England president for leading business finance body

By Anita Jaynes on 17 May, 2016

The newly appointed West of England president of the ICAEW, the UK’s leading professional body for chartered accountants, says he will use his 12 month term of office to continue to support initiatives in the region which prepare young people for work, create growth opportunities for all businesses and encourage the wider profession to do more in the local community.

Duncan Stratford is director at leading professional services firm, PwC. He takes over the regional ICAEW President role from Rick Sturge, executive vice president at Firstsource.  

Duncan will be working closely with the 5,500 regional members of the ICAEW and other leading professions to raise the profile of the region as a place to do business, develop opportunities within the business and finance sector and encourage more young people to follow this career path.

He said: “I’m proud of our region and what it has to offer from world class events such as Glastonbury festival, whose founder Michael Eavis was the guest speaker at our 2016 regional AGM in front of 120 delegates, through to all of the great technology, service and manufacturing businesses we have based here. The region has a real buzz about it right now.

“We need to do all we can in the business and finance profession to show that the West of England is more than a match for other regions when it comes to attracting and retaining the best people. Finance is one of the top contributors to the regional economy and it is vital to the future prosperity of the region.”

Duncan also wants the profession to have a wider impact outside the sector.

He said: “I have worked in the region most of my career and I’m passionate about promoting all that it has to offer. It’s a great place to work and live. Businesses of all sizes need our support to grow. We have significant influence and capability when it comes to economic well-being, skills development, career opportunities and giving something back to our communities.

“Across the UK our ICAEW members support more than 1.5 million businesses from start-ups to large organisations. That huge impact gives us an opportunity to make a real difference to the economy and socially. We can support the next generation before they leave school with specific engagement programmes with schools and universities – from supporting careers advice to providing work experience. We can help create an environment which is conducive to business growth, developing talent and supporting our local businesses.”

Pictured above: Duncan Stratford (left) with Michael Eavis at the SW regional AGM this month