Meet our case studies
Throughout this course you will hear from people working within organisations that range from global brands and multinationals, to small and medium-sized enterprises, start-up businesses and not-for-profits.
We are grateful to all the business people, finance professionals and entrepreneurs who agreed to be interviewed for this course. On this page we’ve provided some additional information about the people we spoke to.
George Acquah joined PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2009 after doing a Bachelor of Science degree at Leicester University. Working as a Senior Associate, he provides clients with advice on how they can maximise value from their data, reduce risks, improve efficiency, ensure compliance and identify and develop new business opportunities. He is an active member of the PwC Africa group which aims to raise the profile and increase opportunities for members of staff of African origin
Before Kathy Allison joined FitFlop in January 2015 as Head of Human Resources, she spent four years as Head of HR at online fast-fashion retailer boohoo.com during an exciting time of growth and expansion. Before moving into the world of retail Kathy held various roles within the hotel industry, including Radisson Blu Hotels as Regional People Development Manager, and HR Manager roles in the Manchester and Liverpool properties.
Kevin Beales is an entrepreneur with more than fifteen years’ experience of successful technology start-ups. After an early corporate career Kevin founded The Test Factory in 2007 to provide online assessment solutions for clients in business and education. Since January 2015 he has been CEO of Refract, who provide a video platform that has been developed to support feedback, coaching and performance management.
Karan Bilimoria is the founder of Cobra Beer and the Senior Non-Executive Director of the Booker Group PLC. In 2006, he was appointed the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords. In 2014 he was installed as the seventh Chancellor of the University of Birmingham - the first Indian-born Chancellor of a Russell Group University in Great Britain.
Since setting up The Wow Company in 2004, Paul Bulpitt has grown the business to a national firm of accountants offering a genuinely proactive service to small businesses across the UK. Paul has just taken on new role with Xero, the UK’s leading online accounting software, working on an advisory basis as their Head of Accounting in the UK.
Before joining FitFlop, Jonathan Fairhurst worked for Warner Music in a number of different finance roles in Latin America, Iberia and Toronto. After returning to the UK, Jonathan worked as Senior Vice President of Finance at FitFlop focused on projects and efficiencies. He then switched to his current role as CFO, where he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial, IT and legal affairs.
Judith Hunt studied Economics, Accounting & Finance at Manchester University, then joined KPMG, Audit/Corporate department and trained as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant. Once she was qualified she joined the adidas group in 1996 as Head of Financial Accounting. For the last nine years she has worked as Business Development Director, North Europe for the adidas group.
Sir Alan Langlands is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, a major Russell Group University. Before joining the University he was the Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, responsible for promoting and funding high-quality education and research in universities and colleges with higher education programmes. From 1994 to 2000 Sir Alan was Chief Executive of the NHS in England.
Hilary Lindsay is Vice President of ICAEW (elected 2014). She is an award-winning lecturer on finance and management for the Open University Business School. Hilary was President of AAT (The Association of Accounting Technicians) in 2011-12 and has been a member of the ICAEW Council for over a decade. She recently completed doctoral research into the roles of continuing professional development and lifelong learning in the accountancy profession.
Amanda Mellor joined M&S in 2004, where she is now Group Secretary and Head of Corporate Governance. She spent her early career in investment management at James Capel before becoming a Director within its Corporate Finance team. Prior to joining M&S she worked for corporate communications consultancy Holloway & Associates.
Based in Stockport, Gavin O’Dwyer joined adidas group in 2013, where he is now Talent Acquisition Manager, North Europe. He’s had a passion for sport throughout his career, so he finds working for a brand which is continuously moving forward in the sporting industry highly motivating. Prior to adidas, he lived in Sligo, Ireland where he worked for Jack and Jones and Pull & Bear
Working in London, Dushy Pillai oversees the finance and award management of Global Advocacy Offices in Geneva, Brussels, New York and Addis Ababa. Before joining Save The Children in 2011, Dushy worked for a number of charities within their finance department. These included, Bangkok Mothers and Babies International (BAMBI), actionaid, Concern Worldwide and GOAL Ireland. Apart from being qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant, Dushy has a masters in Human Rights.
Linda Pollard is the Chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of Europe’s largest hospital trusts with a turnover of approximately £1.2 billion a year. She is Regional Chairman of Coutts Bank Plc, a post she has held since 2008, and is Chair of An Inspirational Journey, an organisation which supports women to reach the top of their professions and seeks to increase participation of women on Boards.
After sixth form college Carl Swansbury joined PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), were he qualified in 2005 as one of the UK’s youngest ICAEW Chartered Accountants. He then joined RSM Tenon, specialising in advising SME and privately-owned businesses on all aspects of corporate finance. Carl joined Ryecroft Glenton in May 2011 to set up and develop the firm’s Corporate Finance arm. He was promoted to Partner in June 2014.
Esther Thompson founded Tea Huggers, a company which offers a range of herbal teas, in 2013. Before setting up Tea Huggers she fulfilled senior roles within the communications industry, most recently at the BBC. While she was directing global communications strategies Esther kept her thirst quenched by drinking copious amounts of herbal and fruit infusions.
Zoe Wong joined Tesco F&F Clothing in 2014. She is responsible for financial insight and reporting, particularly around expenditure/return on investment, and improving forecasting and budgeting processes. Previously Zoe worked for Deloitte within their global corporate tax department. She is also an established blogger and freelance contributor for Yahoo Style UK, covering London Fashion Week and festivals like Coachella and Wireless.
© University of Leeds / ICAEW