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Fellows Finance is an executive search firm with a focus on senior and board level hires of financial professionals. We operate a retained search model with campaign management built around your specific needs and the candidates profiles you hope to attract. Typical projects might be the recruitment of Financial Directors, Financial Controllers, Senior Executive Internal Auditors and Managing Directors (particularly where a financial element is desirable).

Our team have considerable expertise in search and selection and have worked with a wide array of international businesses in hiring at a senior level within the UK and internationally. We are adept at retained search (headhunt) and selection, recruitment campaign management and building client specific strategies.

We do not operate a contingent (no win, no fee) search model as we prefer to work with fewer clients and provide a highly tailored solution with considerable time devoted to the project. This ensures, as a hiring company, that candidates sourced are found to meet your specific requirements.  

For potential candidates, we only rarely advertise vacancies and projects tend to be quite bespoke. However, we are always happy to help with constructive advice and inform you when suitable opportunities arise.

Latest News

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The recent omnishambles in relation to A-Level results has driven me to consider the broader education picture, particularly GCSEs. I don’t believe they’re necessary anymore, assuming they were ever necessary. In fact, there are, in my opinion, considerable advantages that could be gained by ridding ourselves of formal examinations at 16 entirely.

Should we scrap GCSEs entirely?

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Eight tips for video interviewing

More and more of us are having interviews on line. Even as Covid-19 related restrictions begin to ease, video interviewing is likely to remain the norm for many for the foreseeable future. So as the Internet loves a list, here’s a list of tips for maximising your chances of success on a video interview.

Eight tips for video interviewing

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What reassurances could employers give to potential candidates during the pandemic to encourage them to move?

What reassurances could employers in historically candidate short sectors; largely financially unimpeded by Covid-19, do to entice reluctant potential candidates to move? Here are a few suggestions.

What reassurances could employers give to potential candidates during the pandemic to encourage them to move?

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We offer a range of specialist search and selection tools, including campaign management and headhunt.
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Top Finance News stories of 2019

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2020 has arrived and it’s time to take a look back at the top financial stories of 2019. We’re pretty certain you will have heard of them!

Patisserie Valerie Scandal:

This year saw Patisserie Valerie collapse into administration putting more than 3,000 jobs at risk, after failing to secure a financial lifeline from its banks. The company announced that it had discovered accounting irregularities in October, much to its investors’ dismay. The company’s Finance Director; Chris Marsh was arrested by Hertfordshire police in October, he resigned that month. Patisserie Valerie said that the misstatement of its accounts involved ‘very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit-and-loss account’ and ‘thousands of false entries’ in its ledgers. The Serious Fraud Office opened a criminal investigation and the Financial Reporting Council investigated Marsh and accountancy firm Grant Thornton for its role as auditor to Patisserie Valerie. The company insist there is a future for the business but do not go into detail about the challenge ahead. 

Retail empire Arcadia saved from closure:

Sir Philip Green’s retail company Arcadia Group announced they were closing 48 stores under their restructuring plans in June last year. Creditors and landlords struck a very last-minute deal with the Arcadia group to close stores and reduce rents at shops across the empire in a bid to prevent it from falling into administration. The proposals were part of a rescue plan known as CVA, which is a way for companies to avoid administration by persuading creditors and landlords to cut the bills. This will see at least 1,000 people lose their jobs but has saved the company for now.

Thomas Cook declared bankrupt:

In 2019, after 178 years of business, travel firm Thomas Cook announced its collapse as it was unable to secure a 200 million lifeline from its bankers. The overnight news left around 150,000 holiday-goers stranded abroad, many wedding packages cancelled and around 22,000 people without jobs. Tim Jeans; a former managing director at the firm, who left long before its collapse, described the company as ‘an analogue business model in a digital world’. The firm had very little tangible assets such as planes and hotels so when customers left for online competitors to book their own flights and hotels, the value of the firm plummeted. It was goodbye to Thomas Cook!


How can we write an article without mentioning Brexit, it’s been the most talked about headline of 2019! As we all know, we finally have a date to leave the EU but are still not certain what this really means for everyone involved. Grant Thornton claim that a Brexit could reduce overall banking stability as any crisis may be met with divergent responses from UK and EU regulators. They say that whatever the outcome, it is likely that there will need to be an on-going need to comply with new EU regulation in order to continue to conduct business across the EU. KPMG’s Head of Brexit; James Stewart says that ‘instability in our politics and uncertainty for business is the new normal. It will be up to companies to fill the void and lead the debate on how we create a new, sustainable path to growth in this country’. Deloitte claimed that the insurance sector could be one of the most impacted due to the level of regulation and interconnection between the UK and EU financial systems. They have developed a series of quick-read industry insights to summarise the implications to each sector which you can read here:


Do you know of any other big finance stories from 2019? Let us know! 

Accounting Career Trajectories - Episode 6

In the sixth of a series of interviews with Rebecca Wood of Fellows Finance with a focus on career development and career choices for accountants, Rebecca speaks to Sarah Greenwood. Sarah has many qualifications and a very interesting career so far; she is CPI, ACCA, and CTA qualified and has recently sat the ACA Pathways exam to convert her ACCA to ACA. e

What does your career as an accountant look like so far?

I completed a degree in Economics, Accountancy and Finance at Aberystwyth University. After finishing university, I joined the Business Restructuring team at BDO Stoy Hayward LLP where I worked for BDO for almost 7 years, completing my ACCA and CPI along the way. I gained a great deal of experience whilst there and undertook two secondments to the Global Outsourcing and Audit teams.

I left BDO to join Deloitte to work in their Forensic Accounting department and worked at Deloitte for just over a year before joining a small firm where I have worked since 2015. Whilst at Whitesides I completed my CTA and I have recently passed the pathways exam to cross qualify to the ACA.

Did you prefer working in a large, mid-tier or small firm?

I enjoyed working at all three but for different reasons.

At BDO and Deloitte there are lots of opportunities they both had a lot of trainees and other members of staff a similar age and so there was a lot of social events and support at an early stage in your career. I feel I was really lucky to train at BDO they gave me all the support I needed in order to pass my exams. The firm was a great place to work and I had supportive managers and partners in my team.

Now I am a bit further on with my career, I love the work-life balance I get working in a smaller firm. I live very close to the office so I can walk to work and go home to see my dog at lunch time!

I would definitely recommend starting in a mid-tier firm as you can either move up or down.

Which exam did you find the most difficult?

Definitely the CTA. I expect if I sat down and added up the number of hours I spent studying for the CTA it would be somewhere around 500-600 hours per exam whilst I probably only spent about 200-300 hours studying per final exam of the ACCA/CPI.

Did you enjoy insolvency or forensic more?

I preferred insolvency work, it was very varied as you would always have a lot of active cases at the same time. Depending on the case you could be completing an AMA process, undertaking an orderly wind-down or trading a business which can be very intense. Insolvency work is far more like the general practice work that I do now where you have huge variety of work at the same time.

Have you had any setbacks in your career?

I am not sure I have had any setbacks, I think if I went back to the start I would probably focus more on what I wanted to do long-term. Although having worked in a lot of different departments and sat so many exams I have acquired a lot of knowledge that other staff working in a small firm don’t have which is really useful when I am advising clients.

I would say, having always worked in practice, it would be difficult for me to move into industry or the public sector as I don’t have the experience they need.

What would your advice be to someone wanting to become an accountant?

I am very glad I trained in a mid-tier firm, it gave me loads of opportunities and from a mid-tier firm it is fairly easy to move into the big-4, smaller firms or industry. If you train in a big-4 firm you may struggle to move to a very small firm as you don’t have the breadth of experience they need and likewise if you train in a small firm it would be very difficult to move into the big-4.

If you want to work in either a smaller firm or specialise in tax, I would recommend completing the ACA CTA Joint programme because it reduced the number of exams you have to take.

I would also recommend looking at what you want to do long-term. If you want to own your own practice you probably need to work in a small practice so you have the skills and experience to advise small businesses. If your aim is to be a partner in a big firm then it is probably best to specialise in the stream you want to work in early on. If you want to move into industry, I would suggest starting in a big 4 or mid-tier firm in audit as this will give you the best foundation to be able to move into industry.

In the sixth of a series of interviews with Rebecca Wood of Fellows Finance with a focus on career development and career choices for accountants, Rebecca speaks to Sarah Greenwood. Sarah has many qualifications and a very interesting career so far; she is CPI, ACCA, and CTA qualified and has recently sat the ACA Pathways exam to convert her ACCA to ACA.

Sarah works at Whitesides Chartered Accountants in Leeds. 

Want to get involved and have us interview you about your career path? Email

You can read our other episodes here: one, two, three, four, five, seven. 

Accounting Career Trajectories - Episode 4

In the fourth of a series of interviews with Rebecca Wood of Fellows Finance with a focus on career development and career choices for accountants, Rebecca speaks to Becky Hartley. Becky is a CIOT qualified Tax Manager who is on secondment at BDO Singapore.

Which route did you decide to take to begin your career? How do you think this has helped you get to where you are today?becky

I decided to do an accounting degree first with the view of becoming an accountant but when I was at university, the module I actually preferred the most was tax. When I was looking for grad schemes, I remember generally looking for tax roles but some were ACA focused and some were CTA focused. Having the previous degree knowledge definitely helped me make the decision to do the CTA qualification as I already knew I was less interested in ACA.

BDO actually offer the training for this qualification in-house and are the only firm to do this (so I believe). It was therefore fairly easy for me to make the decision to join BDO so I was lucky to be successful when I applied back in 2011/2012 as it was my first choice. I definitely think doing a degree first helped me to get to where I am today as I would not have had the exposure to tax otherwise and would have likely pursued the ACA route. 

Why have you decided to stay in private practice?

As I worked in tax dispute resolution (UK), my work has always been varied whilst being both interesting and challenging so I have never considered moving out of private practice. I also find being in a client facing role provides the variety in the day to day work that I think I would struggle without!

How did your move to Singapore come about?

I am on a two-year secondment with BDO, still working part time for my team in the UK but also working for BDO Singapore 3 days a week. I asked if there were any opportunities to travel to Singapore as I wanted to do something a bit different and my team essentially made it happen for me even though it had never been done from my team before so I am definitely grateful for the opportunity.

What are the differences between working in the UK and Singapore?

Culturally there are a lot of differences – working longer hours, having to respond to emails immediately, the quiet office environment and the majority not speaking English in the office. The work is prepared in English though and there are a lot of expats in Singapore so you never feel too far from home. There are definitely some barriers for me (language being the main one) but I genuinely enjoy the work and the clients are equally, if not more interesting. I am working with a number of high profile / ultra-high net worth Asian families so there is also far greater exposure in Singapore. 

How do you feel that working in Singapore will enhance your career?

I feel that it already has to some extent. Having been in Singapore for nearly a year, I have developed so many new skills and learnt so many new things. I have also built up a profile in Singapore in the tax world as there are not many people here who can provide UK as well as Singapore tax advice! I also have so many more opportunities with BDO in Singapore because the size is so much smaller. For example; I assist with HR matters and am also heavily involved in business development and marketing such as organising and participating in events etc.

Missed our other interviews? You can read them here:

Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7.




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