Deloitte appoints Paul Knight as civil society Tax Partner

20 March 2018

As Deloitte works to strengthen its tax offering in a challenging environment, the Big Four firm has appointed Paul Knight as a Tax Partner. Knight joins the firm from BDO, bringing extensive experience in advisory related to the public sector and charities, an area of growing concern across the UK.

Deloitte is currently working to strengthen its tax offering amid a shifting regulatory environment, as well as changing demands from clients in the public and private sectors. Recently this shifting environment saw Deloitte taken to court, alongside legal firm Linklaters, by former Arsenal FC shareholder Nina Bracewell-Smith. Since selling her lot in the club to Stan Kroenke, Bracewell-Smith has leveled a law-suit at the two firms for alleged negligence, claiming their advice in the sale led to the legitimate taxation of the multi-million sale by the British state. She claims this caused a large loss to her profit from the sale, which she believes could have been orchestrated to avoid taxation.

Meanwhile, the firm is also having to prepare itself for heightened demand from the public sector, as austerity and policy changes take their toll. Rebecca George, Head of Public Sector for Deloitte said, “The public sector is going through unprecedented change and the need to properly manage tax implications is increasing, a factor we are seeing every day through the work that we do across transformation, finance and technology.”

To this end, the hiring of Paul Knight is an important step for the Big Four firm’s UK tax practice. Knight joins Deloitte as a Tax Partner, and will lead on tax advisory matters related to public sector and charities. He brings more than 20 years of experience to the firm, with extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, including on social housing, education and charities. His experience also covers regulatory and commercial matters.

Paul Knight, Tax Partner at Deloitte

Knight was most recently at BDO, as the firm’s Head of Not for Profit Tax. He joined the professional services group in 2008, winning a promotion to Partner in 2014. He was previously at Deloitte’s Big Four rivals KPMG, where he worked most recently as a Tax Manager, following more than ten years at the firm. He also holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Reading.

Commenting on the appointment, Ben Powell, Head of Public Sector Tax at Deloitte, said, “Paul is a terrific addition to our partnership – his knowledge and insight in the Public Sector and Charities space is unrivalled, and his leadership in our tax services will enable us to provide ever greater support to Housing Associations, Universities, Charities and the wider Public Sector.”

Paul Knight said of his own appointment, “I will be using my experience to deliver tax advice that adds value to the Public and Not for Profit Sectors as they continue to evolve, diversify and commercialise. The tax environment has never been more complex for these organisations, and Deloitte’s approach to providing the very best tax advisory services, is entirely aligned to my personal enthusiasm and commitment to working in this sector.”


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Accenture's Rothco installs new Executive Creative Director

24 April 2019

Jen Speirs is set to take over from Alan Kelly as the Executive Creative Director of Accenture Interactive-owned agency Rothco. Speirs arrives as Kelly takes up the role of Chief Creative Officer at the firm.

Rothco is a full-service creative agency based in Dublin. Founded in 1995, the firm contains more than 150 strategic, creative, technology, design, project management and production professionals located in Ireland’s capital city. The agency strategically plans, designs and produces powerful communications campaigns across Europe for numerous iconic brands, including Tesco, Heineken and Lyons. Internationally recognised for its prowess in the sector, Rothco notably found success at the Cannes Lions awards in both 2015 and 2016.

Such success inevitably drew the eye of Accenture during its extended spending spree to strengthen its digital design and advertising offerings, housed under the Accenture Interactive moniker. A year after purchasing Rothco, Accenture Interactive has since continued this push into the advertising space, acquiring New York and London-based agency Droga5 earlier this month, and adding illustrious clients such as HBO, Amazon and The New York Times to its roster of clients. Despite its purchase, Rothco has also been undergoing its own period of change, however.

With the news that long-term incumbent Alan Kelly had won a promotion from his position as Executive Creative Director (ECD), the agency commenced a hunt for his replacement. Kelly joined Rothco nine years ago as a Copywriter, and has now worked his way up to the role of Chief Creative Officer. Assuming that office, he will pass on his previous role to Jen Speirs, who exits BMF Australia, relocating half way around the world to fill the vacancy.

Accenture's Rothco installs new Executive Creative Director

Speirs was appointed BMF’s Deputy Executive Creative Director in March 2018, having joined BMF as a creative director in 2016 from her previous role at Foxtel, where she was a Freelance Creative Director. Following her arrival at BMF, she worked across brands such as McDonald’s, Carefree, Arnott’s, Berlei, TAL, Bonds, BWS, UN Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, while her work has picked up awards at NY Festivals, Clio, AWARD, Cannes, Effies, Media Federation, Caples, and Spikes Asia. Speirs also worked at DDB Sydney as Creative Director for six years, with clients such as Telstra, Lipton and Johnson & Johnson.

Commenting on her new challenge, Speirs said, "When I look at a lot of Rothco's work, like JFK Unsilenced, the #takenotice breast cancer campaign on the Molly Malone Statue, Sleeping Flags – it all has that perfect combination of creativity, innovation and craft… So the opportunity to go and be a part of that, and work with the awesome people I’ve met so far, was far too good to say no to. I can’t wait to get over there and get stuck in.”

Remarking on Speirs’ arrival, Kelly added, "I am chuffed we have poached someone as incredibly talented as Jen Speirs. I think it’s a testament to the work we are doing in Rothco that we are attracting world-class talent like Jen to these shores. Jen is a super addition to the team as she is both gifted and decent, two qualities we always look for when we hire. I also may have told her that Dublin's weather is pretty much the same as Sydney's – hopefully, she hasn't fact-checked this yet."

Related: Accenture's push into the creative sector is an identity crisis.