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Development Programme leads to three new directorships at Shaw Gibbs

PUBLISHED: 11:46 17 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:46 17 February 2016

Sarah Gardener, Ed Porter and Hayley Simmons

Sarah Gardener, Ed Porter and Hayley Simmons


Oxford accountancy firm Shaw Gibbs has awarded directorships to three senior staff that have all successfully completed its internal Director Development Programme which prepares high potential senior managers for leadership.

The three new Directors are Sarah Gardener, Ed Porter and Hayley Simmons. At age 28, Accounts Director Sarah Gardener becomes Shaw Gibbs’ youngest ever Director; Ed Porter is a highly experienced audit specialist, and Hayley Simmons returns to the Shaw Gibbs board, having previously been a partner and she has been an Insolvency Practitioner with the firm for over 18 Years.

Peter O’Connell, Managing Director of Shaw Gibbs, says: “We are passionate about providing long term career paths for our people, and Sarah, Ed and Hayley are talented managers with the potential to become inspiring leaders. Their successful completion of our Director Development Programme has formalised their innovation and leadership capabilities, and as they continue to develop, they will be well placed to play important roles in the future of Shaw Gibbs.”

The Shaw Gibbs Director Development Programme (DDP) is unique to the firm, aiming to nurture future leaders by developing participants’ leadership skills and shifting their focus from operational management to strategic direction.

The DDP typically takes 12 to 18 months and is designed in consultation with the participants, enabling them to focus on their areas of interest. Modules are a mix of internal and external training courses and workshops plus psychometric profiling. Participants receive detailed feedback on their leadership abilities and are fully supported throughout by their line manager and sponsoring Director.

Because it is developed and managed by Shaw Gibbs, the Director Development Programme creates a career development path in line with the firm’s core values - professional, commercial, fair, dynamic and fun. The Programme is led by The Shaw Gibbs People Focus Group, headed by HR Manager Kerry Whitfield with three Directors.

The new Directors

Accounts Director Sarah Gardener joined the Shaw Gibbs Business Services Division in 2013 and quickly established close working relationships with clients and other professionals in the Thames Valley. An FCCA with over five years PQE in practise, she is experienced in the preparation of statutory accounts for a variety of businesses, as well as having a strong focus on clients’ systems and procedures in order to provide up-to-date management information.

Audit Director Ed Porter has been an accountant since 2000, bringing a wealth of experience from a diverse, international career. Having held numerous directorships in private and public companies, he is fully able to see things from the clients’ perspective.

Director Hayley Simmons qualified as the youngest Insolvency Practitioner in 1998 and specialises in all areas of Insolvency and Corporate Recovery. She joined Shaw Gibbs over 19 years ago from KPMG and has been instrumental in helping to grow the firm’s insolvency and recovery team.


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