By Eleanor O’Neill, CA Today
Jonny Jacobs CA was announced as the winner of the 2017 ICAS One Young CA and 35 CAs under 35 competition, held in association with Investec Click & Invest, at an awards ceremony in London last night.
Jonny was distinguished from a pool of 35 exceptional finalists to be the best young CA representing ICAS and the chartered accountancy profession to the wider world.
ICAS CEO Anton Colella presented the award alongside former One Young CA Rimla Akhtar MBE at Landing Forty Two on 14 September as part of the ICAS Young Leaders Summit & One Young CA Awards.
He said: “Earlier this year, ICAS launched an exciting search to find the best and brightest young members in our profession. The top 35 CAs under 35 list recognises the most outstanding young CAs who are shaping and inspiring the future.
“Jonny is a deserving winner and represents so many of the values we encourage in all of our young CAs. He is ambitious, hardworking and a true leader to those around him in the world of business and beyond.”
Jonny is the Head of Supply Chain Finance at pladis UK & Ireland and is currently operating as Interim CFO of pladis North America. He has been involved in some of the world’s best-known brands over the breadth of his career, including Heineken, Diageo and McVitie’s owner United Biscuits (now part of pladis).
He is also a Trustee and Treasurer of Aspire, a UK charity that offers support and practical assistance to people paralysed by spinal cord injuries.
Jonny’s leadership and business acumen were highlighted during the aftermath of the flood at McVitie’s Carlisle biscuit factory in late 2015. At the time, he was pladis’ Financial Controller for UK Supply and was a key part of the crisis management team, responsible for what became the UK’s largest insurance claim of its kind in 2016.
I’m definitely up for the challenge ahead and really energised to represent ICAS.
He will now represent ICAS and the chartered accountancy profession at the One Young World Summit in Colombia later this month, joining a delegation from Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW). The conference brings together inspiring young people from all over the world who are committed to making a positive difference.
He said: “To be included in the 35 CAs under 35 list alone is humbling. To be this year’s One Young CA massively overwhelming. I feel hugely grateful toward the managers that have encouraged me to move outside my comfort zone, to the mentors that coached me to reflect on what I have done and set me up for the future.
“Following in the footsteps of Rimla and Indy, who have contributed so much in their fields of accountancy and finance but also from a social perspective, is going to be a hard act to follow but I’m definitely up for the challenge ahead and really energised to represent ICAS.”
As well as his success in the overall ICAS 35 CAs under 35 competition, Jonny won the Leadership & Influence category of the awards.
The Entrepreneurship category, which recognised those who have displayed the initiative and passion that drives success in business, was won by Raj Patel CA, Managing Director of A.R.P. Capital Partners.
Raj co-founded A.R.P. Capital Partners in 2013 at the age of 29. Through this business, he became involved in the leveraged management buy-in of Glevum Heating, where he eventually assumed the role of CEO in 2015. Raj currently maintains his position at both companies, overseeing the interests of stakeholders and large-scale operations on a daily basis.
[The] One Young CA programme has been amazing and has helped me to re-engage and realise the journey doesn’t end with the qualification.
He commented: “I feel very honoured. Being an entrepreneur can be quite a thankless task so it’s quite nice to be recognised for the things you’ve achieved.
“I think the whole 35 CAs under 35 and One Young CA programme has been amazing and has helped me to re-engage and realise the journey doesn’t end with the qualification. It really just starts there and it’s about what you make of it.”
The Innovation & Technology category, rewarding the CAs who have embraced the digital age and thrive in a fast-paced, cutting-edge environment, was won by Colin McLellan CA, CFO at Skyscanner.
Colin, who also came top in the Leadership category in last year’s awards, was promoted to the role of CFO at Skyscanner following his success in leading a joint venture between Skyscanner and Yahoo! Japan in 2015. He also played a key role in the company’s acquisition by Ctrip last year, a deal valued at £1.4bn.
He said: “The competition gets more and more impressive every year, as does the calibre of those in the categories. It’s actually very inspiring to have been nominated alongside these people and to win an award is just a huge honour.
“I’m very surprised and proud to have been a part of this for two years running and I’m very grateful to those who have nominated and supported me.”
The Sustainability & CSR category, honouring those who display a high regard for social awareness and professional responsibility, was won by Katherine Holdstock CA, Student Recruitment Advisor for EY.
Katherine has championed mentoring and professional development throughout her career at EY. She has been instrumental in the establishment of the firm’s relationship with the Greenwich University Business School Mentoring Scheme and has been personally invited to assist other businesses in building similar partnerships on several occasions.
She commented: “It was a huge surprise to receive an award. I didn’t expect it at all but I’m absolutely delighted and meeting the other CAs here today has been amazing.”
We look forward to seeing this unique group of young professionals advance and inspire future generations.
Investec Click & Invest have been the headline sponsor of this year’s One Young CA Awards. Jane Warren, CEO, commented: “Congratulations to the 2017 One Young CA. Jonny Jacobs embodies everything that this award represents: distinctive entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thinking and genuine passion.
“Click & Invest are proud to have been part of this journey and I would like to thank all the talented participants for taking part. We look forward to seeing this unique group of young professionals advance and inspire future generations.”
In addition to the category winners, two CAs were honoured with special awards recognising their contributions to the profession.
The award for Global Impact, intended to reward a CA who is going above and beyond in promoting the CA on an international level, was presented to Chris Blues CA.
Chris works with the Ākina Foundation in New Zealand as International Director, using his CA experience to support social enterprises and enable local entrepreneurs in achieving their goals. He was, unfortunately, unable to attend the awards ceremony.
The Chief Executive award was given to Catherine Jess-Gibson CA, who particularly impressed ICAS CEO Anton Colella with her commitment to promoting gender equality in civil service and mentoring future leaders through the ICAS Foundation programme.
Catherine is the Finance Business Partner for Economic Development with the Department for International Development (DFID).
She said: “The categories have been really competitive and I’m very appreciative of having received an award. It’s a great thing for me personally but also for the civil service.
“Having the public sector recognised like this really shows how far CAs have come in that field in recent years.”
This article was first published on 15 September 2017 here: www.icas.com/ca-today-news.