Top Sheffield accountant leaves after 16 years - and two specialists are promoted to partner

The head of a top Sheffield accountants is leaving after 16 years - and two long serving specialists have been promoted to partner.

By David Walsh
Sunday, 3rd May 2020, 7:46 pm

Senior partner Paul Houghton is departing in the summer to pursue new opportunities. Emma Davies and Donna Steel have been promoted.

During Mr Houghton’s tenure he was a founding member of the Local Enterprise Partnership board and served on it for several years.

He helped launch the firm’s national ‘Vibrant Economy’ project, hosting the first event in Sheffield. And he led the 150-strong team from its Broadfield Court offices into the former NUM headquarters in the city centre. The major investment, which included a £1.1m fit-out, reflected the firm’s long-term commitment to driving and supporting growth in the city.

Paul Houghton, senior partner of Grant Thornton in Sheffield, and former LEP board member.

Mr Houghton said: “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done over the years to make this office a leading player locally, but I’m equally excited about exploring new challenges.”

A spokesperson for Grant Thornton said: “We remain grateful for his commitment and contribution over the 16 years he supported the firm in Sheffield and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Emma Davies’ promotion from director to partner is reward for creating and growing the firm’s Special Projects business.

It allows companies to boost their finance departments by temporarily bringing in GT staff.

Emma Davies’ promotion from director to partner is reward for creating and growing the firm’s Special Projects business.

In the last 12 months revenues have increased 165 per cent and it has expanded across the country.

She also launched Grant Thornton Select for people who want to work on short-term projects and has signed up 150 finance professionals.

Andy Wood, partner and Yorkshire practice leader at Grant Thornton said: “I am proud and thrilled to see Emma become a partner. She is a true pioneer within our firm having created a new service which, in a short space of time has become highly valued by our clients.”

Emma Davies said: “I’m very proud to join the partnership at Grant Thornton, which has been incredibly entrepreneurial in giving me the opportunity to grow the Special Projects team and also to create Select.”

Audit specialist Donna Steel joined Grant Thornton as a graduate 21 years ago.

She added: “In particular I am passionate about continuing to support and mentor the career progress and development of other women in the profession.”

Audit specialist Donna Steel joined Grant Thornton as a graduate 21 years ago. She works with businesses across the region ranging from international groups and stock market listed companies to entrepreneur-led SMEs. She is a specialist in defined benefit pension schemes and also leads on audit quality for the Yorkshire practice.

Mark Overfield, Grant Thornton’s head of audit in the North and Scotland, said: “Donna richly deserves her promotion to partner. She is already playing an important leadership role within the firm’s audit practice and I know this next step will inspire her further to continue delivering the highest quality to our clients.”

Donna believes there are considerable opportunities for growth.

She said: “Despite the challenges every business is facing this year, the Yorkshire economy remains diverse and resilient. Sheffield retains a strong manufacturing base which is known around the world and is successfully harnessing the knowledge coming out of its universities.

“The UK government’s Industrial Strategy recognises the importance of developing a highly skilled, high value economy built on intellectual property and the region now boasts a thriving pool of tech and innovative-based businesses which bodes well for the future. We are confident that businesses value working with local advisers who also have an international footprint and network.”

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