FRC appoints new members to the Accounting Council and Audit and Assurance Council

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The Financial Reporting Council today announces several new appointments to their expert Accounting and Audit & Assurance councils. These bodies are responsible for advising the FRC Board on financial reporting standards, monitoring international financial reporting developments while also providing strategic input and thought leadership in the field of financial reporting.

The new appointees bring a wide range of experience and perspectives, including investor, corporate and advisor views.

The new Accounting Council members are:

  • Michael Gallagher, Chief Financial Officer of the Toronto and Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd.  

  • Mark Smith, independent financial reporting consultant

  • Jeremy Townsend, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer at Rentokil Initial


The new Audit & Assurance Council members are:


  • Maggie McGhee, Director General responsible for Financial Audit at the National Audit Office

  • Jane Fuller Fellow of the CFA Society of the UK and Chair of its financial reporting and analysis committee

  • Robert Hingley, former Director General of the Takeover Panel and, following the merger of ABI’s         Investment Affairs with the IMA, consultant to the enlarged Investment Association

  • Conall O'Halloran, Head of Audit for KPMG in Ireland, and audit partner in a number of listed and large   privately owned entities


In addition, the FRC also wishes to welcome Liz Murrall to its Codes & Standards Committee. Liz is also a member of our Accounting Council.

Stephen Haddrill, CEO of the Financial Reporting Council said;

We are delighted to welcome all the new members to the Accounting Council and the Audit and Assurance Council. Each of these councils have an integral role within the FRC in upholding high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment.

Notes to editors:

  1. The FRC is responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment. We set the UK Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes as well as UK standards for accounting, auditing and actuarial work.  We represent UK interests in international standard-setting.  We also monitor and take action to promote the quality of corporate reporting and auditing.  We operate independent  disciplinary arrangements for accountants and actuaries; and oversee the regulatory activities of the accountancy and actuarial professional bodies.


  2. Full biographies of the new council members can be found below:

    Accounting Council

    Michael Gallagher:
    Michael Gallagher is the Chief Financial Officer of the Toronto and AIM quoted Falcon Oil  & Gas Ltd. Mr. Gallagher joined Falcon in October 2012 as Group Financial Controller with responsibility for  the Group’s Dublin, Hungarian and Australian finance and commercial functions following 11 years working  with PricewaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”) in Ireland and the USA. At PwC, Michael had previously worked with and advised both quoted and unquoted Oil & Gas exploration, Manufacturing and Banking Groups.  Michael qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC Dublin and is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

    Mark Smith: Mark Smith is an experienced Head of Financial Reporting who has worked for multi-national companies in a number of industries.  He now operates as an independent financial reporting consultant. 

    From 2003 to 2011, he was Director, External Reporting of Tomkins plc where he had responsibility for the Group's reporting to shareholders in the UK and its filings with the SEC in the US. Earlier in his career, Mark was Group Chief Accountant of Sedgwick Group plc, a global insurance broking and consulting business (now part of Marsh & McLennan Inc.).

    Mark is Vice-Chairman of the Financial Reporting Committee of the 100 Group of Finance Directors and a member of the ICAEW’s Financial Reporting Committee. He was a founder member of the IASB’s Global Preparers’ Forum.

    Mark qualified as chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand and has a degree in Economics from Cambridge University.

    Jeremy Townsend: Jeremy is Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer at Rentokil Initial. He is the former Finance Director of Mitchells & Butlers plc, and was previously an executive at J Sainsbury plc where he held various roles including Group Finance Controller, Corporate Finance Director and Strategy Director. Prior to Sainsbury's he was employed at Ernst & Young, working in audit and corporate finance. Jeremy graduated from Manchester University with a first class honours degree in Management Science. He is a Chartered Accountant.

    Audit & Assurance Council

    Maggie McGhee:
    Maggie McGhee is the Director General  responsible for Financial Audit at the National Audit Office (NAO).  The NAO undertakes around 440 financial statement audits each year, varying in size from large government departments such as the Ministry of Defence to small incorporated trading subsidiaries of government-owned charities.  In her role, she has operational responsibility for designing and implementing audit methodologies and the quality assurance frameworks across the NAO.

    Her career has encompassed responsibilities for client audits and central roles in a technical capacity.  Her previous technical roles required her to oversee the implementation of International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) and to advise and monitor the acceleration of the accounts production processes under HM Treasury Faster Closing Agenda.

    Maggie is also a member of HM Treasury’s Financial Reporting Advisory Board and a member of the Federation of European Accountant Public Sector Group.

    Jane Fuller: Jane Fuller chairs the financial reporting and analysis committee of CFA Society of the UK, of which she is a Fellow. She is co-director of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, an independent think-tank in financial services, and runs a consultancy, Fuller Analysis. She specialises in savings and investment, and corporate governance. A former financial editor and Lex writer at the Financial Times, she continues to train FT journalists and is a columnist with Accounting & Business, the ACCA magazine.

    Robert Hingley: Robert Hingley joined the ABI as Director, Investment Affairs in September 2012. Following the merger of ABI’s Investment Affairs with the IMA, he is currently acting as a consultant to the enlarged IMA. He is a former Director General of the Takeover Panel.

    From 2010, he was a Managing Director at Lazard, where he remains a Senior Adviser. He was previously Director General of The Takeover Panel from December 2007, on secondment from Lexicon Partners, where he was Vice Chairman.  Prior to joining Lexicon Partners in 2005, he was Co-Head of the Global Financial Institutions Group and Head of German Investment Banking at Citigroup Global Capital Markets, which acquired the investment banking business of Schroders in 2000.  He joined Schroders in 1985 after having qualified as a solicitor with Clifford Chance in 1984.

    Conall O'Halloran: Conall is Head of Audit for KPMG in Ireland, and serves as audit partner at a number of listed and large privately owned entities. He was previously the firm’s Risk Management Partner with responsibility for its Department of Professional Practice. He is a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and chairs its Representation & Technical Policy Main Committee.

  3. All Press enquiries should be directed to: Peter Timberlake, Head of Communications on telephone: 020 7492 2397/ 07768 502332, or email Or to Sophie Broom, Communications Manager, on telephone: 020 7492 2395/ 07771 808464 or email:

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