Movers & Shakers: Larking Gowen adds to its farms and landed estates team

Ashley Smith of Larking Gowen's farms and landed estates team. Picture: SYLVAINE POITAU

Ashley Smith of Larking Gowen's farms and landed estates team. Picture: SYLVAINE POITAU - Credit: Archant

East Anglian accountants Larking Gowen has made two new appointments at its farms and landed estates team. Manager Ashley Smith has been appointed partner from April 2018, and Bruce Masson has joined the team as director from national firm RSM.

Bruce Masson of Larking Gowen's farms and landed estates team.
Picture: RSM

Bruce Masson of Larking Gowen's farms and landed estates team. Picture: RSM - Credit: Archant

Ashley, who qualified as a chartered accountant in 2011, joined Larking Gowen as a graduate in 2008, left the firm to work in industry and rejoined in 2012. He specialises in the agriculture sector offering specialist advice to all kinds of farms from small enterprises to large rural estates across East Anglia from North Norfolk to Essex. He has experience in arable, dairy, livestock and many other associated enterprises.

He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), is treasurer of Wayland Agricultural Society and a steward for the Royal Norfolk Show.

“Having grown up on a farm in South Norfolk, it’s great to concentrate my career in advising farms and estates,” he said.

“Larking Gowen’s agriculture specialism is going from strength to strength and I’m proud to be a part of the 40 strong team offering taxation and business advice to farmers and landowners across the region for a sector I really enjoy working in.”


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Bruce Masson, who brings a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector, will be based in the Diss office and will cover Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.

He has almost 20 years’ experience as a chartered accountant having trained with Saffery Champness in London and Bristol, spending eight years with the firm before moving to Kingston Smith LLP to work in its entrepreneurial businesses department. He relocated to Suffolk in 2012 to join RSM (previously Baker Tilly) as director in its accounting and business advisory department specialising in agriculture, estates and private clients.

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“I am delighted to join Larking Gowen. They are the region’s leading advisors to the agriculture sector, as well as an ambitious firm and I want to be part of their existing and continued success,” he said.

•A marketing consultancy has expanded its team with the appointment of Amy Dawson as director of public relations and events.

Marley Bird Communications, a strategic content marketing & PR agency based in Debenham, was launched by Aisleen Bird in December 2016.

Amy has more than 12 years’ experience working in PR and event management, and has co-ordinated PR campaigns for many local and national clients, across a variety of sectors including health and social care, recruitment and finance.

With both agency and in-house experience, Amy has a unique understanding of how PR campaigns can work in partnership with wider marketing activities to fully support active business growth for clients.

As part of her new role, she will be responsible for all PR activities for Marley Bird clients and will be coordinating a series of specialist training workshops which have been developed with the needs of Suffolk business owners in mind.

Amy said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Aisleen and helping to develop Marley Bird Communications as a full-service marketing, PR and events agency. We’ve got some exciting plans for 2018 and I’m looking forward to launching our new training programmes over the next few months. We’ve taken the time to think about what local firms need to drive business growth and these workshops will give them the tools that they need to help their business thrive.”

Managing director Aisleen Bird said she was “really excited” at the appointment.

•A Woodbridge-based education services company is expanding its East Anglian consultancy team.

Gemstones Education Services has expanded the roles of two of its directors in conjunction with the roll-out of a new service portfolio.

The firm, founded in 2012 by former head teacher Eithne Leming, has appointed David Fox as operations and finance director, and Sue Chesworth as staff performance and governance director for the leadership team.

The company operates throughout the eastern region, delivering dedicated educational services around behaviour support and therapeutic intervention. It has a long history of working with pupil referral units, and with schools experiencing particular difficulties with one or more pupils.

Eithne said: “I am thrilled to have the skills of Sue and David, providing Gemstones with additional capacity at director level.”

David Fox was previously head teacher at a primary school in Suffolk which served a busy armed forces base. He has also had a role organising training locally for the National Association of Headteachers

Sue was head teacher at a large special school, catering for students with a range of special needs. Sue also founded the local charity, Lapwing.

•East Anglian business rescue and insolvency firm McTear Williams & Wood has appointed Gary Rupping as an associate based at the firm’s Ipswich office.

Gary started his career and qualified as a chartered accountant at a large international firm of accountants in South Africa before being seconded to its Canadian and UK practices to work on large scale projects.

He joined a national mergers and acquisitions team before transferring to its restructuring team in 2009 when insolvencies spiked and two years later made a career move to a London insolvency firm where he qualified as a licensed insolvency practitioner and was latterly a partner.

Director Andrew McTear said: “It is hugely encouraging that we are able to attract a professional with Gary’s qualities and experience. He is fully qualified and is a welcome addition to our established and widely respected Ipswich-based team”.

Gary said it was “an exciting opportunity”. “I look forward to meeting local professionals and working with company directors to help take the stress out of critical business situations,” he added.

•Chartered accountants LB Group rising star Harry Weller has scooped an award for his outstanding performance in his accountancy exams.

Colchester-based trainee accountant Harry took the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Global Prize-winner Award after recording the best mark worldwide on his Business Analysis (P3) Exam.

Director Magnus Baird said: “On behalf of all at LB Group we would like to congratulate Harry on his outstanding achievement. There are 10,000 plus people sitting each ACCA exam, so to have the highest score out of all students worldwide is an amazing achievement.”

•Chartered surveyors, auctioneers and estate agents Lacy Scott and Knight has appointed three new partners.

Existing partners Chris Philpot, Robert Bryce and Gerard Smith are joined by Edward Crichton, Alex Turner and Rob Swiney from the start of 2018.

The business will be celebrating 150 years next year and has offices in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

Senior partner Chris Philpot said that he was delighted at the appointments, which give the business great confidence for the future.

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