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Eight senior promotions at Duncan & Toplis

Duncan & Toplis | 1 October 2022

Alison Smith, Chris Wright, Amy Codd, Daniel Smithson, Rachel Rudkin, and Mark Foster have all been appointed as directors, while Vanessa McConnell and Chris Bradford have been promoted as associates.

Managing Director, Adrian Reynolds said: “These eight promotions reflect the incredible growth of Duncan & Toplis, despite the varied impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and other external factors affecting the wider UK economy.

This is a real accolade for our company. It speaks to the incredible drive and sheer vigour of our growing team and it’s our responsibility to ensure that talent is recognised and nurtured for the benefit of businesses across the East Midlands. 

I’m delighted to welcome Alison, Amy, Chris, Daniel, Rachel and Mark as directors, and I’m thrilled that Vanessa and Chris are moving into associate roles. I’m certain that they’ll underpin the excellence and insight that Duncan & Toplis has become synonymous within the region.”

In recent years, Duncan & Toplis has grown to become the UK's 34th largest accountancy and business adviser, and the last year has seen further expansion with the launch of new services. This includes expanding the range of corporate finance services, helping businesses to raise finance for ambitious aspirations, managing buy-ins and buy-outs, weighing up all the risks of due diligence, and offering essential insights on buying or selling a business.  The company has also launched marketing services, providing clients with graphic design, website design, lead generation, and social media support.

Leading the eight high-profile promotions, Alison Smith, Chris Wright, Daniel Smithson and Mark Foster have been appointed as business services directors at the group’s Boston, Stamford, Newark, and Grantham offices, respectively. Rachel Rudkin has been appointed assurance director at the Newark office.

Alison has supported clients with a wide range of business and finance services for more than 20 years. Born and raised in Lincolnshire, she attended Boston High School and Manchester University before starting her career at Duncan & Toplis. As a Fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), she has helped hundreds of businesses by offering essential advice on their bookkeeping, accounts, management and compliance. Alison is now head of business services, ensuring that the backbone of the company’s accountancy and business advisory service is delivered to the highest standards.

Chris was born in Cambridgeshire, attending Neale Wade Community College in March before joining Moore Thompson as an accountant in 1999. Joining Duncan & Toplis in 2018, he has supported a thriving portfolio of owner-managed businesses from start-ups through to limited companies with multi-million-pound turnovers. A Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), he now leads business services at our Stamford office.

Daniel studied at the University of Lincoln, graduating in 2012 with a BA in accountancy and finance before joining Duncan & Toplis as an ACA trainee that same year at the company’s Newark office. As an ICAEW Chartered Accountant (ACA), he has steadily risen through the ranks every two years. Daniel has helped and advised on a multitude of areas for his SME and owner-managed clients, and is able to use this knowledge to advise on all matters from bookkeeping to corporate finance. He is now a director of a portfolio of business services clients at our Newark branch.

Mark attended the University of Sheffield, graduating with a degree in accountancy and financial management in 2004. He joined Duncan & Toplis immediately after as a chartered accountant at the company’s Grantham office. After 15 years, Mark now works with businesses of all sizes across the Midlands and London as a business services director.

Also being promoted to director is Amy Codd, who will be a familiar name to businesses around North Nottinghamshire for her time serving as Chair of the Newark Business Club, for which she was elected in 2015. Amy qualified in 2017 and joined Duncan & Toplis in 2019, prior to which she worked in regional legal practice. In January 2021, Amy passed her final STEP exams with a distinction, becoming a Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP). A TEP practitioner has a combination of specialist qualifications and experience in inheritance and succession planning.  Amy is now director of legal services and typically deals with complex estates of high net-worth individuals involving Business Property Relief, Agricultural Property Relief and Foreign assets.

With nearly 15 years of experience and specialising in auditing, Rachel Rudkin is becoming an assurance director. Rachel joined Duncan & Toplis in 2007 straight from school as an AAT trainee before becoming one of the UK’s youngest ACCA-qualified accountants in 2012. She will now assist in leading assurance across Duncan & Toplis.

Meanwhile, Vanessa McConnell, who works at our Melton Mowbray office, and Chris Bradford, based at our Grantham office, are both being promoted as business services associates.

Vanessa joined Duncan & Toplis as an AAT trainee in 2001 and then went on to study and gain Chartered Accountant status in 2007. She has worked exclusively at the company since 2001, with over 20 years of experience under her belt.

Chris Bradford joined Duncan & Toplis in 2009 after completing a degree in mathematics, accounting and financial management at Loughborough University. Based at the company’s Grantham office for the duration, he specialises in non-routine assignments, such as accounts preparation for corporate underwriting and consolidated accounts. He is now a business services associate at the same office.

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