Leading the way

Jonathan Walton

Jonathan Walton, director at Whitley Stimpson, one of the largest independent accountancy firms in the area, explains how leadership of the firm is changing to meet the future needs of the business. 

2016 was a busy year for Whitley Stimpson following its merger with the Witney based Morgan Harris Group, which followed the firms previous strategic shift with a merger trail of accountancy practices in Bicester and High Wycombe.  This created a network of four regional offices providing vast opportunities for growth across a wider geographical area, and that of services offered to existing and potential clients. 

“For the last 86 years Whitley Stimpson has been managed by its directors through a consensus of democracy, with each director having a vote on all aspects of the business, and it will continue to do so. As the business grows, so too does the number of directors and with 14 directors, this can mean considerable debate which needs strong leadership recognising the needs of everyone and the culture of the firm. 

“In April 2017, I take over as the de-facto managing director of Whitley Stimpson succeeding Malcolm Higgs, who has successfully steered the firm for many years, and now takes up the position of Chairman. Having studied politics, philosophy and economics at university, and having run a very successful office for a number of years, I’m quite good at recognising issues as they arise: that coupled with my MBA from Reading University, and my MA in Leadership Studies from Exeter University, should hopefully help the business as we move into the next phase of our life-cycle. Having graduated from Oxford University, which boasts it has been educating leaders for 800 years, I know I picked up valuable leadership lessons along the way. 

‘’I will be supported by director Martin Anson, who takes the role of finance director, and we will reshape the business putting our people at the forefront, recognising that they are our future.  Our focus will be to continue to attract new talent, nurturing them through their professional examinations and anticipating their future development needs, so that they stay with us. 

“We are also bringing our network of four offices under the single brand name Whitley Stimpson Ltd, consistently ranked in the top 100 accountancy list. Last year we were recognised as one of the top ten accountancy employers in the country by Accountancy Age, the leading publication in the accountancy world. 

“Above all, as we continue to grow, we want to maintain and deliver excellence and consistency throughout, specifically better organised to deliver value to our clients, as well as creating a great place for our people to work” says Jonathan.

Jonathan can be contacted on 01494 448122 or jonathanw@whitleystimpson.co.uk