Sandy Manson steps down as chair of Johnston Carmichael

Sandy Manson steps down as chair of Johnston Carmichael

 Mark Houston, Sandy Manson and Lynne Walker

Sandy Manson, chair of Johnston Carmichael and former CEO, is stepping down from the role at the end of this month after 31 years with the business.

Mr Manson, a highly regarded member of the wider Scottish business community, was CEO for 12 years, seeing the firm grow from 350 people and revenues of £18 million, to a Top 20 UK accountancy firm and revenues of £49m. He was appointed chair and head of client service in 2019.

Mark Houston, partner and head of Johnston Carmichael’s Glasgow office, is stepping up from his current role as vice chair to chair. Mr Houston, who joined the firm as a director in 2006, became partner in 2008, and was selected to lead the Glasgow office in 2011 before being appointed to the board in 2013.

Lynne Walker, partner and head of business advisory, has been appointed vice-chair. Ms Walker, who is based out of the firm’s Elgin and Inverness offices, started as a newly qualified chartered accountant in the firm’s audit team 17 years ago. After becoming audit director in 2014 she was promoted to oversee business advisory services, becoming head of business advisory in 2017 and partner in 2019. She was among three partners to join the board last year.

Mr Houston and Ms Walkers’ promotions are part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to growing its own future leaders, and they will play a key role in helping it to retain and recruit the profession’s top talent.

Mark Houston said: “Sandy’s retirement is the end of an era at Johnston Carmichael, and we wish him the very best for the next chapter of his life. He has been an extraordinary leader and inspiration to all in our business.

“Our focus for the future is on investing in the learning and development of our people and our leadership culture, ensuring we continue to deliver the high performance and high-quality services that distinguish us in the marketplace.

“Key to this is creating a great place to work, where our people feel positive and fulfilled. We recently had 30 people from our Glasgow office taking part in the Kiltwalk and despite the sore feet afterwards, we had a glow that wasn’t just from the sun.

“In a fast-changing world where people are looking for a more rounded experience in the workplace, enabling our people to be leaders of their work and their learning, will support retention and recruitment and allow us to deliver the increasingly complex work we are undertaking to help our clients to thrive.”

Lynne Walker added: “The business has been fantastically supportive of my career since I joined 17 years ago, and I am committed to supporting the next generation of leaders of the firm. I am hugely looking forward to assuming the post of Vice-Chair at Johnston Carmichael and working with Mark and the Board to continue growing the positive, empowering culture we enjoy in our firm.

“In particular, I want to encourage more opportunities for our people to engage directly with the Board, so we ensure a two-way flow of communications in order to provide the best possible environment for success.”

Sandy Manson commented: “I feel very fortunate and incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to play my part in growing Johnston Carmichael into the leading firm it is today. The firm continues to thrive due to the commitment and passion of our people to deliver for our clients. We have always believed in building and passing the firm on to the next generation so they in turn can take the firm to new levels. Mark and Lynne have outstanding leadership capabilities and their appointments will help ensure Johnston Carmichael goes from strength to strength as an independent firm.”

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