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07/05/2019

Introducing R3's New President - Duncan Swift

Friday’s AGM confirmed the appointment of Duncan Swift as R3 president. Duncan leads Moore Stephens' national Restructuring & Insolvency division and the national sector specialist Food Advisory Group. Duncan takes over from Stephenson Harwood’s Stuart Frith, who has spent the past year speaking up for the profession, and making sure the work and value of R3’s members are understood by politicians, journalists and others. More details on Duncan’s plans for his year as President are below. BDO partner and current Deputy Vice-President Colin Haig is now R3’s Vice-President and will take over as President in 2020. A new Deputy Vice-President will be appointed later this year.

A Message From Duncan

I have picked up the presidential baton at a really exciting time for R3: we’re just about to publish our strategic plan – setting out our path to 2023 – and the association, from staff to members, are brimming with ideas for R3’s future.

A big part of my year as president will be focused on making sure we deliver on the plan.

It can be easy for members to underestimate or take for granted the value of the work R3 does to represent the profession. I should know: I was one of those members ten years ago, but getting involved with R3 has opened my eyes to what goes on.

R3 has achieved a lot for its members since it was established in 1990, and to continue that work, R3 needs to adapt to the changing world and profession. The strategic plan sets out how we are going to do that and build on our existing work and lay the bedrock to enable us to support our members long into the future.

Our plan sets out the direction we’re heading in, and how, over the next three years, we’re going to be putting those key building blocks in place. Our plan sets out how we will represent everyone working in the profession, whether they’re a licence holding insolvency practitioner, a lender, a lawyer, a restructuring specialist, or anyone else; whether they’re working at a global firm, or running their own business; whether they have ten years’ experience or ten days’.

Our plan sets out how we will ensure R3 is a diverse and representative organisation that helps the profession flourish as one community, learn throughout a career, speak with one voice, and develop and share innovative new ways of supporting UK businesses and individuals.

Our plan is ambitious, but with R3 staff and members working together, everything in it is achievable.

A thriving insolvency and restructuring profession is an integral part of any successful economy. A thriving R3 should be an integral part of the insolvency and restructuring profession.

Raising Standards

Beyond the strategic plan, I’ll be looking at how we raise standards inside and outside our profession.

Our profession occupies a position of responsibility in the economy. We are personally responsible for protecting creditors’ interests. We are personally responsible for protecting the interests of employees, consumers, and individuals in debt. We are personally responsible for pursuing and rectifying governance and financial wrongdoings.

We invariably work in difficult situations. Different interests and statutory requirements need to be balanced. Speed and discretion are often required to achieve an outcome which works best for everyone, but which might leave someone feeling like they’ve lost out.

Great trust is placed in us to uphold the law, and we need to make sure that trust is not misplaced.  A lack of trust and confidence in our profession will lead to a lack of trust and confidence in our insolvency and restructuring framework. And, a lack of trust and confidence in our insolvency and restructuring framework will weaken our economy.

As a profession, we must reinforce our commitment to ‘doing the right thing’. That means commitment to setting and maintaining high standards, commitment to making sure our colleagues maintain these standards, and commitment to making sure the oversight of our profession is effective.

This year, with insolvencies rising, the spotlight will intensify on the work we do. At the same time, the Government is expected to consult on the regulatory framework for insolvency practitioners. As President, I will work to make sure the value of our profession is recognised and understood, that we, as a profession, are doing our utmost to show we are carrying out our work ethically and professionally, and that the Government listens to what we have to say about how regulation works.

At the same time, I will be working to make sure that standards are raised and maintained in other parts of the insolvency and restructuring framework, too, and that organisations like the Official Receiver and HMRC are acting fairly, transparently and accountably in the interests of creditors and the public generally as they go about their duties.

It is set to be a really exciting year, and I can’t wait to get started.

Notes to editors:

  • R3 is the trade body for Insolvency Professionals and represents the UK’s Insolvency Practitioners.

  • R3 comments on a wide variety of personal and corporate insolvency issues. Contact the press office, or see www.r3.org.uk for further information.

  • R3 promotes best practice for professionals working with financially troubled individuals and businesses; all R3 members are regulated by recognised professional bodies
     
  • R3 stands for 'Rescue, Recovery, and Renewal' and is also known as the Association of Business Recovery Professionals.