A roundup of a remarkable year of reconnection in 2022

December 2022

As 2022 draws to a close, Russell Bedford’s CEO, Stephen Hamlet reflects on a year packed full of development, change and advancement. Here, in his annual end of year message, Stephen shares some of the highlights of an extraordinary year.

The return of physical meetings was undoubtedly a highlight for many Russell Bedford members this year, evident from the outstanding feedback received from each event. The network proudly delivered a full calendar, starting in Cancun, Mexico for the Ibero-America Meeting and concluding in Valencia, Spain for the Young Partners & Managers Meeting.

In between, members gathered in multiple locations around the globe for a showstopping itinerary of events, including the International Tax and EMEA Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the Asia-Pacific Meeting in Singapore and the 39th Annual Global Conference in Vienna, Austria.

The Russell Bedford spirit was once again lifted with the warmth of connection felt on each and every occasion.

Since consistent and positive change is always a priority for the network, Stephen shared some of the areas of progression throughout the year:

“We have refreshed our Centres of Excellence, and now have ten centres, including establishing a Social Impact Committee. I am proud to have got a group of individuals together, who are passionate about making a difference on contemporary issues such as CSR, ESG and DEI, and I look forward to seeing great initiatives from that working group.”

With respect to the network’s commitment to CSR initiatives, he added: “Earlier in the year, our ‘Russell Bedford Cares’ campaign focused on Ukraine, and we continue to pray for peace and stability not only there, but in all parts of the world that continue to struggle in war, poverty and anguish.”

Paying tribute to some key figures who departed from the network this year, Stephen expressed his gratitude to retiring quality consultant, Jim Sylph, for his incredible contribution to the network and to retiring board members Armando Iannuzzi and Klaus-Peter Hillebrand; particularly acknowledging Klaus-Peter for his 12 years of service.

Stephen extended a heartfelt thank you to outgoing Chair, Bruce Saward, for his tremendous dedication and leadership of the board, while welcoming Daniel Ryba as the network’s new global Chair, saying: “I look forward to exciting, upcoming developments and new initiatives!”

Russell Bedford’s Central Office team received a significant enhancement in 2022, welcoming Fatme Ardali as Marketing and Member Relations Executive, Kathryn Davis as Events and Member Relations Manager and Lina Lemessiou as Director of Professional Standards.

Speaking about the growth of the Central Office team, Stephen said: “I look forward to the extra offerings and fresh focus we can provide to our members due to the increased resource at the centre.”

Moving on to network development, Russell Bedford welcomed new members, from all four regions of the world, and saw substantial growth in terms of recruiting firms and through increases in revenues of existing members. 

This year Russell Bedford was very humbled to receive an award, in recognition of the network’s work with Michael Quigley of Kataholos, for the Wellbeing Initiative of the Year at the 2022 International Accounting Bulletin Awards.

Speaking about the award which highlighted the network’s great contribution towards health and wellbeing, Stephen said: “This personally meant a lot to me and showed appreciation from the industry of the importance we place on looking after our people and ensuring they are both physically and mentally fit to provide the best possible service to their clients.”

Bringing the year to a close, the network once again came together, this time virtually, to mark its annual celebration of the network’s culture and values on ‘taking you further’ day.

Stephen commented: “It was wonderful seeing our firms from around the world raise more money for charity and promote their membership of our incredible network.”

In his concluding words, Stephen said: “It’s been yet another powerful, highly productive and indeed fun year for our network. The future is bright at Russell Bedford International. We shall continue to proceed into 2023, going further into a better future for our people and their clients. Enjoy the festive season, celebrate how far we have come, what we have achieved, and I shall see you in the New Year for even bigger, better and greater success!”


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