FRC's Senior Advisors

Role of the FRC's Senior Advisors

The Executive and the Board Committees are assisted by individual Senior Advisors who are subject matter experts. The Senior Advisors work with the Executive in either the Enforcement, Supervision, Regulatory Standards divisions or Audit Committee. They provide advice, feedback and mentoring and act as sounding boards for ongoing issues and topics.

Senior Advisors

  • Photo_Fiona Ellard

    Fiona Ellard

    Regulatory Standards Division

    Fiona is a Senior Adviser at The Investor Forum and a consultant on governance training at the International Corporate Governance Network. Fiona has over 35 years of investment and corporate governance experience, having worked at BlackRock for 17 years, where she was COO of the BlackRock Investment Institute, Deputy Chair of the Americas Investment Stewardship Committee and previously had senior product strategist roles in the Emerging Markets and UK Equity teams. Fiona began her career at UBS Asset Management where she was a UK equity portfolio manager.

    Fiona is a fellow of the Chartered Securities Institute.

  • Michael Hearty

    Audit and Risk Committee

    Michael is a former Finance Director General with the Welsh Government and has extensive public sector experience in strategic and operational leadership across a number of other large and complex central government departments such as Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Children Schools and Families.

    More recently, Michael has taken on a range of non-executive director and advisory roles with a number of public sector organisations such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and in the public health sectors in both England and Wales. In addition to an extensive public sector finance background, Michael also brings a range of experiences and a proven track record in the development and application of governance, risk and assurance arrangements in organisations and transformational change.

  • David Law

    Supervision Division

    1 April 2024

    David is a Chartered Accountant and retired from PwC in 2015 after 33 years. His career at PwC was primarily in financial services and included being the Global Leader for the Insurance practice, leading two audit business units and being the lead audit partner on large global clients.

    Since retiring from PwC, David has been a Non-Executive Director at Prudential PLC, chairing the Group Audit Committee for 7 years during a complex restructuring including two demergers and a share placing. He retires from the Board in May 2024, and stepped down as Chair of the Audit Committee in March 2024.

    Other relevant roles since retirement have included being CEO of PwC’s captive insurance company in Bermuda (2015 to 2019), a Member of Court at Edinburgh University (2020 to 2022), and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee (2021 to 2022).

  • Richard Lawrence

    Richard Lawrence

    Regulatory Standards Division

    Richard is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, having qualified with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is currently the Head of Accounting & Valuation Policy at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS), a role he has held since 2017. He has held a number of senior finance roles within RBS, and before that ABN AMRO NV, going back to 2003. Richard sits on a number of industry-focused committees at UK Finance and the ICAEW.

  • Richard Murray

    Richard Murray

    Enforcement Division (Conduct Committee)

    Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

    Richard was an Audit and Assurance partner for 27 years in the London office of Ernst & Young (now EY), until his retirement in 2011. He specialised principally in the audit of multinationals, both UK and US Listed, as well as many domestic UK Listed companies. In addition, he undertook several Investigative and Corporate Advisory assignments.

    At EY, Richard acted for a wide range of commercial and industrial enterprises mainly within the Extractive (Mining and Oil & Gas), Leisure (Tourism and Airlines) and Hospitality (Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants) sectors.

    Folowing his retirement from EY, Richard served for 3 years as a Non Executive Director and Audit Committee Chairman of JKX Oil & Gas Plc, before joining the FRC in October 2016, initially as a member of the Case Management Committee within the Enforcement Division.

  • Robert Overend

    Supervision Division

    1 April 2024

    Robert worked for EY throughout his professional career, including spending time on secondment in the US. He was a partner in the firm’s London office for 25 years prior to his retirement in 2020.

    As an audit partner he specialised in the manufacturing and aerospace sectors. Robert also worked for two years in the litigation support team advising companies in relation to complex accounting related legal disputes.

    He was Head of the firm’s Accounting Technical Department and a member of the then UK Accounting Standards Board. He subsequently became Audit Compliance Principal for the firm and head of its Professional Practice Group.

  • Photo_David Snell

    David Snell

    Enforcement Division (Conduct Committee)

    David was an Audit and Assurance partner in the London office of PwC until December 2018.

    He led PwC’s Law Firm Advisory Group, specialising in providing audit, consulting and transaction support services to the legal sector both in the UK and internationally.

    In addition he was an audit and transaction support partner working with Listed companies in the UK both on the Main Market and AIM.

    David developed a keen interest in Governance through his PwC career, having written many articles and reports on the subject (including a PwC report on Corporate Governance). He has presented on the subject on numerous occasions including chairing panels at the LSE on the importance of good governance.

    Since leaving PwC, he has undertaken various consulting projects through his own company as well as joining the Board of Simmons & Simmons LLP in November 2019, chairing their Audit and Risk Management Committees.

    David has worked in London for the whole of his professional career and has been instrumental in a number of initiatives over the years designed to promote London’s role as a major global city.

  • Andrew Vials

    Andrew Vials

    Supervision Division

    Andrew was a partner at KPMG for 28 years. He was lead audit partner for clients in both the commercial and financial services sectors. From 2004 he headed the firm's Department for Professional Practice providing advice on a wide range of financial and corporate reporting issues. During that time, he was a member of the IASB's IFRS Interpretations Committee.

    In 2014 then Andrew joined Grant Thornton as Head of National Assurance Services, the firm's centre of excellence for corporate reporting and audit matters, leaving in 2016.

    Andrew was previously a member of the Corporate Reporting Review Committee.

  • Howard Walpole

    Howard Walpole

    Regulatory Standards Division

    Howard is an actuary with a long-standing career in the insurance industry including Chief Risk Officer, Financial Risk Director, Solvency II Director and Chief Actuary roles which have covered strategic, operational, regulatory and climate related matters as well as M&A activities.  Most recently, he spent over 11 years within the Insurance division of Lloyds Banking Group but began his career as a consultant within Tillinghast (Willis Towers Watson – now WTW) and has worked internationally.

    In addition to Board and Executive experience of a “Category 1” insurer, Howard has also served on the Audit and Risk Committee of his local council.

  • Anne Whitaker

    Anne Whitaker

    Supervision and Enforcement Divisions (Conduct Committee)

    Anne Whitaker is a former EY Audit partner with a portfolio of non-Executive and charity roles, including independent NED and Audit Committee Chair at Markel International Insurance Company Ltd. As the former Head of Audit and Risk Partner for EY’s UK Financial Services Practice, Anne specialised in asset management audits, including funds and investment trusts as well as other financial services. Anne is a former Chair of the Risk and Audit Committee at Mitsubishi HC Capital UK plc (formerly Hitachi Capital (UK) plc. Some of Anne’s previous non-Executive roles include NED and Audit Committee Chair at Barts Health NHS Trust and Chair of the Audit and Risk Assessment Committee of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). She has also previously volunteered as an advisor for MicroVentures (a microfinance charity operating in Malawi).

    Anne was previously Chair of the Audit Quality Review Committee and a member of the Conduct and Supervision Committees until March 2022.