Group Chief Executive - Karl Sandall FCIB, QFP, FAIA (Hon)
Karl spent 26 years at a senior level with a major clearing bank before joining TaxAssist Accountants in 2000 as Operations Director – taking on the role of Group Chief Executive Director in 2002. Karl is a ‘fellow’ of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, and also a trustee of the Open Youth Trust based in Norfolk dedicated to helping young people in the country. He is also recognised by the British Franchise Association as a Qualified Franchise Professional (QFP) and is a trustee of its charitable trust helping disadvantaged individuals benefit from franchising.
In 2017, Karl was awarded an honorary membership of the Association of International Accountants (AIA) in recognition of his contribution to accounting and finance. Karl oversees the running of the company and the whole network on a day-to-day basis, as well as the global recruitment of new franchisees, ensuring the company continues to expand rapidly.
Karl's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Group Operations Director - Sarah Robertson MSc, Dip M, FCIM, FIDM, Chartered Marketer
Sarah previously founded a successful Brand Agency in 1994, with offices located in Norwich and London.
Sarah was the Managing Director of the group and it became one of the foremost marketing communications agencies in the Eastern region with billings in excess of £4.5m. Sarah has over 30 years' experience in the marketing and advertising industry, working with a broad range of national and regional brands, specialising in financial services.
She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing. Sarah joined the TaxAssist Accountants Board in September 2004 and for 12 years was responsible for marketing strategy, brand development, shop fronts, practice management and business development strategies for our accountants.
In 2016 Sarah was appointed as the Group Operations Director and has overall responsibility for the operational overview of the UK network and the TaxAssist Training Academy. She has a vast working knowledge of the network and is fully focussed on the future needs of the business including the utilisation of technologies to improve practice performance and profitability. Sarah's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Group Business Development Director - James Mattam (BSc. Hons)
James has spent his entire full-time career with TaxAssist Accountants since completing his honours degree in Business Information Systems. After spending five years as our IT Manager building many websites and providing support to the franchisees, he then took on the role as our Marketing Manager in 2004 to face a new challenge.
James went on to become Senior Business Development Manager driving a team to deliver record numbers of leads to the network and ensure brand consistency was maintained through online, print media and the shop fronts and offices within the UK network.
His recent achievements involved the launch of a national television brand campaign, the first of its kind in the UK for the accounting sector, and has expanded the social media programme for the UK franchise network to drive more awareness in each local territory. James joined the board in 2016 and is responsible for marketing strategy, brand development, shop fronts, practice management and business development strategies for the network. James' LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Group Finance Director - Phil Sullivan (BSc. Hons), ACIB
During a 26-year career with HSBC Bank plc Phil achieved Executive Management status and undertook roles covering a wide range of disciplines including retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, credit control, strategic planning, human resources and training. Immediately prior to leaving HSBC Phil was Area Director for Leicestershire, a role with responsibility for all aspects of the bank's retail banking & commercial business in the county and corporate banking activities in East Midlands. He was responsible for 400 staff operating from 36 offices.
Phil established his own business in 2006 providing corporate and commercial advisory services to selected business clients. He specialised in assisting with the creation of strategies for large transactions (including business expansion, sales, acquisitions and exit/succession planning) and business financing solutions (bank and non-bank borrowing, raising unquoted equity and re-financing). His main business interests lie in corporate finance and management/leadership theory and practice.
Phil was appointed as an Adviser to the Board in 2007 and became an Executive Director in October 2008. Phil's main responsibilities include UK and international finance, internal financial control, company secretarial responsibilities and a major input into strategic planning and management of major projects. In addition, he has a remit to develop our relationships with the banks and other lenders in order to enhance the services available to our business overall. Phil's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Group Commercial Director - Daren Moore FCCA
Daren Moore joined The TaxAssist Direct Group Board of Directors in February 2018. Daren has spent his whole career in the accountancy practice sector, having worked his way up from accounts trainee to a member of the Management Board of Price Bailey LLP, a Top 25 regional firm, where he has an outstanding track record of achievement. Daren’s roles whilst in practice have been varied and include portfolio development, having twice built up fee banks with different practices as a client portfolio partner, practice management as senior partner in a sizeable office with 5 fellow partners and 50 staff and business development through his role as head of sales and marketing. His Management Board role also involved a number of strategic planning functions, looking at business growth, acquisition opportunities, investment analysis, team building and incentive initiatives, innovation in technology and cloud services and broader operational planning.
With a solid knowledge of the accounting and taxation industry, in which he is a well-known and respected figure, Daren will bring his 26 years of expertise to the role of Group Commercial Director to ensure the continued success and growth of the network in the UK and internationally. Daren’s LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Group Non - Executive Directors
John has specialised in franchising for over 20 years. He thinks of himself as a business man first and a solicitor second. His "no nonsense, practical, commercial approach" is appreciated by clients as much as is his unrivalled knowledge of the franchising sector.
He read law at University College London and worked in the City of London for Mitsui, a Japanese trading company, and in the Middle East for Turner & Newall Plc.
John then worked in sales and contract management roles in the oil industry, first in the UK and then abroad before deciding that he could provide more commercially focused and practical advice than he was receiving from lawyers. He re-trained as a solicitor and worked for two leading international law firms prior to setting up Chambers & Co in 1998. After establishing himself as one of the UK’s leading franchise lawyers and acting for 20% of the franchisors in the UK, Ashton KCJ acquired the practice in early 2012.
John is a former member of the now disbanded British Franchise Association Legal Committee, and regularly speaks on franchising law both at home and abroad. John joined the board in August 2014 and John's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Mark Fordham, Franchisee representative
Mark’s career has been spent entirely in the Financial Services industry. He spent the early part working for NatWest Bank in Retail, Corporate and Investment Banking including spells in Corporate Lending and the Training department where he taught Financial Analysis (Balance sheets, cashflow forecasts, profit and loss accounts and bookkeeping).
He also taught Investment Management including personal tax at degree level for 14 years. The latter part of his banking career was spent qualifying as an auditor and then planning and managing a team of 150 auditors to run audits across the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
Mark was awarded his TaxAssist Accountants franchise is 2003 and built up a client base in St Albans and Harpenden in Hertfordshire. He won the TaxAssist Fastest Growth Award for three years in a row, as well as Accountant of the Year and the British Franchise Association Bronze award in 2009. In 2012, nine years after starting his franchise, he sold the business with 900 clients to an incoming franchisee. Mark joined the board in January 2015 and Mark's LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.