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Change of senior partner

Devine ushers in new era at Alexander Sloan

Allison DevineAllison Devine has risen from trainee to become one of the youngest senior partners in a Scottish professional services firm and the first woman to take over at accountancy practice Alexander Sloan.

Ms Devine joined the 150-year-old business as a trainee chartered accountant on her graduation from university in 1999 and was appointed partner in 2013, aged 34. 

She takes the reins from Andy McBean, who retired at the end of last year.

She said: “I intend to try to carry on where Andy has so successfully left off.   I am very proud to have been appointed to this role.

“Alexander Sloan is a very long established firm but it has never stood still. It is more important than ever that we are not only receptive to changes in the profession but also that we strive to anticipate them, bespoke service lines accordingly, and continue to be pioneers in our specialisms. 

“We must lead by example and set ourselves apart.  We cannot take anything for granted.”

Phil Morrice, managing partner, said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Allison as senior partner. She has been with the firm for 18 years and she is absolutely in tune with our ethos. 

“She is also acutely aware of how quickly change occurs in the profession and of the need not only to stay abreast of but also to keep ahead of events and to involve all our people as the firm progresses through its second century. 

“We would all like to record our thanks to Andy whose contribution to the firm has been immense over more than three decades. His last 10 years as senior partner have been of particular significance to our strategy.”

McBean, who steps down after 33 and a half years with Alexander Sloan, trained with Grahams, Rintoul and gained experience with firms such as Arthur Young (now EY) and Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC). He had been senior partner for 10 years.

He said: “It has been a wonderful anniversary year and I feel I am bowing out on a high note after our 150th anniversary Civic Reception in the City Chambers and all the other events of the year. It is remarkable to reflect on the firm’s proud history.

“The profession is changing all the time, in terms of standards and the way we provide services. The senior partner does not have all the answers or make all the decisions. Leadership, if anything, is about utilising the people and the skills that you have.

“I am particularly proud of building a greater presence in advisory services, which is the future, and of helping to bring on younger people such as Allison and Phil who are now leaders.”

Mr McBean is considering non-executive roles with some of the many public sector bodies he has advised.  He will also maintain his role as trustee of the Edwin Morgan Trust, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the poet’s birth in 2020.

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