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Durham University Business School Brings Finance Sector Expertise Into The Classroom

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Durham University Business School has strengthened its already impressive roster of industry experts with the appointment of two new financial sector experts to its Professor in Practice initiative.

Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets and Executive Director of International at the Financial Conduct Authority, and Michael Izza, Chief Executive at the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales will each join the School’s faculty for a three-year term, ahead of the beginning of the 2023/24 academic year.

The Professors in Practice initiative brings experienced professionals from across a wide variety of disciplines and sectors into the business school and the classroom to share their skills, insights and knowledge directly with students, supplementing a rigorous academic curriculum with a first-hand, senior-level insight into current industry thinking.

Sarah Pritchard brings with her a wealth of expertise and insight built through a highly successful career across investigative, operational and legal roles in a range of government departments and in the private sector. She has focused extensively on financial crime, as the first Director of the UK’s National Economic Crime Centre, as well as holding global financial crime leadership roles in banking. She has also spent time as a commercial litigator and investigative lawyer in government.

Upon her appointment, Sarah Pritchard said;

“I am honoured to be a part of this initiative at Durham University, which will provide students with the opportunity to gain insight and first-hand knowledge about how the UK regulatory framework for the financial services industry operates to help markets function well. I’m really looking forward to sharing how the FCA is changing to be a data led, outcomes focused and national regulator, with locations in London, Leeds and Edinburgh. I’m also keen to hear from students about their view of the future skills and capabilities needed to continue to adapt to the changing nature of the financial services industry, and the opportunities and challenges of increased digitisation. I look forward to working with Durham university and their students in the years ahead.”

The initiative provides a further opportunity for the University’s faculty to directly connect with business practice and public policy, enabling their research to have an actionable, positive impact on society.

Michael Izza returns to Durham University where he undertook a Bachelor’s degree in Law before embarking on a highly successful career in the accounting and finance sectors. His career has had a global impact, holding roles as the Chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide, alongside his position with the ICAEW.

Upon his appointment, Michael Izza said;

“Good exchanges between academia and the accountancy profession has never been more important. The world is already very complex, and the overlay of generative AI, Sustainability and the transition to net zero will present huge new opportunities and risks. It will be an honour to work alongside colleagues at Durham University Business School in seeking to understand these.”

The initiative, which has been a staple of the School’s educational delivery for six years has become a vital means of ensuring the academic curriculum across each of the School’s well-established business and management programmes can continue to both meet and reflect of the modern demands of industry and to help students build the right skills, perspectives and attitudes for the future.

Dr Joanna Berry, Associate Dean for External Engagement commented on the Initiative, said;

“Our Professors in Practice represent a significant “brains trust” and provide valuable insight into the world of professional practice in each of their specific areas. We are hugely appreciative of their time and efforts to support our student’s career prospects by bringing knowledge, intelligence and perspective about their industry into our classrooms through guest lectures, masterclasses, one to one mentoring and student conversations.”

To extend its reach into industry further, the School celebrated its first gathering of Professors in Practice from across the university – bringing more than 60 representatives from the regional, national and international business community and third sector together to capture their thoughts on modern industrial and global challenges, with perspectives on the future of energy, sustainability, global impact, careers development, EDI and the future of STEM all playing key parts in the discussions.

Other experts currently holding Professor in Practice titles at the School include Sally Guyer, Global CEO at World Commerce and Contracting, Victoria Saporta, Executive Director, Prudential Policy at Bank of England, Robert Gillespie, a non-executive Director at RBS Group PLC and David Jakubovic, Senior Director of L&D and Open Innovation for Asia at Proctor and Gamble, amongst other equally renowned and experienced professionals.

Further information on Durham University Business School’s Professor in Practice initiative can be found via the School’s website.

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