Helen Brand

Helen Brand (1980s)

Since graduating with a degree in Politics from Exeter, Helen Brand has gone on to run one of the world’s largest and most successful professional bodies, and been instrumental in its continued international development.

Helen became president of the students’ union aged 21, after completing a degree in Politics at the University. She believes her active engagement in student politics helped show her she had leadership potential.

She rejected the traditional graduate training scheme route and went straight into international development in professional accountancy. The hands-on experience this gave her enabled her to move rapidly through the ranks and she joined ACCA, the world’s leading body for professional accountants, as head of international development in 1996. Director roles in strategy, markets and operations led to Helen being appointed ACCA chief executive in 2008.

She is passionate about the role the profession can play in improving business and society, taking a special interest in the development of emerging economies and improving the transparency and usefulness of corporate reporting.