Duncan Swift, Corporate Advisory Services Partner and Head of the Food Advisory Group at Moore Stephens, has been appointed President of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

As President, Swift will work with the R3 senior management team to help shape R3’s direction, as well as supporting its day-to-day operations. His main areas of focus for his year-long presidential term will be promoting the value of the insolvency and restructuring profession and R3 membership, ensuring high standards are maintained throughout the profession and wider framework, and campaigning to tackle late payment.

Swift said “For the past three decades, R3 membership has been an integral part of a career in insolvency and restructuring, and the organisation has offered crucial representation and support to the profession, and insight into the major issues affecting it.”

“I want R3 to remain at the forefront of the key issues affecting the profession and the people and businesses it supports, and ensure that the UK continues to have a first-class insolvency and restructuring framework – one that rescues businesses, preserves jobs and helps people manage their finances.”

Swift will also look to ensure high standards are maintained across the insolvency and restructuring profession, ahead of an expected review of its regulatory framework.

Swift said “The insolvency profession has a position of immense responsibility in the economy, one that involves protecting the interests of creditors, employees and consumers, and individuals in debt, and for pursuing and rectifying governance and financial wrongdoing.”

“Great trust is placed in us to uphold the law, and we need to make sure that trust is justified through our commitment to doing the right thing – setting and maintaining high standards, and making sure the oversight of our profession is effective and timely.”

“This year, with insolvencies rising, our profession will undoubtedly come under the spotlight as the Government is expected to consult on the regulatory framework for insolvency practitioners. We must show we consistently carry out our work ethically and professionally so the Government listens to what we have to say about how regulation works and introduces changes that help, rather than hinder, our profession and the people we support.”

“I’m determined to use my term in office to highlight the value of the work our profession does, to ensure that Government fully understands the impact any changes to legislation may have on our profession and the people it supports, and to campaign to ensure that any proposed changes that may be detrimental or have unintended consequences do not make it into legislation.”

Working in the food sector, Duncan Swift is familiar with the link between late payment and insolvency and is determined to campaign for sanctions for late payers.

“In my experience, a substantial number of businesses have problems that stem from late payment – problems that could easily be avoided if payment practices were better. As R3 President, I will work with the Small Business Commissioner, the Chartered Institute of Credit Management that oversees the Prompt Payment Code and other organisations to encourage the Government to take action on this issue.”

Emma Lovell, R3’s Chief Executive Officer, said “We’re delighted to welcome Duncan as our 2019-20 president. His extensive experience working with businesses of all sizes and across all areas of insolvency will be invaluable in helping us ensure our work continues to support the profession, and that the insolvency and restructuring landscape in the UK continues to remain first-class.”

At the same time that Duncan Swift becomes R3 president, BDO partner and current R3 deputy vice-president Colin Haig becomes R3’s new vice-president. A new R3 deputy vice-president will be appointed later this year.