SW makes key appointments in pursuit of further growth

07 July 2024 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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SW Accountants & Advisors has made two senior appointments in Australia, promoting Luke Fernandes to partner in Melbourne and adding Matt Birrell to its national executive board.

A tax partner and property & infrastructure specialist with the firm since 2018, Birrell takes up the seat vacated by Hayley Underwood, who is stepping down after three years to head the firm’s assurance & advisory division.

Fernandes meanwhile joined SW’s Victorian predecessor Moore Stephens from BDO in 2012, originally within its business & private client advisory division before switching his focus to property tax and financial services.

SW makes key appointments in pursuit of further growth

Luke Fernandes

“Luke’s dedication and commitment to our clients and team have been exemplary,” said SW CEO Duane Rogers of the promotion. “His involvement in mentoring, training, and participation in our financial services, agribusiness and automotive industry groups showcases his leadership. Recently completing his master of tax law further underscores his expertise in his field.”

Fernandes’ masters was undertaken with the University Of Melbourne, where he originally earned a commerce degree in accounting and finance before joining BDO as a graduate in 2008. While there, he developed special expertise in M&A advisory to the automotive sector, before then crossing to Moore four years later, with the local firm then rebranding as ShineWing in 2015.

SW has since sharpened its branding twice over, most recently late last year with a view to furthering its national expansion and cracking the country’s top 20 networks, where it presently sits just two spots behind Moore with revenues of around $75 million. The firm has also been bolstering its leadership, with Fernandes’ partnership promotion following that of several others and taking its overall tally to above 40.

Matt Birrell

One of those partners, Matt Birrell, will now join SW’s executive board, alongside Rogers, chair Stephen O’Flynn, partners Greg Will and Bessie Zhang – who were both appointed last year – and independent director Sangeeta Venkatesan, who is also a director of Mercer Investments and kicked off her career at KPMG in Mumbai before going on to conquer the banking world.

“Matt’s strong focus on commercial and advisory support for his clients reflects his strategic capabilities, which will be a tremendous asset to our board,” stated O’Flynn. “His experience and insights will be crucial as we navigate our key priorities and continue to drive the firm’s success. We look forward to the valuable contributions Matt will make in his new role.”

Based out of Melbourne, Birrell joined SW in 2018 following a more than two-decade career at KPMG, having joined the Big Four firm back in 1995 on the back of a law and economics degree at Monash. Previously a tax partner at KPMG, Birrell currently heads up SW’s property & infrastructure group with specialisations in M&A, transactions and structuring.

“I’m truly honoured to be voted onto the board by my colleagues and I’m genuinely excited to take an active role in upholding our firm’s governance and strategy,” Birrel said. “We have an outstanding commitment to quality and risk management, and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow board members to continue driving our success in these areas as we grow.”