Gather boosts corporate reporting offer with hire of best practice expert

BY Julian Gorham

Gather is delighted to welcome Mario Abela FCPA FCMA to his role as Head of Corporate Reporting. He joins on 1st September 2015.

A Visiting Professor at IESEG in Paris, he will be working with the Gather team to deliver annual reports that go beyond best practice, advising clients on reporting policy and standards, also contributing more broadly to the consultancy’s strategic output.

Mario brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Gather team having led major initiatives for improving corporate reporting on the international stage. He joins from The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organisation for the accounting profession, with 175 member bodies from around the world. IFAC establishes standards for the profession as well as broader policy-based activities.

At the IFAC, working out of London and New York, Mario was Leader, Research and Development, representing the organisation’s views on all financial reporting policy matters, but especially in key areas such as corporate reporting, research and thought leadership.

He was responsible for research and building IFAC’s relationship with the academic community, he established the first IFAC research centre at the University of Dayton and was the Lead on IFAC’s Accountability Now Campaign to promote better transparency and accountability by governments around the world.

He was the IFAC representative on the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency and was the co-lead in the IFAC’s work with the International Integrated Reporting Council to promote the adoption of Integrated Reporting across the private and public sectors.

Mario has held a range of finance positions in both the public and private sectors in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom, principally in accounting policy and standard setting. Prior to joining the IFAC, Mario’s roles included Communications Director at Deloitte IFRS Global Office, Research Director at the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group and Project Director at the Financial Reporting Council (Accounting Standards Board).

The world of reporting is becoming increasingly complex. Companies are having to manage changes in regulation, demands for greater transparency from investors and other stakeholders and the need to tell their story clearly and in a way that builds their reputation. And all within a communications environment dominated by technological change.

Gather is a strategic communications consultancy, with expertise in brand, digital, reporting, sustainability and video. Working mainly with FTSE 250 companies, it has a reputation for developing communications that are at once consistent, but particular and relevant to different stakeholders.

James Carnegie-Brown of Gather says, “By hiring someone of Mario’s calibre, Gather will be able to build this important strategic element into the compliance and regulatory fabric of its offer, weaving it seamlessly and more meaningfully into the process of annual report development.”

Professor Mario Abela says,

“I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work closely with Gather’s clients, helping them to navigate the complexities of best practice and understand the opportunities that lie within this much misunderstood field. I am also delighted to be joining Gather at such exciting time in its development.”