Hazlewoods, the Gloucestershire based business advisers and chartered accountants, have appointed a new Associate Partner, Hannah Griffin.
With more than 16 years of forensic and litigation experience built up from Grant Thornton and EY, Hannah brings with her a wealth of expertise and drive, as she looks to support the development and growth of the Hazlewoods forensic practice.
Having been in her new role for two weeks, Hannah answered questions on where she has come from and what she aims to achieve in her career with Hazlewoods.
How did your forensic career begin and what made you pursue that particular service?
I’d always had an interest in the police force and crime, from watching programmes like Silent Witness. The collapse of Barings Bank in the 1990’s fascinated me and whetted my appetite to find out more about forensic accounting.
I suppose where it all really started, was when I joined Grant Thornton and did a secondment in forensics. My boss, alongside many other individuals, helped me to find my way into the area. In my early years as a forensic accountant, I did work on several criminal cases but ended up preferring civil cases.
Why did you choose a new opportunity at Hazlewoods?
COVID-19 provided a period for me to reflect and I realised life was short. I saw a new opportunity, everyone around me was saying I could do it and I had worked really hard over the years to build up strong contacts and provide a quality service. So, I went for it.
I was really taken with Hazlewoods. They are a forward-thinking organisation – streets ahead in terms of sector focus. They stood out as a mid-tier firm and I realised that the type of work I did would lend itself well to the types of clients and expertise Hazlewoods has.
I immediately felt like I was part of a team, surrounded by people that I can really learn from and grow with. We are all continuously learning and so it is good to be in an environment that’s innovative yet supportive.
With just a few weeks into the role, how have you found the experience so far?
After a solid 17 months at home, it is great to be back in an office and everyone has been so welcoming. Time certainly doesn’t stand still though, as there were already three business opportunities waiting for me on the day I arrived, and another landed the following day!
When applying for the role, you obviously don’t get a full understanding of who you’ll be working with, both in terms of fellow employees, clients, or contacts. Now that I’ve learnt more about them, it has really impressed me. There is clear evidence of real expertise and calibre, which has propelled my excitement and motivation for the role further.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role going forward and do you have any particular aspirations for the future?
I feel there are some exciting times ahead. I’m looking forward to playing my role in developing the forensics practice and expanding on the type of work that we do. I would like to see Hazlewoods dedicated forensics team grow over time, bringing in revenue alongside the other well established Hazlewoods sector/service specialisms.
Who has influenced or inspired you when it comes to how you approach your work?
I would have to say my two former bosses from Grant Thornton and EY. I knew I could always count on their honesty and integrity, even though I may not have been overly receptive to some development areas!
I also believe that a strong team can inspire your approach and attitude to work. You really can’t beat coming together without a hierarchy and just sharing ideas. There are so many people that have helped me develop my own style – too many to name!
What piece of advice would you give to someone just beginning their career?
Follow your heart and do what you enjoy – although I feel that the younger generation are quite good at this. You have to find something that you want to get out of bed for.
It is also important to take opportunities as they present themselves – just give it a go, you never know what will happen.