New Managers' Conference

For new and aspiring managers in accountancy practices

The New Managers' Conference is for recently promoted managers or those who have been in the role for less than two years. The conference will help delegates improve their current skill set and focus their attention on the non-technical aspects of their role. 

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Full conference agenda

Louise Conner, Mercia Group Ltd

The conference will kick off with a reflection session focusing on the difficulties we face or anticipate we will face as we step into the new role of a manager.

We will focus on these key points and discuss ways in which we can navigate our way around them, sharing tips and focusing on the strategy needed to be a great leader.

Malcolm Kodia, Velocity Training Ltd

The main areas covered in this session will be: 

Personality Traits:

  • What are personality traits?
  • The difference between introverts and extroverts

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

  • What is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)?
  • The Myers Briggs Personality Test
  • Analysts, Diplomats, Sentinels, Explorers
  • DISC

Team Building

  • What is a team?
  • The team life cycle
  • Motivating and influencing teams

Michelle Syson, Mercia Group Ltd

The ups and downs of modern busy life cause lots of different pressures, and having to manage these pressures is inevitable for all of us. It is important that we understand the different sources of pressure, the effect this pressure is having on us and the people around us, and to keep a check on how we are managing it.

Topics will include:

  • Pressure vs stress
  • Recognising our own triggers
  • Self-care techniques
  • Coping strategies
  • Strengthening our resilience

Hannah Kirby-Suttie, Wilmington Plc

In this session join Hannah Kirby-Suttie to explore the ever-present challenge of finding the time to do the work that really matters. Hannah will draw from her experience of working with hundreds of managers to highlight the most common reasons why time runs short, and what we can do to take control of our day.

Dr James Bannerman, Creative Change Agent

The purpose of this ‘Assertion in the Workplace’ session by Dr James Bannerman - the best-selling author of Genius! and Business Genius! - is to help delegates handle difficult conversations in the workplace more ‘assertively’, as and when required. In the process, this session will explore the following:

  • What makes assertiveness ‘easy’? What makes assertiveness ‘difficult’? 
  • The meaning of ‘assertiveness’ (and in what ways assertive communication is different to aggressive communication, passive communication and manipulative communication) 
  • Insights from the psychology of ‘Transactional Analysis’ and the importance of ‘tone of voice’ 
  • The I.S.A. Assertiveness Technique

Louise Conner, Mercia Group Ltd

The world of management can sometimes feel like a daunting one as you attempt to figure out how to manage your team, tasks and individuals. Some days we may feel like we are losing touch of how we got to where we are and may have that inner feeling of self-doubt.

This session will focus on confidence building and making the journey to becoming an established manager an easier one. Topics will include:

  • Recognising your achievements
  • Self-belief techniques
  • Managing yourself and others
  • Internal and external networking

Conference speakers

Louise Conner is Mercia’s Management and Skills Trainer. She has worked in the financial services industry for 22 years, 18 of which have been within the Learning and Development arena. This experience has allowed Louise to perfect her motivational coaching model. She has a diverse range of courses, focusing on transferable skills within the workplace. Louise always aims to make her courses as interactive as possible to keep them fun and engaging. Her passion lies within training, and she always gets great job satisfaction from seeing people grow and develop along their career paths.

Malcom Kodia

Malcolm has worked with many organisations across diverse markets, in both the government and public sector, Defence, MOD, Bank of England, Fire and Rescue, Police Forces, NHS, Local Authorities, Rail as well as the Food and Construction areas and well-known Car Manufacturers.

With over 27 years training experience, mainly in the corporate environment, Malcolm’s style of training is fun yet professional, always ensuring that the learning process is easy to follow for all levels of delegates.

As an experienced consultant, presenter and trainer for 27 years, he has worked extensively in the field of Sales Training, Customer Service, Emotional Intelligence, Mental Health Awareness in the workplace, Dealing with difficult people, Train the Trainer, Supervisory skills, Leadership skills, High impact presentation skills, Interpersonal skills, Personal effectiveness, Anger and stress management, Negotiating skills, Time management, Communication skills, Team building, Dealing with difficult people and many more.

Malcolm also provides training in many areas of IT (Microsoft).


Hannah Kirby-Suttie joined Wilmington plc in late 2021 as Head of Talent, Development and Engagement. Her portfolio includes learning & development, leadership development, wellbeing, employee listening and communications, as well as talent development and succession. Prior to joining Wilmington, Hannah spent more than 10 years as a learning and talent specialist in the construction and social housing sectors, having previously held commercially operational roles in sales, logistics and customer success. She drives strategic and transformative solutions, experiencing first-hand what it takes to consider and implement modernisation and change of an organisation’s people approach.

Michelle, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (FCA), has 15 years’ experience in the professional services and finance industry. She began her career as an auditor at Deloitte, where she developed her skills in business analysis, auditing and accounting. Her passion for learning and development led her to become the Learning Manager for the office, and then onwards to a secondment into Deloitte's Learning and Development team. Here, she utilised her expertise to create and present courses designed to enhance the skills of professionals in the industry, as well as leading the Facilitator Development Programme, to train excellent new presenters and facilitators.

For the past 10 years she has worked at Mercia as Head of Live Training and Head of Client Success and Operations Performance. In both roles, Michelle uses her background in accountancy, her experience as a senior manager and her positive approach to continuous improvement and change to help balance the needs of clients, internal teams and the business, often in uncertain and pressured circumstances.

In addition to her accountancy credentials, Michelle is a mentor, a certified Mental Health First Aider and an advocate for positive mental health, wellbeing and resilience in the workplace. She has written numerous materials on these subjects, helping individuals and organisations understand the importance of mental health and providing them with practical strategies to enhance their wellbeing and resilience.

Dr James Bannerman is a Creative Change Agent who combines creativity with psychology to help businesses innovate (eg. Aston Martin, Disney, DLA Piper, Duracell, Eversheds, HSBC, NFU Mutual, Mercia Group, Schroders, Unilever and the European Space Centre). He also lectures on business ‘innovation, creativity, enterprise’ on the MBA programmes at Grenoble Ecole de Management and Warwick Business School (where he has twice been awarded the ‘Outstanding Teacher Award’: 2007/08 and 2010/11), and on business management and leadership at Oxford Brookes University, where he recently completed his PhD on the impact of lateral thinking upon organisational performance. 

Before working with businesses, James was a platinum-selling songwriter (BMG), a freelance cartoonist (eg Punch), is trained in clinical psychotherapy and has an M.A.Hons from Edinburgh University in English Literature. More recently, Dr James Bannerman authored two best-selling books - Genius! and Business Genius! (both published by Pearson) - which were fortunate enough to received positive endorsements from Edward de Bono and Tony Buzan, and they have since gone on to be translated into multiple languages around the world, from Italian to Japanese.

One Day Conference
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Previous New Managers' Conferences

Explore the programme of our previous New Managers' Conferences:

2023 New Managers' Conference

2022 New Managers' Conference