The new chairman of DFK UK & Ireland has vowed to continue the progress made under his predecessor.

Peter O’Connell, managing partner of Shaw Gibbs in Oxford, officially took over the role from Peter Winter, managing partner of CBW in London, at the DFK UKI annual conference in Newcastle. O’Connell has been serving as deputy chair over the past 12 months and will now serve four years as chairman of the association, which has 16 members, across 25 offices with 961 professional staff.

Peter O’Connell:

“They are huge shoes to fill,” he said. “Somebody once said to me that you are best to take on a role like this when the person previously in the role has done a bad job because, that way, things can only improve on your watch! However, Peter Winter has done a great job over the past four years in leading the association and has been an inspiration, especially with everything that we have all been through. We’ve made great progress and I want to continue that. As an association, it’s vitally important that we remain outward looking and that we work together to offer an even greater service to all of our clients on a national and international level.

“That means collaborating with one another in a constructive way and if one member makes a mistake, we can share the learning from that so we can all avoid making the same mistake again. It also falls upon all of us to encourage more inward investment into the UK and Ireland and, by sharing ideas and offering support to members, this is something the association can help us all to achieve.”

Peter Winter:

Winter said: “The annual conference was an uplifting event and was the perfect way to draw to a close my time as chairman. What it showed is that, even though we have all got used to speaking to each other on Zoom or Teams, people still want to meet in person and that people buy from people and not directories.

“My time as chairman of DFK UKI has been one of transition during a very exciting period for the association. We have a collective vision and Peter will deliver that vision in his own way and in his own style. But he’s not on his own and, just as I’ve had, there will be lots of support for him and that is what makes the association so special.”

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