Tax specialist joins property and mining business

A former senior HMRC tax expert has joined the board of property and gold mining business, The 79th Group.

Andy Cole, who was awarded a CBE in 2011 for his services to the revenue, will be a non executive director of the company, which currently operates a GBP50 million property portfolio in the UK and gold mining operations in Africa.

His experience and expertise will help The 79th Group – headquartered in Southport and with offices in Dubai and Tokyo - to provide the best possible advice and guidance to investors and clients, taking into account the raft of tax and other related regulatory legislation.

Having joined the Civil Service in 1975, Cole trained as a criminal and civil investigator before tackling a variety of roles involving the largest and more complex fraud and avoidance cases.

From 2009 he led HMRC’s compliance response to tackling offshore tax evasion and avoidance, including the ground breaking negotiation of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility - and similar agreements with the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and Switzerland.  

These initiatives recovered approximately GBP3.5 billion in unpaid duties to the Exchequer, regularised assets in the region of GBP15 billion and also led to the award of his CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

More recently, Cole worked on the development of the UK’s cross government strategy on global tax transparency, including initiatives such as the automatic exchange of information through the common reporting standard and public / central registers of beneficial share ownership accessible to law enforcement agencies.

Accountable for the deployment and delivery of approximately 2,000 investigation  specialists, technicians, accountants and insolvency experts across the UK, his team undertook approximately 50,000 interventions per annum, producing an annual yield GBP3-GBP4 billion.

Additionally, Andy was a senior member of HMRC’s governance and assurance groups including the Tax Dispute Resolution and Alternative Disputes Resolution Boards. 

Retiring from the HMRC in 2015, he is now an independent tax consultant advising overseas governments, major law firms and financial intermediaries on global tax compliance developments. 

Cole says: “I am delighted to be joining the 79th Group board at a time of exciting development for the business – particularly the gold mining initiative.  I am looking forward to working closely with the team to ensure the highest level of regulatory advice and guidance.”

David Webster, Chairman of The 79th Group, adds: “We could not have a better person on board to support our investors, partners and clients.  Andy has a unique skill set and his extensive experience at HMRC at a senior level is of huge value in complex tax and wider-based matters.”