The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) award French accountancy leader René Rico with its highest honour, the IFAC Global Leadership Award in Honor of Robert Sempier.

The award was resented by immediate past president Rachel Grimes at the opening of the third day of the World Congress of Accountants 2018 (WCOA2018) in Sydney.

Grimes said: “During his term as IFAC President, he was a passionate advocate for standard-setting in the public interest, initiating, with international regulators and standard setters, enhancements that led to the current arrangements for setting international audit and ethics standards and helping to create the shared public-private model we recognize and still strongly support today.”

Ricol first joined IFAC’s board in 1997, and served as IFAC president from November 2002 to November 2004.

He has also held a number of national roles in France, including restricting the l'Agence Pour la Création d’Entreprises (APCE), where he led the adoption of a strategic plan and implementation of a new governance structure.

Ricol was also Chairman of “France Investissement” (France Investment) set up by the government in partnership with private investors to accelerate the development of capital investment in France and increase available funds for small and medium sized companies.

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In 2008, he led the development of a report about the financial crisis for President Nicolas Sarkozy who subsequently said in an interview that all the decisions made by the G4, G5, G20 were proposed in this report. René Ricol was subsequently appointed as National Credit Mediator to support and help businesses facing financial issues.

As General Commissioner for Public Investment from 2010 until 2012, he was in charge of the management of 35 billion euro of investments for the development of a future-oriented French economy.

Accepting his award, Ricol said: “IFAC is a unique organisation, and a fantastic example for the world of people coming from different countries and different cultures and different bodies. “

The award he received was first established in 2017 by the IFAC Board. It is designed to recognise who make outstanding contributions to the global accountancy profession. The award honours the contributions of Robert Sempier, IFAC’s first executive director and replaces two past IFAC Awards—the Robert Sempier Award (established in 1991) and the IFAC International Gold Service (IGS) Award (established in 2010).