Inbox: Finalists announced in NZICA Leadership Awards

Transformational leadership is the common quality displayed by finalists for New Zealand’s top professional accountant title in the 2011 New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Leadership Awards.
Independent director Jan Dawson, BNZ finance controller Nikki Fowler, and chancellor of Auckland University Roger France are up for the annual event’s premier award, the Crombie Lockwood Chartered Accountant of the Year recognising those at the pinnacle of the profession.
All three truly demonstrate effective leadership that has contributed to the success of their employer, their clients and the accounting profession in general.
Jan Dawson, the first woman in Australasia to lead ‘big four’ firm as CEO and chair of KPMG from 2006-2011, is recognised as an expert in corporate governance, risk management and as an audit partner. Under her visionary leadership, KPMG New Zealand was transformed into unified, high-capability network which increased its net revenue by 18 percent during her tenure, period which included two recessions.
As an independent director, Dawson now holds directorships at Air New Zealand, Westpac New Zealand, is deputy chair of Counties Manukau District Health Board and member of the University of Auckland Council. During her term leading KPMG New Zealand she was board member of KPMG Asia Pacific region and KPMG Australia and councillor of KPMG International. She is currently president of Yachting New Zealand.
Roger France, now in his third term as chancellor of Auckland University, has led many organisations through challenging times in changing roles from managing partner, to chief financial officer and as sought-after board member.
As executive director and acting CEO of Air New Zealand in 2001, France took charge during the challenges following Ansett Australia’s collapse in 2001. As managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand in Auckland for five years, he lifted the firm from ‘post-1987’ demoralisation into thriving practice.
France is current director of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation, chairman of Tappenden Holdings, and deputy chair of Air New Zealand. Past positions include chair of Blue Star Holdings Group and Fonterra’s Fair Value Share Review Committee.
Nikki Fowler has, in just 15 years, moved from traditional accounting practice to senior financial governance in the banking sector, achieving significant success as leader and manager committed to excellence. Since becoming financial controller for the BNZ in 2004, Fowler has led the global implementation of SAP, the transition to IFRS and the migration of processes back to New Zealand. This has involved building completely new – and award-winning – finance control team, while introducing robust new risk management and reconciliation framework and embedding culture of continuous improvement. significant increase in staff engagement from 55 percent in 2007 to 77 percent in 2011 is evidence of her excellence in leadership – along with the team winning the 2011 Finance Team of the Year Award at the CFO Summit.
• The NZICA Leadership Award winners will be announced on 30 December.
For finalists in the other four categories visit www.nzica.org.nz. M

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