Big changes for major NZ firm

by Hannah Norton04 Mar 2015
From new appointments to netball sponsorship, lots of big things are happening New Zealand's largest accounting and business advisory firm.

Last Thursday Crowe Horwath announced the employment of Anthony Grayson as principal for the business performance team.

For the past four years, Grayson has run his own management consultancy business, providing advisory services to both private and publicly listed companies.

Prior to that, Grayson held senior positions with two New Zealand banks, focusing on the top 250 corporate and institutional clients across the country as part of a global business offering.
His job involves working with industry sector clients across the firm’s nationwide network of 24 offices.

“Crowe Horwath has a wealth of talented and respected advisors throughout the company and I’m particularly looking forward to working with clients alongside my domestic and global colleagues,’’ Grayson said.

“I find this firm a really attractive proposition and that’s for a number of reasons. One key reason has been the recent change in ownership… it used to be publicly listed in Australia, and that structure could often put major demands on a subsidiary business in New Zealand to meet the expectations of the shareholder at the expense of a longer-term more sustainable business built around customers."

“That’s where some of the New Zealand subsidiaries of Australian-listed entities (doesn’t matter whether it’s banks or other types of firms) struggle with some of the unrealistic expectations of the parent company which doesn’t equate to what clients are experiencing in their local market.”

In December last year the New Zealand firm was purchased by private wealth management business Findex, which is based in Australia.

“We have a situation now where effectively a New Zealand business - which is pretty much left to its own devices- has a fantastic footprint up and down the country, and has a really strong presence in all things New Zealand, such as agriculture. We’ve got a large farming and significant small-to-medium sized enterprise customer base as well. The change in ownership to a privately owned wealth management company will allow us to bring additional value-add products and services to our customer base – and those are the things that really attract me [to this role]. That’s what I’m about – differentiating ourselves in terms of providing value.”

New Zealand chief operating officer for Crowe Horwath, Phil Mulvey, said the firm’s national business performance team had a key role in advising businesses with a national focus.

“This appointment demonstrates the value we put on business knowledge,” he said. “Ant is a huge asset to our business.”

In the same week, Crowe Horwath also announced its sponsorship of netball team, the SKYCITY Mystics - the northern region franchise of the ANZ Championships.

SKYCITY Mystics chief executive officer Julie Paterson said she was delighted to have the firm’s backing, as it would give an extra level of financial support both on and off the court.

Support of the team provided an opportunity for Crowe Horwath to give back to the community, managing principal northern region Andrew Sayers said.

“It also meshes well with our business strategy of supporting women in business across a spectrum of working environments, not just in the more traditional office environment.”