Michael Izza is about to run the gauntlet in his new post as chief executive
of the ICAEW. As the
successor to Eric Anstee, his tenure begins with a list of difficulties,
challenges and hoary old problems to overcome.
Anstee leaves him with the issue of a merger with one or more of the other
institutes still to be resolved, and a membership that needs winning over from
its current position of outright suspicion.
Then there’s relations at the CCAB that still require some healing and the
need to compete more effectively with other bodies that have, on one hand,
stolen a march on the institute internationally and, on the other, chipped away
at the ICAEW’s reputation as the only qualification of merit for UK plc.
Izza will need everyone’s full support. Institute grandees cannot afford a
perception to develop that his appointment, as an internal candidate, was
anything other than the selection of the best man for the job.
The new CEO’s appearance as the only internal candidate on a long list of 12
would seem to point to the fact that the powers behind the throne were keen for
someone to come in from the outside, a serious City player, somewhat like the
If there were any doubts about Izza being first choice for the job, he would
be seriously undermined in his efforts to achieve anything significant.
The key thing to remember now is that Izza has not only the future of the
institute in his hands, but potentially the future of all the professional
bodies. A merger, now or within a couple of years, would propel the remaining
institutes to meet the competitive challenge and force widespread change.
For that reason alone, all eyes are now on Izza.
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