The chief executive of ACCA has warned that the ICAEW should choose a chief
executive who will focus on collaboration – or risk the end of the Consultative
Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB).
Allen Blewitt made the remarks today in the wake of ICAEW chief executive
Eric Anstee’s retirement.
His comments underline the extent to which the ICAEW has alienated some
fellow institutes in recent years, and pose a striking challenge to Anstee’s
successor, being sought by recruitment consultants Boyden.
In a strongly worded interview following the announcement of ICAEW chief
executive Eric Anstee’s departure, Blewitt said that he thought Anstee was
‘jealous’ of the ACCA, and voiced concern that if the ICAEW continued its
strategy of consolidation then the CCAB could collapse.
The CCAB was set up in 1974 to give a single voice for the institutes on
government policy, and is a powerful force in communicating the views of the
profession. Its future was threatened last year too by the row over the ICAEW’s
proposed name change and differences over the future of continuing professional
‘If the ICAEW selection panel see the future of the UK and global accounting
profession as collaborative, we should be able to work like that. If [they
appoint] an Anstee clone, then they’re not interested in collaboration and will
drive their own agendas at all costs then CCAB won’t survive, its future will be
at risk,’ he said.
Blewitt said that Anstee had ‘clearly been a strong competitive force’, and
wished him well on his impending retirement, but said Anstee ‘envied’ the ACCA
and sought to emulate its ‘global business model’.
Other institutes were more guarded in their responses to the news.
A CIMA spokesman said: ‘CIMA has noted the announcement by the ICAEW that its
chief executive, Eric Anstee, is retiring. We would like to wish him all the
very best for the future.’
ICAS, which had a high-profile row with Anstee over the proposed change of
name of the ICAEW to the Institute of Chartered Accountants, also wished Anstee
President Norman Murray said: ‘We wish Eric well as he retires. We did not
see eye to eye on the proposed ICAEW name change, but we cooperated in many
other areas and we look forward to that continuing.’
CIPFA, which failed in its merger bid with the ICAEW, has yet to comment on
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