ICAEW chief executive Eric Anstee has stepped down.
Anstee, who has been embroiled in some of the bitterest disputes in the
profession during his time in the role, formally announced his retirement today.
The institute said that he has ‘put [the] institute on the map’.
Institute president Ian Morris said: ‘When we took the decision to appoint a
chief executive in 2003 we did so because we realised the need for firm
leadership. Eric took the role, committing to a period of three years. His
appointment has been more than vindicated.’
Anstee had ‘driven the institute forward at a dramatic pace,’ Morris added.
Council members are understood to have been told the news yesterday, with his
decision having been made as early as January.
The body issued the news this morning, simultaneously outlining a long list
of Anstee’s achievements, citing his establishment of a Global Accounting
Alliance amongst other things.
But his tenure may well be remembered more for the failed merger attempts
with CIMA and CIPFA, and for the handling of the fiasco over the award of
preferred supplier status to the company of the institute’s former
president-elect Graham Durgan.
The timing of his departure will itself raise further questions that it is
more of a resignation than a retirement. The institute has announced the news in
the middle of its annual meeting of council members, at which senior institute
officials have been discussing the body’s handling of the Durgan affair.
A key review of internal controls by president Ian Morris was due to be
outlined at the meeting.
‘There’s no connection at all,’ Anstee told Accountancy Age.
‘And Graham did the right thing stepping down, he acted with great
integrity,’ he added.
Anstee said he had told the institute in September 2005 he was thinking of
doing just one more year of his annual contract, then confirmed in January that
this would be the case.
His time in the role has seen great change at the institute, with his attempt
to consolidate CIPFA and CIMA with the ICAEW, while trying to change the name of
the institute to ICA creating the greatest controversy.
He also oversaw the introduction of continuing professional development for
members, and most recently looked to grow the institute’s profile and influence
Anstee is prepared to stay until the end of his current contract, which runs
out at the end of the year, as the institute looks for his successor.
Accountancy Age will have more comment from key industry figures throughout
today on Anstee’s departure.
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