Anstee denies Durgan link to departure

Eric Anstee, ICAEW chief executive, has strongly denied that he has stepped
down from the role in response to controversy surrounding the award of preferred
supplier status to a company majority owned by council member Graham Durgan.

After the announcement that Anstee will retire, Accountancy Age
spoke to him about his and the ICAEW’s future, and the reason behind his
decision to step down.

He said the pressure of work had taken him away from home, and he would be
spending more time with his wife. He totally refuted any link between his
decision and the controversy over the ‘perceived conflict of interest’
controversy that had surrounded then incoming ICAEW president Graham Durgan.

‘I am genuinely retiring,’ said Anstee. ‘I will stay in the role until we
find a successor.’

Discussing his time at the ICAEW, Anstee was certain that he was leaving the
institute in a better condition than when he took up the role.

‘We’ve grown so much in the international field. Before the institute was in
reverse, given that business is global,’ said Anstee.

Although the attempt to merge with CIPFA had failed in the vote, Anstee
reiterated that the majority of members were behind the decision and the
institute must work more closely with the public sector body.

‘I regret we didn’t get the majority required. We’ve jointly set up our
public sector special interest group. Those against the merger may well change
their mind in the future.’

Although many ICAEW members in practice had criticised Anstee’s approach to
managing their needs, he believed that the advent of continuing professional
development helped the institute ‘align’ with members’ needs.

‘It’s a whole different approach from when we just set a qualification. With
CPD, wherever our members work, they all have something there to help their

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