Ainslie van Onselen, the CEO of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, has been named as the new chair of Chartered Accountants Worldwide in a milestone appointment that marks the first time a woman has held the role.
Van Onselen replaces Michael Izza, who has held the position for six years and is vacating the position after announcing earlier this year his plans to retire as CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales.
“It has been a privilege to be chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and to see the family grow from strength to strength over the last six years to include 15 member institutes and more than 1.8 million members and students worldwide,” Izza says.
“We have made huge inroads into leading the sustainability conversation, but there is more still to be done. I know the organisation is in safe and dynamic hands and Ainslie will build on what we have already achieved and continue to promote the vital role that Chartered Accountants play around the world.”
Van Onselen’s appointment, which received unanimous support from the board of the global organisation, is effective from 14 November 2023, for an initial two-year term.
The move not only marks the first time a woman has held the role, but also the first time the chair has hailed from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Van Onselen has paid tribute to Izza for ‘a phenomenal job in promoting the chartered accountancy profession’.
“It’s such an important time for the profession,” she says.
“With the world focused on sustainability, accountants have a vital role to play in driving sustainable business transformation - from instigating action through to evaluating strategies, as well as measuring and reporting performance.
“Social, cultural and environmental values stand right next to economic value. For a business, and the profession, to be truly sustainable in the long-term, they must show value creation across these areas.”
Van Onselen says the profession also plays a vital role in corporate ethics and integrity.
“There is much we can do together to ensure they remain the cornerstone of our profession," she says.
“Whether it’s opportunities in ESG, sustainability or AI, or working towards a more attractive profession and an even stronger ethical standing, we gain so much from working together.
“Michael has done a phenomenal job in promoting Chartered Accountants as trust leaders and incorporating new member institutes from all corners of the globe. I look forward to continuing this important work.”
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