I want to begin my first president’s column by acknowledging the debt I owe to my predecessors in this role. Over the past few days I have been reflecting on the qualities of previous presidents I have known. Each has brought their own style and special contribution, and it would be a foolish man who didn’t try to take the best of lessons from all of them.
In the year to come I can only promise that I will carry out the duties of president with as much diligence and effort as they did, and hope I will prove an adequate successor to that illustrious company.
My first aim is simple: in these troubled times I want to be accessible to the membership, and to ensure that every member feels informed and connected – not least through this column every month.
I am keen that we make the most of the diversity and expertise in our membership as we play our part in leading a green recovery that promotes a sustainable and ethical world, reflecting ACCA’s heritage and values. I subscribe to the view that accountants – particularly ACCA accountants – can change the world.
Of course, in paying tribute to previous presidents, I must make special mention of our outgoing leader, my friend Jenny Gu.
The year of her presidency has been exceptional. I am not just talking about the global pandemic and the restrictions we have all faced in meeting and in attending events in person. The past year has also seen big changes behind the scenes at ACCA, with new governance structures and an enormous amount of work in preparing our new strategy to 2025. How fortunate, then, that in Jenny we had a remarkable leader.
I am keen that we make the most of the diversity and expertise in our membership as we play our part in leading a green recovery that promotes a sustainable and ethical world, reflecting ACCA’s heritage and values
When she was a candidate for vice president, she could not have envisaged the unique challenges her year as president would bring. As CEO of Richemont China, Jenny had huge challenges in her day job as retail markets have been so disrupted over the past year. Leading the global ACCA membership at the same time can only have added to the workload and pressure.
Reason, common sense and insight
Despite this, Jenny has always been immaculately prepared for all her officer duties and meticulous in the execution. She has always displayed a strong voice of reason, common sense and insight.
It is a regret that, because of Covid restrictions, Jenny couldn’t attend as many events as she would have wished. I know just what a positive impression her warm personality makes on everyone she meets wherever she goes.
Jenny has done us proud as an exceptional president in an exceptional year. On behalf of members everywhere, I will sign off my first column by saying well done Jenny, and many thanks for everything you have done.