Date posted: 21/11/2017 3 min read

Athol Mann CMG FCA – profession loses an iconic figure

Life member had a distinguished accounting career, notably with KPMG, but also left his mark in the arts, music, religion and academia.

Athol Mann CMG FCA

Athol Mann CMG FCA

Athol Mann, a Life Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand died suddenly at his home in Wellington on Tuesday 14 November.

Athol’s funeral was held at Wellington Cathedral on Monday, 20 November. There was a huge turn out from the accounting and business communities, and other communities in which Athol was involved including arts, music, religion and academic.

Chartered Accountants ANZ Chair Murray Jack FCA said that "With Athol's passing the accounting profession loses an iconic figure. 

“His leadership, at a time of significant change in the profession, and his long commitment to teaching inspired many to join the profession that was such a large part of his life."

A past-President (1976-77) of what was then known as the New Zealand Society of Accountants, he was made a Life Member in 1991, and was one of only 13 such members at the time of his death.

Athol’s achievements in the field of accounting began at the age of 21 when he became a partner in the accountancy firm, Burtt McGillivray in Christchurch. Eventually Athol’s firm became part of KPMG of which Athol was to become international vice president in New York in 1985. He was the first New Zealander to be appointed to the Council of the International Federation of Accountants and served as a member of the New Zealand Securities Commission for seven years.

Athol had a long and distinguished academic career, which saw him hold the position of Dean of the Commerce Faculty at Victoria University of Wellington for 10 years (1987-97), following which he was appointed Emeritus Professor. In March this year he was appointed a Life Member of Research for Life, the public face of the Wellington Medical Research Foundation, in recognition of his contribution to the organisation.

In 1986 Athol was made a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George for his service to the accountancy profession, the arts and the community.

His close involvement with the arts saw him fulfil roles as inaugural Chairman of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Director of New Zealand Opera and as a founding Director of Te Papa Museum.  He has served on company boards and was also a Director of Barnardos NZ.

From 1985 to 2002 Athol was a Warden at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul.  He served on the Diocesan Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2014 and was a member of the Cathedral Finance Committee until his death.

Athol is survived by his wife Ngaire, their four children and their partners, eight grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

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