18 Nov 2016 01:42pm

IFAC gets new president

Australian Rachel Grimes is the new president of the International Federation of Accountants and overall representative of three million accountants in some 130 countries around the world
Caption: Australian CFO Rachel Grimes to represent three million accountants worldwide

She took over last night from Olivia Kirtley, business consultant and portfolio non-executive director, and a former chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, at the end of the IFAC council meeting in Brasilia.

In her day job, Grimes is chief financial officer, group technology finance, at Westpac Group, the Australian banking and financial services group.

She has spent more than 25 years in the financial services sector, first with PwC, then with BT Financial Group, before joining Westpac. Prior to her current role, she was Westpac’s director of mergers and acquisitions.

She is a chartered accountant, a former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) (now the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) and former state chair of the ICAA New South Wales Regional Council.

In 2011 she joined the IFAC board and in 2014 became deputy president. She has also chaired the IFAC board’s planning and finance committee and been a member of the nominating committee.

She will be president for the next two years.

Commenting on her appointment, she said, "I’m really looking forward to executing the current IFAC strategy cycle.

"As president, I’m going to be talking a lot about trust and ethics. Trust is crucial to our profession and enables us, via our Code of Ethics, to differentiate ourselves from other professions.

"Meanwhile, professional accountants must be front-and-centre in putting trust at the heart of the global economy. I think we’re uniquely placed to do so."

Grimes' second in command at IFAC is In-Ki Joo, emeritus professor of accounting at the Yonsei University School of Business in Korea.

The new deputy president is a past president of the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants, former president of the Korean Accounting Association, as well as the past president of the Korean Academic Society of Business Administration. He was also a member of the advisory committee to the General Audit Bureau in the Republic of Korea and the president of the Korean Academy of Business Ethics.

He has an MBA and PhD in accounting from New York University, has written a number of books and has been decorated by the Korean president.

Joo joined the IFAC board in November 2012.

Julia Irvine


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