But Chye Heng will remain in leadership role
Venkat Raman –
One of the most respected financial wizards of the country with a long list of disciples in top positions in multinationals and large corporates has announced his plans to slow down and give way to younger talent.
Chye Heng, who has been the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Beca Group Limited (BCG) has decided to step down from the post after 31 years, allowing Mark Fleming, currently Group Director (Finance) to succeed him.
Effective next month, Mr Heng will become the Chief of the Group Legal Team in addition to be the Head of the Group’s ‘Employee Ownership Scheme.’
Beca is one of the largest employee-owned professional services consultancies in the Asia Pacific. Established in 1918 with just three employees, the Group has a strong Asia Pacific footprint with about 3000 employees in 19 offices across the world.
Beca Executive Chairman Richard Aitken said that Mr Heng has indicated that he would step down from the BGL Board later this year but expressed pleasure at his decision “to continue beyond that time in a leadership role.”
“During his tenure as CFO, as Company Secretary and as a member of the Board, Chye has made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the Group, both in New Zealand and internationally. His input has been vital in supporting our growth from a New Zealand firm of 20 principals to an international consultancy employing more than 3000 people,” he said in a statement.
Group Chief Executive Greg Lowe described Mr Heng as the ‘Steward of Beca’s financial strategy under five Chief Executives and five Chairs.’
“Throughout periods of global financial volatility, he has prudently managed and strengthened the firm’s financial resources; and our executives have benefitted from his counsel particularly across finance, legal, corporate structures, governance and general strategy areas,” he said.
Mr Aitken and Mr Lowe said that Mr Heng’s contribution extended beyond the sphere of finance.
“He is one of the original architects of our employee share ownership and superannuation schemes; and has been intimately involved in practically every significant corporate transaction and development over the past three decades. He has also long been active in supporting several key client relationships, which will continue,” they said.
Mr Fleming joined Beca 17 years ago following an impressive performance of several years at PricewaterhouseCoopers. A Chartered Accountant, a Fellow of CPA Australia with a postgraduate degree in Commerce from University of Auckland, he brings strong financial experience and expertise, as well as depth of knowledge to Beca.
“We are delighted that Mark has agreed to succeed Chye as our next CFO. He has worked closely with Chye in managing the Group’s finance strategy, treasury, shareholding and superannuation,” Mr Aitken and Mr Lowe said.
Something more about Chye Heng
This Reporter has known Mr Heng for a number of years, during which a number of bright young people of Indian origin have been under his mentorship. He has honed their talent in accounting and management roles, prepared them to become professionally qualified and full members of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountant (which became a Trans-Tasman organisation two years ago and is now called Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand). They often cite him as their ‘Guru, who brought order and prosperity into their lives.’
As CFO and an Executive Director, Mr Heng has led Beca’s finance and legal teams globally, overseeing the Group’s insurance arrangements, employee shareholding scheme and pension plans, and has provided direction regarding governance and corporate structure.
Beyond Beca, Mr Heng is a strong advocate of the accounting profession. He is a member of the University of Auckland Business School Advisory Board, a Councillor and Past-President of the New Zealand Council of CPA Australia, and contributes as a panel judge for various finance and business awards.
He was a member of the Ministerial Panel on Business Compliance Costs, served as Chairperson of the Auckland Normal Intermediate School Board of Trustees, and was awarded the 2010 President’s Award – CPA Australia.
Mr Heng maintains an enduring focus on mentoring leadership talent both within and beyond Beca. His own mentor and Beca founder Sir Ron Carter believed that skills and intelligence are found in all people and all areas, and that careful nurturing, guiding and integrating these capabilities achieves the best results possible.
“Successful businesses integrate the diverse skills and creativity of their people to deliver results. Beca excels at enabling our people across a broad range of disciplines and locations to make a real contribution,” he says about his Company and its people.