Ashurst Consulting adds Niki Short and Chris Baker to partnership

The partnership team of Ashurst Consulting has been extended to eight, with the addition of former Deloitte director Niki Short and promotion of Chris Baker within the firm’s risk advisory team.

Ashurst Consulting has rounded out its second year in business with the addition of two new partners to its risk advisory team; Chris Baker in Sydney and Niki Short in Melbourne. The pair boast close to six decades worth of professional experience in the financial services and risk & assurance industries between them, with Short crossing from a managing partner role with risk management boutique Blackhall & Pearl.

“We are thrilled to welcome Niki to Ashurst, and extend a welcome to the partnership to both her and Chris. Their appointments bring the number of Ashurst Consulting partners to eight, capping off an amazing year of growth for the team,” commented Ashurst’s Risk Advisory head Philip Hardy, who joined the law firm part way through last year to help launch its consulting practice after more than a decade spent in leadership roles at Deloitte.

Since then, Ashurst Consulting has added a number of other Deloitte veterans and alumni to its partnership team, including Philip Hope, Sid Maharaj, Elena Lambros and Tony Morris in March of this year (with former PwC partner and Ashurst head of Transformation Risk Melina Sehr the eighth member of the consulting ranks). Now, Short follows suit, having previously spent over a decade at Deloitte in a variety of assurance roles.

Niki Short
Kicking off as an audit graduate with PwC in 1992, Short made her way to Deloitte two years later, ultimately serving as a director in assurance and advisory for five years to 2010 before joining NAB, where over six years she worked her way up to general manager for enterprise operational risk & advisory. After a period as managing director for V Advisory, she has spent the past four years as managing partner at Blackhall & Pearl.

“I look forward to playing a key role in a dynamic, fast growing team,” Short commented. “Our clients value holistic solutions, including the way we can uniquely combine risk and legal capabilities, and I look forward to collaborating with them to deliver the quality advice the team is known for. Ashurst’s global reach and innovative outlook provide a significant opportunity to continue to grow and expand our practice.”

Chris Baker
Baker meanwhile has been promoted to partner in Sydney after first joining Ashurst toward the end of last year to head up its risk advisory managed services offering. Prior, Baker spent over a dozen years between National Australia Bank and later MLC, where he served as general manager for regulatory change and remediation and for business management. Earlier, he was head of Business & Technology Solutions for AAPT.


EY’s Lynn Kraus appointed first CEO of Australian Payments Plus

Former EY Oceania Advisory managing partner and diversity advocate Lynn Kraus has been appointed as the first CEO of Australian Payments Plus.

Professional services firm Ernst & Young is set to lose its former Advisory national managing partner Lynn Kraus to Australian Payments Plus, when she takes over as inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the amalgamated payments organisations in the middle of February next year. Kraus has been with EY for more than a decade in a number of high-profile executive and leadership roles.

First proposed last year and waved through by the ACCC in September, Australian Payments Plus (AP+) sees the nation’s leading domestic payment platforms – eftpos, BPAY and NPP Australia – join together under the one umbrella to better compete with the growing scale of overseas multinationals, with the further aim of reducing costs and enhancing innovation and efficiency.

“I believe there is a unique opportunity to create an organisation that better serves the needs of Australian payments users today, and well into the future,” Kraus said. “Bringing together three fantastic businesses to respond to the impacts of regulatory and technological change will deliver more efficient and coordinated payments solutions for Australian consumers and businesses.”

According to recent research by Capgemini, the number of non-cash transactions, or digital payments, now stands at above 700 billion – over 100 digital transactions on average in a year for each person on earth. Asia Pacific is the segment’s largest market.

Stating that her main priority will be to harness the existing infrastructure, brands and talent to create a more competitive Australian payments organisation, Kraus will bring more than 25 years of finance and consulting experience to the endeavour, including more than half of that spent in leadership roles at EY. Currently she is a partner in the firm’s Strategy & Transactions team.

Prior to 2020, Kraus was the managing partner of EY Oceania’s Advisory service line and member of its executive leadership team, before which she served as Oceania managing partner for Markets. In addition, she led EY’s Sydney office for more than six years, and was the regional People leader, during which time she launched the firm’s inaugural Diversity & Inclusiveness Council.

“Lynn is a fantastic leader with an exemplary track record in strategic thinking and execution,” commented AP+ chair Catherine Brenner, who added that Kraus’s expertise in stakeholder management and business transformation would help drive the integration. “The AP+ Board and I know that she is the right person to lead AP+ and work with the team of payments professionals.”

Meanwhile, AP+ has rounded out the independent director portion of its board with the recent appointments of Greg Cooper, John Murphy, and RedBalloon founder Naomi Simson – the latter who kicked off her entrepreneurial career as a marketing exec for KPMG. Murphy is currently the CEO of Azurpay, while Cooper headed Schroder Investment Management for more than a decade.


BCG supports launch of extreme weather volunteer training initiative

With BCG among its partners, the Minderoo Foundation has launched a training program for volunteers who want to help build community resilience against extreme weather events.

As warnings mount over an upcoming summer of extreme weather across Australia, the recently launched Australian Resilience Corps continues to recruit and train community volunteers to aid in disaster preparedness against the threat of bushfires and flooding. The Corps is an initiative of the Minderoo Foundation, with NRMA Insurance, Optus and Boston Consulting Group among its initial private sector partners.

A recent briefing from the Bureau of Meteorology, which the government was accused of trying to keep under wraps, outlined an increased risk of widespread flooding and an above average number of cyclones over the coming months, together with a heightened risk of bushfires in other parts of the country.

The Bureau of Meteorology has since warned of a ‘heat dome’ settling over Australia’s interior, while La Niña continues to drench the East Coast.

The goal of the Resilience Corps is to help reduce the potential for such natural disasters and mitigate their impacts, by bringing together trained community members with volunteer and disaster relief organisations. Those wishing to volunteer can complete a number of online training modules, including on subjects such as disaster resilience, landscape management, property maintenance, and mental health.

The Corps form part of the Minderoo Foundation’s broader Fire and Flood Resilience initiative aiming to shift the focus from disaster response to readiness, which was established by Minderoo co-chairs Andrew and Nicola Forrest with a $70 million commitment in the wake of the devastating bushfires that swept the country in 2019-20. According to the organisation, 97 percent of all disaster funding in Australia is spent after the event.

“Seeing the outpouring of help following the Black Summer bushfires and hearing from communities themselves inspired us to work with partners to provide opportunities for Australians to direct their goodwill to off-season activities,” the Forrests said. “By coming together to prepare each year for fires and floods we can make the seemingly impossible possible, and make our communities resilient to the devastation caused.”

Boston Consulting Group – a global strategy consulting firm with four offices in Australia – supported the foundation with its initial Fire and Flood Resilience blueprint, which includes the ambitious ‘Fire Shield’ goal of ensuring that by 2025 no dangerous bushfire in Australia would burn for longer than an hour.

To achieve its ‘moonshot’, the organisation will leverage emerging technologies such as data analytics, AI and automation to detect and predict fires and their behaviour sooner.

“This is a really fantastic initiative from Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience moonshot,” said Boston Consulting managing director and partner Wendy Mackay on LinkedIn. “Sign up if you want to learn about disaster resilience and help your local community build resilience. We’re encouraging staff and friends and families from (BCG) to do so, but it is open to everyone!”


Deloitte makes 14 partnership promotions across Australia

Professional services firm Deloitte has made fourteen end-of-year partnership promotions across Australia.

“We’re thrilled to announce our new Deloitte Australia partner promotes,” the firm stated on LinkedIn. “Each has a unique story and background, reflecting the varied career opportunities and pathways for our people.”

Shaun Watson
Watson serves in the Transformation & Operations unit of Deloitte Consulting out of Canberra, with a focus on defence and intelligence clients. He joined Deloitte from Grumman toward the beginning of the year, having previously spent a decade at IBM Consulting and over eight years at Sun Microsystems.

Dane Du Chateau
Du Chateau has spent close to the past seven and half years as a management consultant in Deloitte’s Sydney office, specialised in program management, digital transformation, mergers & acquisitions and cloud delivery. Previous experience includes a stint as a business analyst at ITV in London.

Christie Percival
First joining the accounting and consulting firm in 2011, Percival has been with Deloitte for over a decade, and currently serves as a director at Deloitte Digital, where she specialises in digital banking and leads the delivery of complex business and technology transformation programs.

Sasha Grimm
Grimm is a member of Deloitte’s Immigration practice, where she serves large scale corporate clients on strategic international mobility solutions. She has been with the firm for seven years, in Perth and more recently Sydney, before which she spent close to eight years at legal services firm Fragomen.

Ben Thwaites
Following a five-year leadership stint at Macquarie Group, Thwaites joined the Sydney office of Deloitte in 2017, and is now responsible for the delivery of technology advisory and implementation services to clients across the financial services, not-for-profit, and public sectors. He was previously a vice president at Deutsche Bank in London.

Cheryl Cheong
Cheong has been with Deloitte’s Risk Advisory division in Canberra for the past two years, joining from DXC Technology with previous stints at PwC, Gartner, EMC, and IBM. She has experience across a range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, and education, with a focus on data & analytics and technology risk advisory.

Claire Ibrahim
Brisbane-based Ibrahim is a member of Deloitte Access Economics’ economic analysis and public policy team, with expertise in microeconomic analysis, economic scenario modelling, and public policy reform agendas. She joined Deloitte in 2016 from the Queensland Treasury, where she was an associate advisor.

Daniel Quinn
Quinn has been with Deloitte in Melbourne coming up to seven years, and currently serves as a leader in Deloitte’s central Operations & Risk team, managing its supply chain of contractor agencies and responsible for the recruitment, on-boarding and training of contingent resources to support numerous remediation and complaint-handling programs nationwide.

Jonathan Shotter
Shotter will become a partner in the Sydney office of Deloitte Consulting, having been with the firm for a little over two years. Previously, he spent three and a half years with PwC, before which he was with Accenture in the UK and Sydney for a decade and a half. He has experience across a range of sectors, including government, telecoms, utilities, and financial services.

Lize Janse van Rensburg
A versed external auditor, IT Auditor and IT Risk practice lead with experience in the financial services, automotive, consumer goods and mining sectors among others, Janse van Rensburg has served with Deloitte in Melbourne for under two years after joining from Standard Bank in Johannesburg. Previously she spent nine years with KPMG in South Africa, rising to senior IT audit manager.

Katherine Wannan
A director of workforce transformation in Deloitte’s Human Capital Consulting practice, Wannan first joined the firm in New York in 2012, before transferring to Sydney three years later. She has served in previous human resources roles with QBE in the UK and US, and with Westpac in Sydney.

Ross Wildes
Wildes is a public sector strategy and transformation specialist at Monitor Deloitte, where he has been based out of Melbourne for the past five years following a seven year stint in various roles with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Earlier, he spent three years with management consultancy Nous Group. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Melbourne.

Lammert Vos
Vos leads the Quantitative Financial Risk Management and Asset Enablement offerings out of Deloitte’s Assurance practice, serving as a director in the firm’s Treasury and Capital Markets Team. Based in Melbourne, Vos has been with Deloitte for more than eleven years, with an earlier stint with Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa.

Stuart McCusker
McCusker is a director in Deloitte’s Data & AI practice in Melbourne, with experience advising on and implementing large scale digital transformations across the Victorian Government. He has been with Deloitte for almost eleven years, first joining the firm in 2011 shortly after completing dual degrees in Engineering (software) and Commerce at the University of Melbourne.


Desmond Teng leads Moore Australia’s new insolvency offering

Professional services group Moore has installed Desmond Teng at the helm of its new insolvency practice.

Desmond Teng brings over fifteen years of experience in corporate recovery and insolvency to the Australian wing of the global accounting and consulting firm. Appointed a partner, he will spearhead the firm’s newly launched restructuring and insolvency offering.

“Our connection with clients means they expect a full service offering with the same straightforward, high-quality advice and the passion we bring every day. The new recovery and insolvency service enables us to extend this Moore value when it is most needed,” said Paul Breedon, a long-standing partner at Moore in Australia.

The new offering includes preparing independent expert reports and acting as an expert witness in Supreme Court actions which involves investigations and analysis of company records, complex transactions, and financial statements.

Teng is a registered liquidator by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and a Professional Member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association.

He most recently served specialist insolvency Chifley Advisory servicing clients Australia wide. Before that, Teng spent over a decade at Cor Cordis, a Melbourne-based advisory and restructuring and turnaround consultancy. “Desmond excels at managing diverse stakeholders, including secured lenders, creditors, and directors,” said Breedon.

“What attracted me to Moore was the culture and connection to clients. I feel very strongly about building meaningful relationships with stakeholders, ultimately creating better results for all parties. The Moore network allows me to extend a critical service to colleagues across the region, and through the ASX-listed space.”


McGrathNicol promotes ten members to senior manager level

Specialist Australian restructuring and advisory firm McGrathNicol has made a raft of promotions across its national offices, including ten professionals elevated to senior manager level effective from the beginning of next year.

Thomas Bui has been promoted to senior manager in Sydney after three years in the Dispute Advisory Services and Investigations division of McGrathNicol, before which he was a financial analyst for KPMG and an assistant financial accountant at Oliver Wyman parent Marsh & McLennan.

Also promoted to senior manager in Brisbane, Bronwenn Durand came to McGrathNicol as a forensics accountant toward the end of 2017 following earlier auditing stints at Moore Stephens and StewartBrown. She did her accountant traineeship with RSM.

Angus Boyd joined McGrathNicol as a forensics manager in Brisbane at the end of last year after a decade spent between Deloitte and boutique accountancy Pilot Partners.

Dan Previtera is a member of the McGrathNicol’s data analytics team in Sydney, his previous promotion to manager coming mid-last year after joining the firm in 2019 from Bravure Group, where he served as a business performance analyst.

Hassan Nasir becomes a senior manager in Forensic, Governance, Risk & Compliance in Canberra after two years and nine months with the firm. Previously, he was a team lead for financial advice remediation at Deloitte.

After close to six years with Ernst & Young, including a secondment to New York, Jeremy Cohen McGrathNicol at the beginning of last year, and is now promoted to senior manager in the firm’s restructuring division in Melbourne.

James Clark has been with McGrathNicol for almost eight years, first joining the firm in Perth following the completion of a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting and finance with Curtin University in 2013.

Andrew Connelly joins the senior management of McGrathNicol’s forensics team in Sydney after crossing to the firm from KPMG in the middle of last year. Originally a member of the NSW Police Force, Connelly also spent time with Pitcher Partners after leaving law enforcement.

Jason Garcia is a forensics professional specialising in financial crime, corporate corruption and risk advisory. Before joining McGrathNicol in Sydney in 2018, he spent eight and a half years with Restructuring & Turnaround advisory Cor Cordis

Chris Djamaludin has also been promoted to senior manager in Brisbane.

Meanwhile, McGrathNicol also promoted nine company members to manager, and five to assistant manager, among others. The firm operates with six offices across Australia & New Zealand (Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Auckland) and is led by a 50-strong partnership.


FTI Consulting’s Dawna Wright wins international expert award

FTI Consulting has won a slew of honours at the latest annual Who’s Who Legal awards, including an individual accolade for the firm’s Australian Forensic Accounting head Dawna Wright.

The annual Who’s Who Legal awards has named Melbourne-based FTI Consulting senior managing director Dawna Wright as ‘Investigations Forensic Accountant of the Year’ ahead of a field of international peers.

A former partner at Deloitte, Wright has been with FTI Consulting for close to the past seven and a half years, and heads up the firm’s Forensic Accounting and Advisory Services practice in Australia, which she helped launch.

An expert witness specialised in presenting complex financial analysis to non-financial clients such as lawyers and company boards, Wright has amassed three decades of audit and forensics experience across multiple jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, after first kicking off her career with Deloitte in Canada in 1992 following a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Manitoba.

She would altogether spend 16 years with the Big Four firm, making partner in Melbourne in 2004, before joining specialist advisory & restructuring firm McGrathNicol as a forensics partner for close to five and a half years. From there, she crossed to FTI Consulting in 2014, providing advice to clients in areas such as post-acquisition, shareholder, and construction disputes, corporate investigations, corruption reviews, and class action litigation.

In addition, Wright has headed a number of committees for high-profile organisations, including as chair of the forensics accounting committee of professional industry body Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand for four years to 2019. She was previously a director of the finance, audit and risk committee of the Australian Institute of Management, and is presently a member of the finance & audit committee of Amnesty International.

Who’s Who Legal

Wright’s was one of a number of accolades garnered by FTI Consulting in the latest awards from leading legal industry research organisation Who’s Who Legal, including 2021 ‘Consulting Firm of the Year’ for the sixth consecutive year. It also took home the awards for Arbitration Experts, Construction and Insurance Expert Witnesses, Investigations Digital Forensics, and Restructuring & Insolvency Advisers firm of the year.

Speaking on the recognition, Wright said the mix of expertise together with its culture made the firm stand out. “Our unique combination of practices within FTI enables us to approach issues from a number of different angles. But we not only have a group of amazing and talented experts across a wide range of disciplines – we also have a highly collaborative culture that encourages, facilitates and rewards them for working together.”

Along with the awards, FTI’s damages and valuation practitioners dominated the latest Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2022: Expert Witnesses list, together with its subsidiary Compass Lexecon earning more than twice the number of entries as the next closet firm – including a nod for its Australian Construction Solutions practice head and Perth-based senior managing director Stephen Rae, a three-decade industry veteran who joined the firm in 2012.


Montefiore teams up with Smart WFM for UKG implementation

Working together with Smart WFM, Montefiore has been able to better navigate workforce shortages and manage the impact of Covid-19 across its Sydney campuses with the ability to reallocate shifts for staff in isolation, automate rostering, and provide better staff experience.

Deploying the cloud-based UKG system, human capital management consultancy Smart WFM helped the aged care provider replace a number of disconnected manual processes with a simple application to manage workforce logistics, including rostering.

Managers would previously have to call all potentially available staff when reallocating a shift. With the app deployed, a simple push SMS system enables staff to record and manage their availability, supporting them to pick up extra shifts and create better visibility for managers.

The implementation has been very timely in the context of the pandemic, enabling seamless reallocation of shifts when staff have needed to self-isolate or have been unable to attend Montefiore due to single-site working arrangements in place for the sector.

The benefits also extended to staff residing in an LGA of concern during the lockdown – if stopped by enforcement authorities, the app could clearly demonstrate that the staff member was an essential worker and had a permissible reason to leave home.

Rare in the industry, the rollout of the system has also led Montefiore to create a new Workforce Logistics Leader role. Difficulty with use and a lack of engagement among staff had been a key issue with previous workforce management deployment, and Smart WFM encouraged the organisation to find a leader to champion the system, and that’s where Andrea Van Gramberg stepped in.

The Aged Care Manager of 13 years at Montefiore was appointed to the new role and she said communication with different departments, from the C-level through to clinical staff, made all the difference.

“It’s really common that new tech is rolled out without factoring in the professional needs of users. Smart WFM worked with us through a series of workshops with many different stakeholders participating to seek feedback, uncover pain points, and ensure they were addressed – that was a first.”

Montefiore’s Director of People, Culture & Learning Anna Santikos says the system also supports a ‘Neighbourhood Model of Living’ philosophy, whereby consistent staff are rostered to look after the same residents, enabling continuity of care and more meaningful relationships between carers and residents.

“Agencies are part of the mix of course, but a real risk of the former system was that it could almost encourage an overreliance – it was easier to call an agency than to call 10 staff to fill a shift. Now it’s seamless, supporting that philosophy and reducing costs.”

Overcoming a talent crunch

With a recent report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) indicating Australia has a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged care workers to redress in the next decade, the implementation has proven invaluable for Montefiore’s ability to attract and retain staff.

“People are at the centre of our HR and workforce management,” she said. “It’s easier and faster to apply for leave, change shifts, accept shifts, meaning it’s easier for them to do what’s important outside of work too. We’ve built the model now so we’ll continue to incorporate our staff’s needs into the system as we further develop it.”

Smart WFM CEO and author of ‘The Digital Workforce’ Jarrod McGrath says Montefiore is raising the bar for the healthcare industry in creating a digital operating model built upon the needs of today’s modern working environment. “When something isn’t working, it’s easy to chalk it up to ‘that’s a tech issue’,” said McGrath.

“Our experience is this is rarely the case – it’s more likely the providers or consultants implementing the tech have failed to align to the people and processes in place. Montefiore has gone through a full digital transformation journey and put its staff at the heart of it. This is the kind of modern people innovation we need to see more of across the aged care and healthcare industries.”


Global IT and business consultancy CGI making moves Downunder

Global IT services firm CGI is set to double its Australian headcount through the acquisition of local tech advisory Unico, with the firm to also establish a new sector hub in Adelaide.

IT and business consulting firm CGI is making moves in Australia, having over the past few weeks acquired Unico, a Melbourne-based tech consultancy and systems integrator with around 160 professionals.

Founded almost four decades ago in 1984 by current technical director Geoff Illing and Mike Palmer (who has since sold to managing director John Rowland), Unico offers a range of services centred around data engineering and automation, internet of things, and systems integration, with a focus on the financial services, telecom, infrastructure, utilities, and defence and government sectors among others.

Adding to its 80,000 consultants and professionals spread across some 30 countries worldwide, the purchase of Unico will double CGI’s headcount in Australia. Headquartered in Montreal and founded in 1976, the IT consulting firm has exploded internationally over the past twenty-odd years on the back of a string of acquisitions, and has further ambitions to double in size again over the next five to ten years.

“We look forward to welcoming Unico into the CGI family,” said CGI’s UK & Australia president, Tara McGeehan. “Right from our earliest discussions, it’s been clear that both organisations share similar values and capabilities, which we believe will result in a quick and successful integration. We are excited to bring together our expertise and innovation to build an even stronger presence in the Australian market.”

Meanwhile, the firm will also be looking to grow organically through the establishment of its Space, Defence and Intelligence hub in South Australia, with the aim to create 200 new, highly skilled technical jobs by 2024. CGI is the latest in a line of big tech consultancies to establish new innovation and delivery centres in Adelaide over the past year, including PwC, Deloitte, Accenture, and mostly recently Cognizant.

According to a press release, Adelaide was selected as the location for CGI’s major Australian expansion due to its emergence as a hi-tech hub (with the Australian Institute for Machine Learning and MIT’s bigdata Living Lab among other established residents), along with its burgeoning space and defence sector, underpinned by the recent AUKUS agreement to build a sovereign fleet of nuclear-powered subs in the state.

“We are delighted to open our new office and build long-term professional careers in Adelaide as a key centre for innovation in space and defence in Australia,” said Neil Timms, CGI’s senior vice president for Space, Defence and Intelligence in Australia and the UK. “We look forward to working in collaboration with the vibrant space and defence ecosystem across the country to support the ambitions of the government.”


Former McKinsey boss Dominic Barton next chair of Rio Tinto

Global mining company Rio Tinto has appointed former McKinsey & Company boss Dominic Barton as its next chair, with Barton to replace the outgoing Simon Thompson in May.

The news follows shortly on the heels of Barton’s announcement that he would step down from his current role as Canada’s ambassador to China at the end of the year, having first been appointed in 2019 amid diplomatic tensions between the two nations. Australia is now navigating its own tensions with China.

The second-largest mining company in the world, Rio Tinto derives the majority of its global revenue from iron ore sales to China – the nation accounting for around 60 percent of all revenues in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, Chinese and Australian relations have steadily soured over the past two years, with China slapping heavy tariffs or sanctions on a range of Australian primary exports such as coal, barley, beef, and wine, but not iron ore, as yet.

Rio will be hoping its new appointment can keep relations smooth on its end. Barton led McKinsey & Company for three terms to 2018, first joining in Toronto in the mid-80s before relocating to Asia in 1997 – a region he would later chair for six years out of Shanghai prior to being elected as global managing partner. In addition to his diplomatic and consulting experience in the country, Barton also serves on the advisory board of China Development Bank Capital Group.

“I am delighted with the choice of Dominic, who I believe brings exactly the skills and experiences that we in Rio Tinto need,” said Jakob Stausholm, who was installed as CEO at the beginning of the year following controversies closer to home. “I am truly looking forward to working with Dominic in our effort to continue to strengthen Rio Tinto, in particular drawing on his wealth of experience across Asia in both a business and diplomatic capacity.”

Those controversies – namely the company’s wilful destruction of ancient Aboriginal sacred sites at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara – have also ultimately claimed the chairmanship of Simon Thompson after widespread public outcry and pressure from investors, with Barton likely to be facing a high level of scrutiny in his new role. It won’t be the first time in his career, with the former McKinsey boss besieged by a series of scandals during his tenure.

Barton, who will take over in May, also has another big challenge ahead at the global miner. “Returning to the private sector, I am excited to join a company with world-class people and assets as it navigates a shifting competitive landscape and seeks to emerge as a leader in the climate transition,” he said. “I look forward to working with Jakob and the board to implement a strategy that puts decarbonisation at the heart of the business.”