KPMG pays tribute to former global and APAC chair Michael Andrew

28 June 2019 2 min. read
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Global professional services firm KPMG has mourned the death of its former global and Asia Pacific chairman Michael Andrew, who has died after a long battle with illness.

Respected former KPMG International and Asia Pacific chairman Michael Andrew has died, aged 63. “With deep sadness we acknowledge the passing of Michael Andrew AO, an iconic leader of KPMG and very great Australian,” said current KPMG Australia chair Alison Kitchen of her one-time predecessor, who would go on to become the first Australian to lead a Big Four firm at the global level.

Joining the professional services firm in 1984 following a dual degree in Law & Commerce at Melbourne University, Andrew was made a partner just four years later and by 2007 had risen to the role of KPMG Asia Pacific and KPMG Australia Chairman, before then reaching the very top when unanimously elected as KPMG’s global CEO and chair in 2011, the first partner from the Asia Pacific to hold the title.

Illness, sadly, would prevent Andrew from completing his first four-year term, with the CEO announcing his retirement in 2014 following the diagnosis of a serious condition. “We will not forget his intellect, courage, wit and friendship, his open mindedness and inspiring leadership. He was a remarkable force for good. We all miss him,” said Kitchen, who also joined KPMG’s Melbourne office where Andrew served for six years as Managing Partner.

Michael Andrew - Former Global Chairman and CEO - KPMG

“Michael spoke with great presence, rarely with notes,” Kitchen continued. “He was efficient, logical, determined and meticulously organised – there was a lot to fit into every day. For those he mentored, and there were many, he always enjoyed spending time to work through or explain a complex problem in a way that made you feel as intelligent as he was. Michael genuinely cared about people, interested in their lives beyond the boundaries of the office.”

Beyond KPMG, Andrew also performed numerous public sector and community leadership and advisory roles in areas such as education, sport and medical research, including taking up the Chair of the Australian Board of Taxation and the Federal Government’s Black Economy Task Force following his retirement from KPMG – a service noted in a tribute from Australia’s Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

“Michael was a highly respected member of the business and tax community and made a significant contribution to improving Australia’s tax system,” Frydenberg said. “On a personal level over the number of years I have known Michael I have always found him profoundly decent, professional and possessing a strong sense of public duty… I’d like to record our heartfelt appreciation for the time and effort Michael gave to the advancement of taxation policy in Australia.”