Ainslie van Onselen appointed Chair of Chartered Accountants Worldwide

Ainslie van Onselen

1 August, 2023

Chartered Accountants Worldwide today announced that Ainslie van Onselen, CEO of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), has been appointed as the next Chair of Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW) with unanimous support from the CAW Board.

When making the announcement Chartered Accountants Worldwide thanked Michael Izza for his hard work during his time as Chair, who steps down after six years in the role ahead of his retirement as CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales.

Michael Izza

Michael Izza, CEO of ICAEW

“It has been a privilege to be Chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and to see the family grow from strength to strength over the last six years to include 15 member institutes and more than 1.8 million members and students worldwide,” said outgoing Chair Michael Izza.

“We have made huge inroads into leading the sustainability conversation, but there is more still to be done. I know the organisation is in safe and dynamic hands and Ainslie will build on what we have already achieved and continue to promote the vital role that Chartered Accountants play around the world.”

Ms van Onselen’s appointment takes affect from 14th November 2023, for an initial two-year term. Her appointment marks two milestones: it’s the first time a woman has been the Chair of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and it’s also the first time the Chair has been from CA ANZ.

“It is a great honour to be appointed Chair of Chartered Accountants Worldwide. Michael Izza has done a phenomenal job in promoting the Chartered Accountancy profession and bringing together 15 member institutes from around the world – a community of almost two million Chartered Accountants in more than 190 countries.

“It’s such an important time for the profession. With the world focused on sustainability, accountants have a vital role to play in driving sustainable business transformation – from instigating action through to evaluating strategies, as well as measuring and reporting performance.

“Social, cultural and environmental values stand right next to economic value. For a business, and the profession, to be truly sustainable in the long-term, they must show value creation across these areas.

“At the same time, there is a spotlight shining very brightly on ethics and integrity, and there is much we can do together to ensure they remain the cornerstone of our profession.

“Whether it’s opportunities in ESG, sustainability or AI, or working towards a more attractive profession and an even stronger ethical standing – we gain so much from working together,” said Ms van Onselen.

“Michael has done a phenomenal job in promoting Chartered Accountants as trust leaders and incorporating new member institutes from all corners of the globe. I look forward to continuing this important work,” said Ms van Onselen.

CAW Members Institutes:

ICAEW – The Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales

  • ICAS – The Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland
  • CAI – Chartered Accountants Ireland
  • ISCA –Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
  • SAICA – The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • CAANZ – Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand
  • ICAZ – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe
  • ICAM – Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi
  • ICAN – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria
  • ICAB – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh
  • CA Sri Lanka – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka
  • IAI – Institute of Indonesia Chartered Accountants
  • ZICA – Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • ICAP – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan
  • ICAI – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India


Notes to editors:

Ainslie van Onselen
Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

  • Ainslie has been the Chief Executive Officer of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand since May 2020 (CA ANZ). For more than 20 years Ainslie enjoyed a parallel career as a law partner and non-executive director, before progressing into senior C-suite executive roles including Managing Director and CEO of RAMS Home Loans and running Australia’s second largest bank, Westpac’s $200 billion retail deposits and credit card portfolio.
  • Ainslie is passionate about social justice, inclusion, and diversity. She is the former Global Director of Women’s Markets, Inclusion and Diversity for Westpac and currently serves as a Commissioner of Legal Aid New South Wales and Chair of New South Wales leading non-select private school, Kambala Girls School and is a member of Chief Executive Women, Australia.
  • An Australian Financial Review Women of Influence winner and a former 40 under 40 WA Business News and University of Western Australia Award winner, Ainslie was invited to represent CAANZ and the accounting and auditing professions at the Australian Government’s 2022 Jobs Summit.
  • As well as steering CAANZ’s strategy and digital and data transformation, Ainslie drives CAANZ’s inclusion and diversity agenda and is a prominent advocate for global sustainability and ESG standards.

Michael Izza
CEO of ICAEW, Chairman, Chartered Accountants Worldwide

  • Appointed Chief Executive in 2006, Michael’s leadership has seen ICAEW embrace a vision of building a world of strong and sustainable economies, transforming itself into a professional accountancy body with a truly global identity and reach. In 2018 Michael became Chairman of Chartered Accountants Worldwide.
  • Michael regularly meets ministers, policymakers, and regulators from around the world, and is a frequent media commentator on economic and business issues. He passionately believes that the wider emerging forces which are already changing the very nature of work – such as climate change and technological disruption – present ICAEW Chartered Accountants with many more opportunities than threats and is committed to helping the profession meet these challenges.
  • Michael qualified as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in 1986 with Coopers & Lybrand after graduating in law from Durham University, where he was also president of the student union. He has served as a school governor for eleven years and is a trustee of several charities, including Moorfields Eye Charity, supporting London’s world class Moorfields Eye Hospital. Prior to joining ICAEW, he spent four years at Spring Group, where he was managing director of several businesses and group finance director. From 1989 to 1996 he worked for the Canadian company, John Labatt Ltd., latterly as managing director of its retail arm.

About Chartered Accountants Worldwide

  • Chartered Accountants Worldwide brings together the members of fifteen leading institutes to create a community of over 1.8m Chartered Accountants and students in more than 190 countries. The organisation is committed to promoting the prestige of Chartered Accountants and the value they can offer to organisations. Through its member institutes, Chartered Accountants Worldwide supports, develops, and promotes the role of accountants as trust leaders in finance, accountancy, and business globally.

About Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand represents more than 136,000 financial professionals, supporting them to make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live. Chartered Accountants are known as Difference Makers. The depth and breadth of their expertise helps them to see the big picture and chart the best course of action.