UHY Haines Norton is delighted to announce the appointment of Audit and Assurance Director Sungesh Singh to the role of Managing Director.
After 18 years leading the firm, former Managing Director Grant Brownlee felt the time was right for fresh perspectives. “Sungesh Singh has the drive and commercial acumen to effectively lead the firm through an ever-evolving environment. His empathetic style combined with his determination to deal with challenges in a fair and considered manner will hold him in good stead. I feel confident that the strong reputation of UHY, the excellent team of professionals we have on board and our clients will be well-served under Sungesh’s leadership.”
Sungesh’s career at UHY spans more than 27 years. He considers his appointment as Managing Director to be the pinnacle of his working life, saying: “I am very grateful to the UHY Board of Directors for their belief in me and their trust in my capabilities.”
Sungesh has been fortunate to have experienced many career highlights and opportunities. Promotion to Partner at 36 years old, being entrusted to develop an audit division for the firm (now the biggest audit firm in West Auckland and among the largest in New Zealand), appointments to influential positions within organisations such as Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), being identified as UHY HN emerging leader in 2005 and author of auditing publications with CCH New Zealand are among the many high points.
Sungesh is also grateful for the travel opportunities that his career has provided him. “I’ve travelled the world through UHY,” he says. “What I’ve learned from travelling has been instrumental to me both professionally and personally. Other cultures, countries, different norms – it’s all expanded my horizons and my understanding of people and culture. I’ve been able to bring that back into UHY, which is a multicultural, diverse team.”
There have, of course, been career challenges along the way too. For example, public sector audits have been a large area of growth for the firm but raised capacity issues in a market where experienced auditors are already in high demand. Sungesh and his team strategized to find a way to meet filing deadlines whilst maintain the top-quality service their division prides itself on. The solution was a combination of tapping their contacts, attracting the right people, and using international affiliations. The result? Being amongst the largest public sector auditors in New Zealand and achieving growth in an uncertain market when many firms were simply trying to survive.
Sungesh describes his leadership style as ‘thoughtful, open, transparent and inclusive.’
There are many things that Sungesh is excited for in his new Managing Director role. “It’s the start of a new era,” he says, “where we have Board members with fresh perspectives and a great balance of opinions, knowledge, and experience. We have wonderful people here across the whole firm that I genuinely love being around and spending my working hours with.”
Sungesh predicts that digitalisation will be one of the biggest challenges for the firm in the next few years, as is the case across so many industries. “Technology is evolving so fast and it’s important that we have the correct resourcing in this area to harness the possibilities.”
Staff upskilling and development will be a future focus too. “Staff retention and development strategies such as upskilling, creating career paths, providing flexibility and a positive work environment to empower our people and strengthen our firm will be key,” Sungesh states.
And outside of work, what is important to Sungesh? “Family – my wife and two sons,” he says, “as well as trying to keep healthy, having a balanced sense of spiritualism and a healthy level of curiosity to learn new things.” Although spare time is not always plentiful, he is an avid reader and loves to cook authentic recipes from scratch. Cooking on a weekend alongside his family is one of his favourite ways to relax and unwind. Although he stopped playing sports a few years ago, he is still an enthusiastic spectator of cricket, rugby and squash. And of course, he also loves spending time with his best mate Prince, a 5-year-old Tibetan-terrier-Maltese-cross bundle of craziness.