Virtus Assure Appoints the Hon. David Butcher as a Senior Advisor to the Firm

Virtus-Assure-David-ButcherVirtus Assure has appointed the Hon. David Butcher as a Senior Advisor to the firm. As Senior Advisor, he will provide strategic guidance and act as a thoughtful sounding board, to help the firm remain true to its mission. The firm’s directors and management take seriously their commitment to operationalise the experience brought to our company by David.

David was a minister in New Zealand’s Government responsible for all aspects of Agriculture, Lands and Forests (1984-1987) and played a crucial role in New Zealand’s abolition of subsidies to its land based industries, bringing producers closer to their markets. From 1987, he was a full Cabinet Minister in Portfolios including Energy, Trade and Industry, Commerce and Finance.

Since democratic retirement from politics he has undertaken more than 70 assignments in about 35 different countries, for institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the United Nations. He has carved out a career in public sector reform, including commercialisation, corporatisation and privatisation, applying in African, Asian and Middle Eastern Countries the lessons from a reforming government. He has increasingly realised that private sector governance issues are similar.

Sustainability Reporting – In 2016 David was invited to present a paper on strategic accounting at the 4th Annual strategic Management Accounting Forum. Sustainability reporting is a more specialised comprehensive version of integrated accounting where all aspects of the business are highlighted in the annual report, requiring the board and management to assess all the strategic factors affecting the business.

Corporate Governance – David’s SOE reform work is strongly related to improving corporate governance and strategy. He helped refine a strategic business planning methodology, based on the conversion of ministry business operations into registered companies where the shares are held by the government. The new methodology was initially used in the NZ Coal Corporation and subsequently in several successful assignments in governments, NGOs and the private sector. There were significant productivity gains, improved commercial performance, greater profitability with profits and tax paid to the government in place of capital injections.

Regulation of business –Throughout history, competition has been the main regulator of business. In David’s experience, in competition investigations, draft regulations designed to confer business certainty or address market failures, the question should be asked “would more competition do a better job that yet another regulation inviting regulatory failure?” Nine times out of 10 the answer is “Yes!”. In David’s role as Minister of Trade and Industry and Commerce he saw examples where regulations could be replaced with competition and achieve a better outcome.

Risk Management – In 2016 David was employed by the United Nation’s ESCAP (Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific) ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction Division to prepare an evaluation of their major project focused on ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction. He highlighted that 63% of all disaster related deaths and 43% of all major disasters are in the Asia Pacific Region and account for 50% of economic costs. The Private sector share of rehabilitation is between 70 and 85% so risk reduction by the private sector is vital.

David is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and is available to help you develop strategies for dealing with issues similar to those above.

If you’d like to contact him, he can be reached via email here: