Dealing with Change – AIIP Conference 2019

AIIP conference delegates indulging in esprit de corps.


Michael Cranston knows a thing or two about dealing with change
Dealing with Change: Former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston. Image Courtesy Waterhouse Lawyers.

With Winter allegedly imminent, the Association of Independent Insolvency Practitioners (AIIP) has finalised its program and confirmed the speakers for its 2019 Conference.

The theme of this, the second Conference of the AIIP, will be “Dealing with Change” and change is a subject one of the keynote speakers in particular is well qualified to opine upon.

Remember when the Plutus Payroll scandal broke back in May 2017?

Unbelievably, it appeared that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) had uncovered a multi-million dollar tax fraud involving one of the Australian Tax Office’s (ATO’s) most senior officers, a fraud that also involved his son and daughter.

Michael Cranston’s life was turned upside down.

AFP search warrants executed on May 16, 2017 identified him as “a close associate of the conspirators” and alleged he had “acted as part of the conspiracy to defraud”.

The deputy tax commissioner, who was head of the ATO’s serious non-compliance unit, was placed on leave without pay and subsequently charged with dishonestly using his position to help his son. And he was innocent.

If that’s not an example of dealing with change then INO does not know what is.

Cranston, who in January this year was acquitted of those charges with the District Court of NSW tossing out the AFP’s case against him, will be just one of the 20-odd guest speakers at AIIP Conference 2019 where, alongside his new employer Waterhouse Lawyers principal Tanya Waterhouse, he’ll share insights born from 40 years of experience with the ATO.

Nor will there’ll be any departure from the theme when delegates hear from a specialist panel convened to discuss the potential fallout for businesses, borrowers and insolvency practitioners from the Banking Royal Commission.

Speakers will include small business and family enterprise ombudswoman Kate Carnell, former Federal small business minister Bruce Billson, Australian Financial Complaints Authority chief executive David Locke and ANZ Bank business and small business banking managing director Isaac Rankin.

Dealing with change of course requires an understanding of a market in its current state and The Franchise Accountant co-founders Peter Knight and Kate Groom will deliver a detailed analysis of where things stand in the franchise industry, currently beset by a range of employee underpayment scandals.

Nor would any insolvency conference exploring the theme of dealing with change ignore an opportunity to present the insolvency practitioner’s perspective and this year’s panel discussion is likely to be lively.

Advocating their particular view will be Murray Legal’s Michael Murray, Crouch Amirbeaggi’s Shabnam Amirbeaggi, AFSA’s regulation and enforcement director Mark Findlay, Jones Partners’ Michael Jones and former PPB Advisory stalwart Mark Robinson who’s recently joined dVT Group.

An update on the economy, which was well received at last year’s inaugural AIIP Conference, will be delivered again by Macquarie Group’s Ben Forrester while the rapidly evolving litigation funding space will be examined by ERA’s Blake O’Neill and Stephen Humphreys from the Department of Jobs and Small Business.

Given the implementation of ASIC’s industry funding model and the new powers bestowed upon the regulator in the wake of the banking Royal Commission, ASIC’s senior executive leader – insolvency practitioners – Thea Eszenyi can look forward to a particularly attentive audience when she updates delegates on ASIC’s position on the proper administration of insolvency law.

Changing sentiment around property investment and the threat of major changes to rules applying to property-related taxes in the event a Labor government is elected later this month are certain to ensure Savills’ Nick Lower will also have delegate’s undivided attention as he updates the conference on changes in the real estate market.

Finally, this year’s keynote speech will be delivered by Federal Court judge Michael Lee.

For information on how to register see: ‘Dealing with Change’ – Current State of the Insolvency Profession in Australia

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