Moments: Michael Brereton CA’s path to ARITA president
The restructuring specialist and new ARITA president has had decades assisting businesses on both sides of the globe.
- Michael Brereton CA obtained his CA designation in South Africa in 1993.
- He started his career in restructuring in New York with PwC.
- In May 2021, Brereton became president of ARITA – the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association.
The early years
I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, playing any sport that did not involve water. Soccer and tennis were my favourites.
1993 – 2001
I obtained my CA designation in South Africa in 1993, working first in audit with one of the Big Four, before working for a local development bank. I moved to New York in 1996 with my wife, Julie (also a CA), and completed my MBA at Columbia Business School (pictured). Soon after, I began corporate restructuring work with PwC, in particular Chapter 11 bankruptcy engagements. This was a great time; I was travelling the East Coast of the US for work and I’d begun a career where I was able to help underperforming businesses and those in financial distress.
2001 – 2009
My family and I flew out of New York on 29 September 2001, two weeks after September 11, to relocate to Melbourne. I joined CA ANZ shortly after arriving, and started working with KordaMentha in 2002. My parents and my youngest sister joined us in Australia in 2002, with my elder sister and her family relocating to Australia several years later. This photo is from my sister’s wedding in Brisbane in 2009. Both my sisters are also members of CA ANZ.
2018 – Present
I relocated from Melbourne to Sydney in 2008, before joining William Buck Restructuring and Insolvency in May 2018. We provide restructuring and insolvency services to companies in the middle market, and bankruptcy services to individuals. During the pandemic we have used the Safe Harbour legislation to assist directors of several companies to save their businesses, instead of them having to resort to liquidation. That’s saved hundreds of jobs for employees of these companies.
In May this year, I was appointed president of ARITA – the Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association. ARITA is Australia’s peak body for the R&I profession and many ARITA members are also part of CA ANZ.
Outside of work, most of my time is spent with my family and friends. The photos opposite are of the family at my sister’s wedding in Brisbane and with the family and my dad celebrating my son’s 18th birthday. I also enjoy watching the kids play hockey or soccer, or playing sports myself. Most often it’s golf, or tennis at Killara Lawn Tennis Club.
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