Barry Rosenberg - 65 and not out, new plans ahead

Barry Rosenberg may be retiring from Moore Markhams at the end of March but he’s certainly not heading home to sit in his recliner to listen to sports radio.

After a career as a chartered accountant and business advisor for 43 years, Barry feels he has more to offer and is looking to hone his knowledge with the completion of a PhD through Victoria University Wellington.

Barry has had a long-time passion around succession planning and the next three to four years will be studying why and how some families have been able to successfully transition a business through the generations without diminishing its strength, and in fact growing the entity, while other families really struggle with the process.

He then plans to write two books: one on his research on family farm and business succession and the other on business exit strategies.

Firmly believing that ‘nothing great comes out of a comfort zone’, Barry previously completed an MBA through Massey University and focused on the thorny question of succession planning. He subsequently became a leading advisor in the field, speaking with financial organisations and farming and business groups on the topic. He has also worked with many farming families to tackle the issue, although not always to a solid completion, as for many “it’s a massively problematic issue”.

“With the end of my own CA career looming, I have been working on what’s next,” says Barry. “Although I don’t feel ready to retire. The years have gone by so quickly.”

Together with his son James, Barry has established – a website that sets out to help people reinvent retirement so they can get the most out of this phase of their life. The name is a nod to Barry’s passion for cricket.

He is also working on a financial literacy book for secondary school students – Money Skills for After School. And he plans to continue to consult as time allows.

“I’ve developed some fantastic relationships over a long period of time and I’m not going to cut myself off from those people.”

For Barry, every day contributing positively to other people’s lives has been a highlight of his career. Being awarded the highest honours of his profession – a Fellowship of the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), and Governance New Zealand, also mean a lot to Barry.

“I’ve had a brilliant career. I’ve worked with some great people and being able to contribute to the financial wellbeing of so many people has been a privilege.”

As well as his many clients, Barry holds a long association with Hastings Boys’ High School, the Cornwall Cricket Club (he was a founder) and St Andrew’s Church – a total of 75 years’ service to the three to date.

Out of university, Barry first worked for Denton Anderson Mackay & Donovan (a forerunner to Moore Markhams), then Hastings Motors for a short time before returning to public practice, sole practicing for 18 years. He rejoined Moore Markhams in 2006. During all his years he says he’s been extremely lucky to have had only four days off for illness.

Barry says the biggest change in the CA profession over his career has been the move from preparing historical annual financial statements as the core business, to providing advisory services to clients.

“Now our role is to give accurate, quality advice to help people succeed in their personal and business affairs. I’ve been blessed and privileged to have worked with many great people. I’ve been very very lucky.”

And while working life for Barry may soon be in a different form, it’s definitely not over.