AHRI goes back to members

by 01 Nov 2006

AHRI NATIONAL president and interim CEO, Peter Wilson, recently signed documents buying the Institute back on behalf of its 11,000 members.

After six years of ownership by DeakinUniversity, an advertisement in the Financial Review announced that the commercial arm of AHRI was up for sale in late August.

AHRI had last right of refusal, and signed a purchase contract on 6 October, with final settlement completed on 16 October.

In an interview with Human Resources magazine, Wilson said the member buy-back was consulted through the state councils.

“Obviously, there wasn’t a plebiscite of 11,000 members,” he said.

“You can’t do that in a commercial bidding process, but there was consultation with each of the state councils and AHRI Ltd was set up with the power to finalise its bid and it did that in the normal commercial way.”

Wilson was unable to reveal how much it cost to buy the institute back from Deakin.

“I can say that we bought it for a very good price, and we’re quite comfortable with that and we’re looking forward to developing the business in a totally integrated way as a result,” he said.

In the separation from Deakin, AHRI was split into two bodies: AHRI Limited, the professional association, and AHRI Services Co Limited, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary which provides commercial services to members.

In the last issue of Human Resourcesmagazine, it was revealed that Jo Mithen had left the post of executive director in early October to take up the role of general manager of business services in the Melbourne office of law firm Dibbs Abbott Stillman.

With the departure of Mithen, Wilson has also assumed the role of interim CEO of AHRI Services Co Ltd, while an executive search is conducted to replace Mithen. AHRI expects that the role will be filled by early 2007.

AHRI expected that it will be “business as usual” with the operational model in the short-term. “However, now that the Institute is fully controlled by members of the profession, the new board will consult with the elected regional councillors to formulate policy direction for the future,” AHRI said in a FAQ statement

The Institute was also confident that it was on sound financial footing and would not go bankrupt again.

“Having recently availed themselves of due diligence documentation and access to senior national office staff, the new board directors are confident that AHRI is on a very healthy financial footing and is well set up for operating into the future,” the statement said.

“There will be a continuation of the sound systems put in place under former CEO Jo Mithen and this, combined with new directors appointed to AHRI Services Co Ltd for their strong business and financial credentials, should together ensure that AHRI services are operated prudently for the benefit of AHRI members.”


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