Local businessman Arthur Kirk tells us how his desire for a challenge led him to retire from Forsyths and open his new company, Intuit Advisory.
How long have you lived in Armidale?
I’m happy to say Armidale is my home town. Both my wife and I grew up here, and I was fortunate to enjoy all the good things about the New England lifestyle and environment throughout my schooling and university years.
When I finished university, we moved to Sydney to work and experience city life, but when the time came to start a family, we knew it was time to move back to the country and enable our children to experience the advantages of growing up in such a family-friendly place.
Armidale has so much to offer; it was a no-brainer. The schools are fantastic, offering abundant opportunities for our children academically, as well as on the sporting field, in the arts and music. The university offers another dimension to our city’s culture as well. And of course, it was great to be near grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins for all of us. Family and community is what it is all about for us.
Describe your years at Forsyths?
My time at Forsyths has been extremely rewarding and satisfying. I’ve met so many amazing people – colleagues, clients and business associates alike.
It’s been a defining period in my career, where I have had an invaluable chance to challenge myself in a number of very different roles. That diversity offered a rich variety of experiences and allowed me to learn and grow and sharpen my skills.
Over the last 10 years, I have had the privilege of being the Managing Director and to be at the forefront of managing and developing the business. Forsyths is always striving to be better, and I have thrived on being a part of that challenge.
You have helped to build Forsyths into a great business. When and why are you moving on?
I’m never one to settle for the status quo, and you could say there’s something of a perverse streak in me that likes to continually stretch my ‘comfort zone’. My tendency is to take something on, often scaring the pants off myself in the process, and once I have a good feel for what I’m doing, I start looking for the next challenge!
I said goodbye to Forsyths on the 30th June, and the timing was based on 3 critical considerations: where Forsyths is at, my family, and my age.
Much of what I have been working towards at Forsyths has been achieved, our children are through school, and my best years are still in front of me. Life is too short to spend it wondering ‘What if?’
I’m attracted by the possibilities of what can lie ahead if you are prepared to embrace change – on the one hand, exciting – on the other, a bit scary. But hey, it’s grand to be alive!
I’ve never forgotten a great bit of advice a long-standing client of Forsyths gave me … “Arthur, if you’re not standing on the edge, you are taking up too much room!”
Why the word INTUIT as a company name?
Intuit brings knowledge and wisdom to the table. This allows Intuit to focus on the needs of its clients and quickly identify what should be done to provide valuable outcomes. In other words, Intuit has the ability to help its clients get to the ‘heart of the matter’ quickly. This requires insight, clarity and the foresight to see the road ahead.
Describe the ideal type of client who would benefit from INTUIT Advisory?
The Intuit Advisory vision is simple and singular: to grow the value of your business.
We will be working with quickly growing businesses that need help bedding down their strategy and structures to ensure the business is strong and sustainable. We will also be working with large established businesses that need additional support at the board and executive management levels.
High quality relationships are a non-negotiable for Intuit, which is why we are looking for clients we can work with on a regular, on-going basis and make a lasting and measurable difference to their business.
Give an example of the types of packages INTUIT will provide?
We want clients to think of us as a strategic partner, not a generic service provider. A key advantage is our ability to match the service package with clients’ needs.
Intuit’s focus is firmly on strategy, corporate governance, risk, succession and operational management, and our value lies in our ability to help clients identify and implement more effective practices in those areas.
Why do you believe ‘corporate management’ is your forte?
I have always been fascinated with what creates a quality and sustainable business. My time in advising and building a business has taught me that clear vision, strong principles, solid governance and management structures, and good people with a great attitude are fundamental to success.
I have spent about half of my professional career in management roles, and much of my client advisory life has involved the corporate sector, having commenced my career with KPMG in Sydney.
Without doubt, my involvement in the transformation of Forsyths from a partnership to a corporate structure over the past decade has been the highlight of my career so far.
Will you stay in Armidale?
My work will require me to travel around Australasia quite a bit, but we both love Armidale and intend to stay here. We are lucky to have wonderful family and friends in Armidale and a marvellous place to live just out of town, and we value that greatly.
Finally, are you still an avid golfer?
At 16, the only thing I wanted to do was play golf and be around golf courses. Life had other ideas and took me down different paths, but I still try to play on a regular basis. As much as I hate to admit it, Jan is a far more consistent golfer. Despite the fact that I think I should be able to play better than I do, I really enjoy being with my mates on the Armidale golf course every chance I get.
This story was published in issue 63 of New England Focus