Written by Rebecca Savory
Adrian Wimmers has a passion for making a positive difference for New Zealand through the work that he does, and in 2009 his passion for his work was solidified by the Leadership NZ Programme.
Prior to the Programme, Adrian worked for KPMG in the UK, the Netherlands and most recently seven years in New Zealand advising the Government on a range of financial and commercial issues.
More specifically, he was focusing on connecting the public, private, and NGO sectors to create a more effective national system for improvement, based on measuring the effectiveness of programmes and having success as the incentive for financial support.
The Leadership NZ Programme showed Adrian the potential of his ideas and gave him the confidence to take the next step in his career.
“Leadership NZ provided me with the opportunity to look at what I was doing and actually realise that it had merit to really keep pushing in this direction,” said Adrian.
Adrian was nominated for partnership at KPMG at the end of his Leadership NZ year and became a partner at the end of 2010.
“For me, I had my epiphany moment about halfway through the year where I realised that the only person that was limiting me from stepping up to the next stage in my career was me. It was just this moment of reflection when I realised my firm has put me on this because they’re looking for me to step up and looking for me to become a leader in the things that I do and the only one who’s nervous about this process is me, not them, they’re waiting for it.”
He is now the head of KPMG’s infrastructure and projects group, and leads KPMG’s financial and commercial advice to the public sector.
“I see my job as helping the Government make better decisions.”
Adrian went on to work on one of the first public-private business cases in 2009/2010, to be the financial commercial advisor to the Ministry of Education on the first Public Private Partnership to close in New Zealand, as well as leading a team on the first social bond in New Zealand.
“Leadership NZ got me to a place where I was certain I was in the right place… I was incredibly pleased to find myself working in a partnership at a large company that thinks the same way I do. That people want to make a difference in this country.”
Adrian is in a unique position, collaborating large corporate companies with small social businesses, combining his advanced business skills with his passion for making a positive difference.
“I try to be at the front edge of disruptive change and it’s because I really believe that we can do better as a country – that we can get better at measuring and managing the right things.”
Outside of KPMG, Adrian is also involved in projects through Victoria University, as well as a member on the board of Inspiring Stories Trust.
“To be a part of an organisation that is purely focused on inspiring young New Zealanders and focusing on the eco-system of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship through just storytelling and inspiration, that’s a wonderful place to be. And I just pinch myself on how lucky I am to be a part of that. And combined with what I’m paid for, it just adds up to a package where I feel like I’m helping to make New Zealand a better place.”