Catherine Duncan has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Matthews Steer, as North West Melbourne’s premier Accountant and Advisory firm embarks on its fourth decade in business.
The promotion will see Duncan assume further responsibility for the day-to-day running of the firm and execution of its strategic plan, while CEO Ken Matthews focuses on business development and growing the firm significantly over the next three years.
Matthews said Duncan’s appointment bolsters Matthews Steer’s strategic capability. “It's been a massive transition for me to get out of the kitchen and focus more on the big picture,” he said. “We are now in the position of seeking growth opportunities organically, or through acquisition. Catherine is a critical part of that and I have complete confidence in her ability to get things done.”
Matthews said Duncan’s passion and energy makes her the perfect person to help drive Matthews Steer to the next level. “Catherine continually strives for improvement,” said Matthews. “Her positive attitude and motivation, and her outstanding relationships with our executive team and key stakeholders, equip her perfectly to guide our business.”
Duncan joined Matthews Steer in 2007 with more than 30 years’ experience in operations management and improvement, international risk consultancy, change management and implementation consulting. A member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the International Coaching Guild, Duncan assumed the role of General Manger in January 2010 before being appointed COO in October 2020.
As a challenging 2020 draws to a close, she said she would be taking some time to reflect on her current functions within the business. “With a new title comes the chance to stop and ask: ‘what does that mean,’” said Duncan. “It’s a time to look at what you’re currently doing well, and identify where can you can add more value.
“Ken and I will work closely to implement our growth strategy, ensuring we have the right people and the right strategic plans in core business areas where we see huge opportunities, with an eye on succession planning for key roles. We have many irons in the fire at the moment so we’re building on what we've already started.”
Duncan said she’d never had a job she hadn't loved, but felt she’d “truly come home” at Matthews Steer. “In my twenties I was taught: ‘you're only as good as the people that you're surrounded by’ and I am surrounded by an amazing team of sharp, capable, dedicated people,” she said. “Our team is the secret to our success.”
A qualified business coach, one of Duncan’s key roles within the business is professional development, and she says her “biggest passion” is building leadership capability and aligning the right people to deliver Matthews Steer’s strategic plan. “My promotion is a celebration of everybody in the business because I received it based on the developmental work I've been doing with the team,” she said.
And Duncan said Matthews Steer’s purpose: ‘Empowering our communities to live their potential,’ was a motivating factor behind her career ascendency, and that of the business. “We’ve grown a network of incredible clients, and they grow and they improve as we grow and improve. Ken has always supported, challenged and pushed me, and that's why I'm where I am.
“When we lift each other up and we all become bigger and better. It’s a continuous cycle with the team, the clients, and the business all growing together, and it’s that community that really drives me.
“The future for Matthews Steer is whatever we want it to be. We've got the right focus, we’ve put the right strategy in place and we have the right people to move us forward. It’s a fascinating time and I’m excited to see where our journey takes us next.”