From Wellington to London to Christchurch, we're chatting with Ben Halsey who formed an interest in small businesses from a young age thanks to his parents. He explains why he enjoys working with SME owners and what his 'current' movies of choice are.
Can you tell us about your journey with Deloitte – where you started, what offices you’ve worked in and the positions you’ve held?
I started my journey with Deloitte in the Wellington office as a bright-eyed graduate in Tax & Private (at that stage the service line was known as Accounting and Advisory). Several years later, I left Wellington as a senior consultant to do the classic London OE. This February, I returned to New Zealand, joined the Christchurch Tax & Private team and hit the ground running as a Manager.
What is it about working with private businesses that you enjoy most?
Definitely the people. I really enjoy creating new relationships with private businesses and helping them solve their problems. The teams in private businesses are often made up of a diverse bunch of people juggling a number of different roles and responsibilities. With this diversity comes new and exciting perspectives, experiences, and challenges.
You're working at Deloitte in Christchurch so you’ll be enjoying the new cutting-edge building you get to work in. What has it been like to be part of a city that’s in the midst of some interesting rebuilding work?
It's exciting. The landscape in the central city vibrant and dynamic. It is constantly changing with both new and old businesses continually coming back into the central city. Not only is it great to see the resilience of the central city community but it is exciting to see the new opportunities evolving. There are always new cafes and bars to explore too!
Where are you originally from in New Zealand?
I was born and bred in the sunny Bay of Plenty. My younger years were spent on the water or at the beach and these days I love getting back there in the summer time.
Why did you decide on a career in finance?
Growing up, my parents had a number of small businesses and I had decided at an early age that I somehow wanted to be involved in that too. As a school leaver, given I was good with numbers and problems, I decided that pursuing a career in accounting and tax was the best use of my skills while still being able to work with private businesses.
What would do work in if you hadn’t chosen this industry?
Hopefully helping to run a craft beer brewery (lots of opportunity to taste test!). Although I'm also partial to the idea of setting up a doggy day-care centre.
What’s your favourite movie and why?
I'm often a bit behind the times with movies but I'm always a fan of a bit of humour. At the moment, my favourites are probably Wedding Crashers - arguably the greatest love story ever told - and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with its black humour.
Who do you look up to and why?
I admire people in business who are stepping out on a limb. That might mean taking their business to new heights of growth or just starting out. It was great to recently celebrate with some of these people at the recent Fast 50 regional awards. Having been a part of an early stage business when I was working overseas, I understand the pressures and sheer hard work involved trying to get an idea off the ground and growing.