Jo Avenell

CEO, Russell McVeagh

Jo is an accomplished senior executive, with broad experience and a proven track-record in transforming organisational performance across many national and global firms over the last 30 years.

As CEO of Russell McVeagh, her focus is to lead the firm on an ambitious growth and transformation agenda.

Her primary passion is on ensuring companies thrive and prosper through the strength of the culture, leadership and values that are embodied. Jo believes that unleashing the individual and collective potential of an organisation is through a combination of having a clear direction, compelling purpose, focus on delivering on plans and commitments, and creating a positive, energised and engaging environment to work in.

Having worked in both the private and public sector with a background in financial services, professional services, and postal and logistic services, Jo is a hugely respected leader, known for delivering significant culture change and improving performance during some of the most dynamic and disruptive times within the industries and firms she has been a part of.

Jo has held a number of senior executive roles prior to Russell McVeagh including: New Zealand Post (Group General Manager Customer Experience, Brand & People), Westpac NZ (General Manager of Human Resources & Corporate Affairs), and PwC (Director of Human Capital).

From 1995 to 2006, Jo spent 12 years in the UK with global investment banking firm Credit Suisse, and subsequently with Ernst & Young in a broad range of Global and European roles. Her early career started within professional services as an auditor with PwC in New Zealand.

Jo is a chartered accountant and member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ). Jo is a member of Global Women and Champions for Change, and was also a Global Women Board member from 2010 – 2019.

Her purpose has always been to work towards improving the performance of an organisation, through harnessing the potential and energy of its people, to positively influence the landscape of New Zealand Inc.