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Certificate of Public Practice, Chartered Accountant, Bachelor of Commerce, ACIS

It’s with great sadness… that we advise you that our senior Partner and friend Athol Owens passed away peacefully on Monday 3rd February after a determined fight.

Athol was a great partner to Tanya, a devoted father to Julia, Cameron and Matthew and Papa to Olivia and Stella.
True to his private, determined and highly professional nature, Athol had been battling Leukemia, but kept his illness quiet so he could focus on living a fulfilled life, enjoying friends, family, his work and travel. Unfortunately, his battle escalated in recent months and took hold.

Athol was with BVO for 48 years and in that time, he worked tirelessly to provide high quality accounting services with a focus on sound business advice and strong, lasting relationships.  He was a wealth of knowledge and a trusted mentor to many. In recent years, he stepped back from most of the day to day dealings but his love of his work and his clients, many of whom he considered friends kept him coming back into the office.

Athol will be sorely missed in and around the office, but he told us that he was extremely proud of the dedicated team at BVO and had total confidence that the practice and its clients were in good hands with Julia Owens, Mike Bowden and Alex Houghton moving forward.

We are extremely grateful for your ongoing support and remain committed to delivering the same levels of sound, stable and valued advice that Athol provided. May he rest in peace.


Certificate of Public Practice, Chartered Accountant, Bachelor of Business

Alex joined the firm in 2008 and has been a director since 2009. Before joining BVO, Alex held various roles as a tax manager at a ‘big 4’ accountancy practice in Auckland, management accounting and systems roles in the United Kingdom for an American multinational, a financial analyst for a United Kingdom PLC and audit roles for ‘big 4’ and ‘2nd tier’ accounting firms in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. The experience gained from working in New Zealand and abroad has provided Alex with exposure to a variety of industries ranging from small not for profit organisations to companies listed on New Zealand and overseas stock exchanges.

Alex specialises in business advisory services, tax compliance, audit and assurance services. Alex is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Tax Special Interest Group which allows him to keep abreast of changes in tax policy and the resulting changes in tax legislation.

Alex’s objectives are to work closely with clients, understand their business and personal financial goals and provide a pro-active service that clients value.

Personal Interests: Alex was brought up on a dairy farm in Northland, is married to Emma and has four children, Liam, Eva, Issac and Rebecca. When not busy with family, Alex has been known to compete in the odd triathlon and running race.


Certificate of Public Practice, Chartered Accountant, Bachelor of Business (Hons)

Julia joined the firm in 2004 from a large accountancy practice in the City where she was involved in various roles, including business services, audit and presenting at seminars to help business owners better understand their accounts and financial position.

Julia has been a director since 2008 and her experience at BVO covers a wide range of industry sectors with a special interest in the real estate, legal and health sectors. Julia specialises in the area of business advisory services and taxation compliance issues along with estate planning and asset management. She is an active member of the Institute’s Trust Special Interest Group.

Julia enjoys maintaining a close working relationship with her clients, taking the time to understand their business needs and help them achieve their goals.

Personal Interests: Julia is married to Jeremy Halpin and they have two daughters, Olivia and Stella. Julia enjoys spending time with family, playing tennis, boating and fishing.


Certificate of Public Practice, Chartered Accountant, Bachelor of Business Studies

Mike has worked with a number of clients over various industries. He has a good knowledge of general compliance issues which face businesses that operate in New Zealand and has had a number of years experience working with Companies, Trusts and Partnerships. Mike has experience in appropriately structuring businesses, sale & acquisition of businesses and business valuations. Mike has a particular interest in property development and investment.

Mike initially joined the firm in 2003 and became a Director in 2008. He originally comes from Taupo where he worked in a medium sized accounting firm before shifting to Auckland.

Personal Interests: Mike is married to Tania and has two children, Sophie and Liam. Mike is often found on the golf course on a Saturday morning.