John B

John Bates

Direct dial: +64 3 963 1460
Assistant: Sue James
Office: CBD

As General Manager of the diverse and dynamic operation at Saunders & Co, my role is incredibly broad and interesting.


I joined Saunders & Co in 2000 as a financial controller but, within a handful of years, I was also leading the firm’s HR, IT, strategic planning and marketing functions, resulting in a re-branding of my role to General Manager.


I encourage the development of a modern, honest, inclusive culture at the firm which I describe as down-to-earth and non-hieracheral.  All staff work in an open-plan environment where partners are always accessible to junior staff. I enjoy leading the large team at Saunders & Co which has a complementary mix of different personality types.


My management style is based on fairness, common sense, intuition and respect, and I am dedicated to providing a consistently high level of service and advice in a professional and personable manner.


Although I have stepped back from the day-to-day financial operations of the firm, I still keep a close eye on cashflow and financial performance. I act as a mentor to the firm’s taxation and accounting team on a range of matters, and assist with legal files that require my financial acumen, sometimes working with clients directly.


I make a point of getting to know the requirements and service experience of clients, and I am often involved with client contact, including after service follow up to ensure the experience with Saunders & Co has been a positive one.


I am also responsible for general operations which could include anything from health and safety signage to managing premise renovations. Strategic responsibilities include a place on the Saunders & Co Board and facilitating regular planning retreats for partners and associates. Dealing with outside consultants, managing IT, resolving staff and client issues, and keeping an eye on regulatory requirements are other aspects of my work.