Christine Axton joins Aither in new chief operating officer role

22 September 2021 Consultancy.com.au 2 min. read
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Australian boutique consultancy Aither has expanded its executive team with Christine Axton, who has been installed as the firm’s inaugural Chief Operating Officer. 

The launch of the newly created role comes “in response to our strong growth” said Chris Olszak and Will Fargher, the co-founders and managing directors of Aither. 

The duo founded Aither in 2012, bringing together the worlds of economics and management consulting (Olszak previously served Frontier Economics and Andersen Consulting) with water industry expertise (Fargher was General Manager of Water Markets and Efficiency at the National Water Commission before co-founding Aither). 

Christine Axton, Chief Operating Officer, Aither

Today, Aither is a 40-strong strategic consulting firm specialised in water policy, water markets, infrastructure, and natural hazards. The firm operates with five offices across the country: in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane.

“We’re experiencing strong demand for our expertise as the challenges of climate change, water security and protection of natural assets gain global momentum”, said Fargher. “Having grown considerably over the last two years, the senior team identified the need to appoint a Chief Operating Officer.” 

In the role, Axton will lead Aither’s team of client-facing consultants, oversee all aspects of internal operations (account management, staffing, performance management, recruitment, etc) and “safeguard Aither’s evidence-based, innovation-led culture” said Fargher. “Christine will have a strong focus on people, culture and professional development, essential factors if we are to continue to have the impact we seek.” 

Meanwhile, Axton will also play a key role in supporting Aither’s growth plans. The consulting firm has in recent years expanded internationally with experts now also based in Europe and North America, and is seeking to ramp up the ‘export’ of its leading national expertise in water policy and the environment to other markets that face similar challenges.

Axton joins Aither from Deloitte, where she spent five years in its strategy consulting outfit (Monitor Deloitte). Before that, she worked for homegrown management consultancy Nous Group and two international research houses, among others. She brings 25 years of research and consulting experience to the firm, specialised in growth strategy, organisational capability and digital transformation. 

Commenting on her new challenge, Axton said: “I’m thrilled to have joined Aither; a frank, fearless and intelligent group of people working on globally significant issues.”