National history

Proud history, proven reputation

Moore Stephens Markhams chartered accountancy firms have been part of our respective communities for many years; in some instances, serving local business needs for more than a century.

David MDavid Markhamarkham – A leader with integrity 1893-1968

The Markhams name originates from the firm David Markham & Company, established in 1935 in Wellington.

Humble beginnings and the pain of the Jewish poor, shaped a small boy into the considerate and dynamic business leader he was to become. David Markowitch was born in 1893 into a working class Jewish family in London’s East End, the oldest son of an immigrant couple. His father escaped from Kovno and illegally settled in Britain where he plied his cabinetmaker trade and struggled to provide for his growing family.

Making things happen

After a primary school education, David, who was a member of the Jewish Lads Brigade, found favour with one of the ‘gentlemen’ officers who was a merchant banker in the City of London. David was offered a job at a London-based German bank, enrolled in German classes, and his family outfitted him with suitable clothes for his new employment.

By 1912, David felt he had exhausted his chances and made the decision to try his luck in the colonies. To qualify as a suitable immigrant, he changed his surname by deed poll to Markham. David arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aged 19, with 5 pounds sterling and a primary school education. Determined to get ahead, he rolled his sleeves up and undertook work where he could find it: as a farm worker, surveyor’s assistant, suit salesman and confectionery salesman, until he eventually gained a higher paying job at Paykel Brothers, selling oil.

Following his marriage to Rachel Levy in the 1920s, he undertook employment at her family’s clothing business, A Levy Limited. Hungry for knowledge, he enrolled in accounting lessons, pushing himself to complete the Society of Accountants’ diploma in two years rather than the usual three.

Always customer focused

In 1935, David resigned as a working Director from A Levy Limited and while retaining his seat on the Board, opened his own practice, David Markham & Company. Despite his initial lack of business connections, David’s efficiency and integrity rapidly established the firm. David saw clients’ financial and business welfare as the heart of his practice.

His dependable solutions and practical business strategies grew their business and his reputation. People trusted David’s forward thinking approach, warm personable manner and expertise. His was real advice for changing times.

Proactively caring

Throughout his life, David assisted in welfare work with refugees and orphans, embodying the Jewish concept of ‘tzedaka’ – giving to those in need with respect and dignity. A leader with warmth and honesty, David was a pillar to the community donating his time and expertise. During World War II, he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace and joined a government committee on alcohol and drug abuse.

In the late 1950s the then Minister of Finance, Arnold Nordmeyer, appointed him a Director of the Bank of New Zealand and he became a fellow of the Society of Accountants. Here was a man who gave 100 per-cent of himself and expected nothing short of this from colleagues.

Serious about success

In 2010, the Markhams network of firms joined forces with Moore Stephens International, one of the world’s major accounting and consulting networks with 301 independent firms and 636 offices in more than 100 countries, renaming itself in 2013 as Moore Stephens Markhams.

This dynamic customer focus is the cornerstone of David’s legacy – the Moore Stephens Markhams network of chartered accountants and business advisory firms. Locally based, we are serious about both our clients’ success and the success of our communities. The commitment and stamina of our founder continues in our determination to provide realistic, innovative business and financial advice.

Real values for real success. David would be proud.

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