August 2011 

Our man at GM

When Dan Ammann was a youngster he looked out the window to his parents' dairy farm in the tiny township of Eureka, just outside Hamilton.

Dan AmmannToday Dan looks out of the window of his 39th storey office window in Detroit to a vast cityscape including the Detroit River and on towards Ontario, Canada.

Dan is the Chief Financial Officer of the world’s second largest car manufacturer, General Motors.  He was appointed to that role in April this year and at the same time was named Senior Vice President of the company which has more than 200,000 employees globally.  He was previously the company’s Vice President of Finance and Treasurer.

Educated at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, Dan graduated from the University of Waikato in 1994 with a Bachelor of Management Studies (First Class Honours) in Economics and Finance.

“Being a businessman hadn’t been a childhood vision but I knew the Waikato degree would be a solid starting point and that it would stand me in good stead for the future,” says Dan.  “The business school had a great reputation.”

After Dan graduated he went to work at Credit Suisse Boston in Auckland as an analyst and associate in the banking team and a few years later moved to the New York office. The next move was to Morgan Stanley where he scaled the corporate ladder and was appointed managing director of the bank in 2004. 

Home base for Dan, his wife Pernilla and his daughters Katarina (7) and Philippa (4) is New York, with Dan commuting to Detroit for work. 

“Being the CFO of such a big American company wasn’t my plan at the beginning but now I’m here and doing it I couldn’t be happier,” says Dan who enjoys the challenges of the role as well as its many opportunities.

While Dan doesn’t have much spare time, he and his family enjoy going to their beach house in Easthampton and he’s also taking lessons to gain his racing licence.  In Detroit and New York Dan drives a high performance CTS-V Cadillac and when he’s at the beach he drives an old 1961 convertible.