The New Zealand Exchange (NZX) announced this Tuesday that it has appointed Annabel Cotton and John Hawkins as the two further directors for the Establishment Board, joining Elaine Campbell and Mike Heron QC.
Changes at NZX
As Finance Magnates reported, the NZX Board is planning to adopt a new regulatory operating and governance model which will be similar to models used by other exchanges, such as the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
Namely, a wholly-owned operating subsidiary of the Kiwi exchange will execute all frontline regulatory functions, as part of its obligations as a market operator and operator of the designated settlement system.
The proposed entity will be structurally separate from the exchange’s commercial and operational activities, governed by a separate board with an independent chair, and will target to operate on a cost-neutral basis.
As part of this, the Establishment Board, which is being chaired by Trevor Janes, will form the new governance framework for NZX’s regulatory function. According to the statement released today, Janes said the appointment of the two directors will add further depth to the Board.
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The Chair of NZX, James Miller, said in the statement that he wholeheartedly endorsed the Board selection of Annabel Cotton and John Hawkins.
“This is a vital evolution of the structure, governance and the operating model for NZX Regulation and we cannot emphasise enough the need to have the right skills and governance experience around the table,” he continued.
“At the inner workings of our capital markets we are adding the eyes and insights of John Hawkins, who has a passion for shareholders’ rights – particularly retail – and has been transformational over the past decade in building-up the role and constructive impact of the New Zealand Shareholders’ Association, together with Annabel’s strong perspectives from corporate New Zealand, experience on the Securities Commission, and in leading one of this country’s foremost investor relations consulting firms.”
Background on Establishment Board directors
Cotton is Managing Director of Merlin Consulting, which is a consultancy firm that provides investor relations and governance support to NZX-listed companies. She joins the Board with more than two decades worth of experience as a governor across a number of entities, ranging from listed companies to not-for-profit organisations and more.
Hawkins, on the other hand, was the Chairman/Executive Chairman of the New Zealand Shareholders Association (NZSA) for 10 years up until 2019. In this role, he lobbied for the separation of NZX’s regulatory responsibilities from the company’s commercial and operational interests.