NZX’s CEO Tim Bennett has told the board of the stock exchange operator that he will step down at the end of this year. Tim will remain in the role and continue to drive the business until 31 December 2016, although he was due to stay as head of the Wellington-based company for five years.
With the outgoing boss indicating a desire to step down, a year earlier than envisaged, the board now undertakes a formal search process to find a permanent replacement to ensure the new CEO starts at the beginning of the new financial year.
NZX is the only registered securities exchange in New Zealand, and is also an authorised futures exchange. NZX equity markets had a total market capitalisation of NZ$87 billion.
Tim Bennett was appointed CEO of NZX in May 2012. He replaced Mark Weldon who spent more than a decade in the role that almost made the NZX and its former CEO one and the same. Prior to joining NZX, Tim was a partner at Oliver Wyman in Singapore, and previously was a partner with the Boston Consulting Group in Asia and Australia.
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In a statement, James Miller, NZX Board Chair said that Tim has been a transformational leader of NZX in what has been a “positive era for NZX and New Zealand’s capital markets.”
Tim holds an MBA in Strategy and Finance from University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Business Administration from Victoria University of Wellington.
Miller pointed out that “NZX will commence a worldwide search for a new CEO. The successful applicant will make it their strong priority to create shareholder value and develop and continue to grow the New Zealand capital markets, while completing the simplification of the complexities that exist in the operation today.”
Commenting on his departure, Tim Bennett said: “It has been an intensive four years of change that I have led NZX through and with that process largely complete, I’ve decided that the end of the year is the right time for someone else to drive the next phase of growth.”
“Through the funds services strategy that we have embarked on, NZX now has exposure to New Zealand’s rapidly growing funds management sector. And with a number of key milestones achieved this year, including the successful integration of SuperLife and strong performance of that business, two major client wins for NZX Wealth Technologies, and the restructuring of our agri businesses almost complete, I’m confident that now is the right time for the next leader to take over,” he added.
Bennett’s CEO share scheme will continue to run until August next year, according to which he will receive a taxable bonus in case the NZX’s total shareholder return (TSR) exceeds a margin of 1% over its weighted average cost of capital.