Monday 10th April 2017
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NZX acting chief executive Mark Peterson will take over the reins full-time effective immediately and has been tasked with growing the business to compete more effectively both at home and abroad.
Peterson has been acting CEO since January, and was today appointed to the top job on a five-year contract with an option for a two-year extension, NZX said in a statement. The stock market operator wants him to focus on building upon NZX's existing relationships with stakeholders and expanding the business "to ensure it is best placed to compete domestically and internationally". His base salary is $500,000 with annual short-term incentives of up to $500,000 and long-term incentives of as much as $250,000 a year.
NZX has been looking for a replacement to predecessor Tim Bennett since October, saying at the time there was a "strong priority" to grow shareholder value in parallel to growing the capital market.
"Mark has shown himself to be a highly capable leader during his time at NZX and more recently as acting CEO," chairman James Miller said. "In addition to his extensive markets experience, Mark has been instrumental in transforming staff engagement, with his clear communication skills and collaborative leadership style."
Under Bennett's watch, NZX oversaw a jump in listings that coincided with the government's partial privatisation programme, the expansion of a suite of derivative products, and the acquisition of SuperLife and Apteryx to boost the stock exchange's funds management business. When Bennett was appointed, the board wanted him to focus on strengthening the exchange’s domestic markets, while maintaining a high degree of connectivity to Asia and other exchange operators.
NZX today said stakeholders surveyed on the most important skills needed by the stock market operator's new boss were "a passion for financial markets, a reputation for creating strong stakeholder relationships, extensive markets knowledge, and a sound understanding of technology". Other desirable characteristics included "the ability to create wealth, seasoned judgement, financial acumen, and generate a simplified strategic vision for NZX to ensure value creation for shareholders in the future," it said.
The stock market operator said Peterson demonstrated all of those skills.
The shares last traded at $1.06 and have gained 1 percent so far this year. The stock is rated an average 'hold' based on three recommendations compiled by Reuters with a median price target of $1.14.
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