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ISI appoints new chief executive

Tuesday 22nd March 2011

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The Investment Savings and Insurance association has finally appointed a new chief executive to replace Vance Arkinstall who resigned in the middle of last year.

The new association's new boss, Peter Neilson, has been Chief Executive of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development since 2004.

During this time he has led successful advocacy for pricing carbon, a levy on solid waste and mainstreaming sustainable business practice, including sustainable procurement by Government agencies, the association says.

He is an economist, and was formerly an international consultant with Ernst and Young and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.  Before that he was a merchant banker after leaving Parliament where he served as a government minister, including portfolios in finance, revenue, SOEs and works. 

During his time in Government, he was heavily involved in the financial services industry, overseeing the implementation of a number of important initiatives such as the restructuring of public servant pensions, and the establishment of an independent central bank.

ISI chairman Sean Carroll says the appointment will see the ISI increase its focus on issues like retirement income and savings, and the level of under-insurance.

"We believe Neilson has all the necessary skills, experience and energy to drive change and improve public confidence in the financial services industry.

"Peter's experience both in the commercial and political worlds will enable the ISI to strengthen relationships with all key stakeholders and ensure we can make a positive contribution to the changes that are taking place within our industry," Carroll says.

"His knowledge and background in economics will also provide us with a sound platform for stimulating greater debate around issues such as retirement income and savings, and the level of under-insurance within New Zealand."

Carroll says that during his time with the Business Council, Neilson broadened the focus of the organisation by leading it away from being focused mainly on improving the sustainability of member businesses to an organisation also capable of influencing public policy on sustainability issues.

"Peter has a proven ability to implement organisational change and performance improvements, and to influence public policy," Carroll says.  "He is experienced in engaging with a broad range of stakeholders, government officials and politicians to achieve buy in and support for change, and we are looking forward to working with him to improve our industry for the benefit of all New Zealanders and the New Zealand economy as a whole."

Neilson says he is looking forward to leading the ISI as New Zealand debates how it is going to prepare for an ageing population by gradually moving from pay-as-you-go to greater prepaid provision of retirement incomes and other costs.

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