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Mark Mountcastle resigns as chief risk officer with Heartland New Zealand

Friday 24th October 2014

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Heartland New Zealand, the bank which formed after the merger of Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies and Marac Finance, has lost its chief risk officer Mark Mountcastle.

Mountcastle has resigned after four years with the Christchurch-based bank, and will leave at the end of November, it said in a statement. Simon Owen, the bank's chief financial officer, will act in the role until a replacement is found.

The resignation comes after director Gary Leech last month retired from the board, after three years during which he oversaw the bank's merger. In September last year, the bank's head of treasury and strategy Craig Stephen resigned and the role was recast as chief financial officer.

The lender has been chasing acquisitions outside of traditional banking to help grow earnings, and earlier this month it announced it had taken a 10 percent stake in HarMoney, the online peer-to-peer lending platform, while also investing a funding line for an undisclosed amount. In February it announced the acquisition of a reverse mortgage business from Seniors Money International for $87 million, while in July Motor Trade Finances turned down an offer from Heartland which would have added a loan book of some $438 million.

Shares of the listed lender rose 1 percent to $1 and have gained 16 percent since the start of the year. The stock is rated an average of 'hold' based on the consensus of three analysts surveyed by Reuters, with a median price target of 96 cents.


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