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NZSA 2011 Awards

Thursday 8th December 2011

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The New Zealand Shareholders Association has announced that this year it is presenting two awards for outstanding performance. These will be presented at a dinner function in Auckland today.

The Beacon award for leadership and guidance on corporate practise has been awarded to Simon Challies, Managing director of Ryman Healthcare.

NZSA Chairman John Hawkins said that Challies joined Ryman in 1999. Since then, the company has increased its market capitalisation ten-fold and profits have grown from $6.2m to $100m, all without any calls on the shareholders for additional capital.

Simon has been a quiet achiever, but his careful execution of a clear strategy and proven ability to motivate and mentor his management team has handsomely rewarded investors despite the very difficult business environment over the past three years. It goes to show that home-grown talent can foot it with the best of them, Hawkins said.

It also lays to rest the myth that swapping CEO’s every four or five years is necessary to get results. “A number of our best performing companies have enjoyed management continuity, and Challies record at Ryman is proof positive of the merits of that approach,” he said.

Recent winners of the Beacon have included Rob Fyfe, Sir Michael Hill and Bruce Plested.

The Association has also made a special Merit award for the first time this year. “The Hon. Simon Powers contribution to the complete overhaul of capital markets law and regulation cannot be over emphasised,” said Hawkins.

He said Power had achieved more in three years, than his predecessors managed in thirty.

“Even more astounding is that he has actively engaged all participants in the process and achieved a remarkable degree of consensus. The NZSA has been deeply involved in this process and is gratified that Minister Power had the vision and enthusiasm to keep things moving forward despite some early opposition.”

Hawkins added that the rapid acceptance and success of the FMA is a testament to the Ministers ability to arrive at pragmatic and workable solutions.

“We think Simons approach is an object lesson to other politicians. His decision to retire from politics was a huge loss and he leaves a pretty big set of shoes to be filled.” said Hawkins.

Hawkins said that the Association usually also presented its Golden Glob Award at this time.

“This is reserved for the other end of the scale where unfortunately we still seem to find plenty of candidates,” he said.

This year the NZSA board had decided to hold over naming the winner until court action against him had been resolved. He added that the Association was hopeful the recipient would have plenty of free time to contemplate the merits of the award once it is announced.

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