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Warehouse hires NZ Baycorp boss Donna Cooper to run finance unit

Thursday 19th January 2017

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Warehouse Group, which is cutting costs by amalgamating its retail divisions, has hired Baycorp's New Zealand general manager Donna Cooper to run its financial services unit. 

Cooper will join the country's biggest listed retailer on March 13, Auckland-based Warehouse said in a statement. Before her Baycorp role, Cooper worked at American Express. She will report to the finance unit's board, although the business will report through chief financial officer Mark Yeoman. 

"The financial services board and I are looking forward to Donna joining the business, leading its future strategy, and realising the potential of financial services to support our retail customers," chief executive Nick Grayston said. 

Earlier this month Warehouse bundled its flagship 'red sheds' with the stationery division, and joined online sporting goods unit Torpedo7 with the Noel Leeming business, with a view to stripping out "significant cost" by cutting duplication across the groups, and prompted the exit of executive Simon Turner, who was in charge of the 'red sheds'. 

The finance unit, which was launched in 2015 offering credit cards, insurance products and a pre-paid mobile brand, is expected to face a writedown in goodwill in the first-half accounts, and chair Joan Withers told shareholders last year the board was reviewing the outlook for it to break even in 2018. 

Warehouse shares fell 0.4 percent to $2.75 and have gained 11 percent over the past 12 months.

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