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Milford succession plans continue as Gaynor dials back day-to-day management

Wednesday 6th March 2019

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Milford Asset Management's succession plans are continuing as its high-profile investment head Brian Gaynor steps back from the day-to-day management of the fund manager and acting chief executive Mark Ryland has been appointed permanently. 

In a note to clients, Gaynor announced Ryland's permanent appointment, citing the new CEO's involvement in leading the fund manager's "most important projects". Ryland joined Milford in 2014 as head of risk & compliance and shifted to head of products & operations three years later.

That period covered the market manipulation investigation and civil case against former Milford portfolio manager Mark Warminger. The fund manager settled with the regulator, paying a $1.5 million penalty, accepting there was inadequate oversight following a rapid period of growth, but that it had been improving its trading systems before the FMA probe. 

"Mark’s appointment reinforces Milford’s focus on robust succession planning and the depth of our talent pool across the business," Gaynor said. 

Troy Swann stepped down as chief executive last year to be closer to his family in Australia, having taken over the top job from Anthony Quirk in 2016. 

The CEO appointment was part of a wider succession plan for Milford, which will also see Gaynor shift to a non-executive director role over the coming two months. He helped found Milford in 2003 and has seen it grow over the past 15 years, with $6 billion under management and employing 80 people in New Zealand and Australia. 

Gaynor had already relinquished his portfolio management duties to Jonathan Windust in 2017, appointing Wayne Gentle as chief investment officer that same year. 

"I am now more focused on oversight and governance of the business and, as such, will move to a non-executive director role on the Milford board and its investment committee over the next two months," Gaynor said in a note to customers. "I will continue as chairman of the investment committee of our private equity fund and retain my shareholding in the business."

Gaynor is Milford's biggest shareholder with about 23 percent. 

(BusinessDesk)

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