Westpac New Zealand welcomes new board directors

It bids farewell to two board members

Westpac New Zealand welcomes new board directors

Westpac New Zealand (Westpac) has welcomed Sam Knowles and Rob Hamilton as new directors of its board, effective on September 20, 2021.

A new independent non-executive director, Knowles is experienced in governance and holds directorships at Synlait Milk and other companies. In addition, he served as the chief executive at Kiwibank for the first nine years of its operation and has held senior roles at National Australia Bank (NAB) and Bank of New Zealand.

Incoming Westpac board chair Pip Greenwood commented that only a few people in Australasia know the banking industry as well as Knowles.

She added: “Banking is a highly complex and evolving field, and it will be very useful to have Sam’s deep understanding of the industry available to the board.”

Hamilton has also joined the Westpac board as an independent non-executive director, bringing extensive experience in financial services, finance, and audit.

Hamilton spent much of his early career at First NZ Capital (now known as Jarden), where he moved through the ranks to head up the investment banking team. Most recently, he stepped down as the chief financial officer at SkyCity Entertainment Group after seven years. He is also a director at Tourism Holdings and Oceania Healthcare and the deputy chair of the Board of Trustees at Auckland Grammar School.

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The appointments announced yesterday follow the recent retirement of Malcolm Bailey and the appointments of David Havercroft, Christine Parker, and Michael Rowland as new directors at the group. In July, current Westpac board chair Jan Dawson announced her retirement on October 01, 2021, to be replaced by Greenwood.

Commenting on the retirement of Bailey and Dawson, Greenwood said: “With Jan and Malcolm reaching the end of their tenures, we’ve lost some highly respected voices at the table.

“However, I’m thrilled we’ve managed to secure the services of these new directors, who bring with them a wide range of skills and expertise. The board looks forward to drawing on their fresh perspectives.”

Greenwood said Westpac expects Knowles and Hamilton to bring valuable specialist knowledge and skills to its board.

“Directors of their calibre are highly sought after, and we look forward to harnessing their expertise,” she added.

The major bank confirmed that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has provided non-objection to both appointments.