Watson Appoints Newland To Head Cullen
Appointment Targets Governance and Strategic Focus
Auckland - August 13, 2001 – Eric Watson has appointed Phil Newland as Group Managing Director of his private investment company, Cullen Investments, controlling assets generating over $1 billion in annual revenue.
Mr Newland has a background in law and before joining Cullen was respectively a vice president and associate director in New York and New Zealand based investment companies. He assumes responsibility for the overall Cullen portfolio with interests in several industry sectors including financial services, consumer, health, technology, sports, entertainment, real estate and infrastructure services.
Mr Newland oversees a restructure of Cullen’s investments that separates the company’s core group of operating companies from its merger and acquisition activity operated under a new vehicle called Cullen Capital.
An executive team, including Stefan Preston, former head of Pacific Retail Group and Maurice Kidd, Executive Director – Finance, will be led by Mr Newland and will focus on growing the long-term value of Cullen’s businesses. The consolidation will allow Cullen to concentrate on applying strong commercial disciplines in core strategic activities. It will also support the performance of its main assets, as well as making new acquisitions consistent with its core strategies.
Cullen Capital has been established as the group’s primary mergers and acquisitions vehicle. While Mr Newland will be responsible for the group’s activities in both areas, Cullen Capital will be led by Managing Director, Mohindar Randhawa.
Eric Watson believes the Cullen restructuring recognises an important stage in the development of the company. Cullen now owns mature businesses that are successful in their markets as well as companies that are developing or have recently been acquired. Cullen continues to have an active mergers and acquisitions operation.
Mr Newland said Cullen is an entrepreneurial investment company with significant holdings in a range of businesses. “Cullen has come a long way and while it still has unique skills in the mergers and acquisitions field, we also have to manage our portfolio of more mature businesses.”
The executive team’s role is to support the directors and management of Cullen’s businesses to achieve excellent performance maximising each company’s medium to long term potential. Leveraging Cullen’s extensive networks and marketing contacts will also play an important part in this strategy.
Eric Watson remains Chairman of Cullen and will be actively involved in the company’s investment decisions.
Cullen Investments Limited is a private investment company with strategic investments in a network of well-established businesses, principally in Australia and New Zealand. It is Eric Watson’s primary investment vehicle and comprises a team with considerable financial and business acumen and extensive experience in markets in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States.
Cullen holds a substantial interest in a core group of companies operating in the retailing, financial services, infrastructure, property, healthcare, technology, entertainment and bloodstock sectors. Via subsidiary, Cullen Capital, it also has an extensive portfolio of e-commerce, venture capital, online services and credit information properties, which it actively builds via mergers, acquisitions and management buy-outs.