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Tainui appoints ex-Heartland exec Stephen

Tainui appoints ex-Heartland exec Craig Stephen to drive new investment strategy

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 18 (BusinessDesk) - Tainui Group Holdings, which manages the commercial interests of Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui Inc, has appointed former Heartland New Zealand executive Craig Stephen to oversee its shift to attract bigger and faster investment returns.

The iwi’s corporate unit plans to shift its investment strategy towards short-term property development and taking direct stakes in medium to large private businesses, and has appointed Stephen as chief investment officer to identify, analyse and realise new investments, it said in a statement. Tainui Group Holdings has previously focused on long-term property development, such as its Base project in Te Rapa.

“Craig has an impressive set of skills and a wealth of experience which we believe are well suited to our new investment strategy,” chief executive Mike Pohio said. “The majority of our assets will remain and we will continue to invest in property, but we will diversify our investments with a view to achieving higher cash returns, more quickly, than property investment can give us.”

Stephen finished up at Heartland last week, having been involved in the merger between Marac Finance and the Canterbury and Southern Cross building societies after joining former Marac parent Pyne Gould Corp in 2009 as chief investment officer.

Tainui Group Holdings had assets of $725.4 million as at March 31, making it the country’s second biggest commercial iwi entity behind Ngai Tahu’s $809.4 million as at June 30 last year.


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