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Farmers' Mutual Group To Have New Chief Executive

Farmers’ Mutual Group chief executive, Michael Millar, is to move on at the end of March 2001 after seven years with the company.

“Michael has made a tremendous contribution to Farmers’ Mutual, establishing the company as New Zealand’s leading rural financial services provider,” said Mr John Wills, Farmers’ Mutual Group chairman.

The announcement is being made now, significantly in advance of his departure, in order that the company can implement its succession planning and that the transition is as seamless as possible.

“Under his leadership, Farmers’ Mutual Group has grown from its origins as a rural insurance provider into a financial services group, adding finance and investment capabilities to its portfolio of services, but has remained focused on serving the needs of rural communities.”

With an estimated 40 per cent of the rural market, insurance remains an important component of the company’s business. The company provides a range of general, life, medical and disability insurance products, which include unique offerings such as the recently introduced Catastrophe cover for farmers.

Michael Millar has had more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry including senior roles in investment banking, sharebroking, insurance and investment management organisations. He is a chartered accountant and a past chairman of the Unit Trust Association of New Zealand, a current Board Member of the Insurance Council, a Councillor of the Universal College of Learning (Ucol), a fellow of the Insurance Institute and a Director of Affco Holdings.

Michael is also a principal of the recently established Investment Services Limited (ISL), a company whose philosophy is based on identifying superior investment opportunities for investors and managing those investment to maximise the long term returns to owners.

Following his departure from Farmers’ Mutual, Michael intends becoming more active in ISL, which will be investment manager for the new $12 million Awatere wine company ‘The Crossings (Marlborough) Limited’, currently being jointly promoted by Farmers’ Mutual Investment Services and ISL.

“The Board acknowledges the outstanding contribution Michael has made to Farmers’ Mutual, understands the reasons for his decision, and appreciates the notice he has given of his intention. We have begun the process of seeking a new chief executive and expect to be able to announce his replacement early in the New Year,” said Mr Wills.

ENDS

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