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FMG leadership changes hands

Media Release
Issued 22 December 2008

FMG leadership changes hands

Farmers’ Mutual Group, New Zealand’s leading rural insurer, has appointed Chris Black as Chief Executive following the departure of Gordon Smith. Mr Black will step down from his position on the board of FMG to take the role of CEO, and has previously held senior management positions at Bank of New Zealand and National Australia Bank.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I thank Gordon for his outstanding leadership and contribution,” said FMG chairman Greg Gent. “Gordon has played a prominent role, placing FMG in the best possible position to pursue its strategy of becoming a knowledge and advice company. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of building financial strength for FMG over the 8 years I have had with the Group, but have decided on a career change,” said Gordon Smith. “I know that the great team at FMG will continue to deliver top service to our customers with a full commitment to farmers.”

“Following a comprehensive search involving several high calibre candidates, we are delighted that Chris Black has accepted the position,” said Mr Gent.

“Chris has a strong affinity with rural New Zealand through his family and business background, having grown up supporting and then marrying into the farming community. Coupled with his broad insurance experience and expertise in corporate strategy, customer service and financial and risk management, this affinity will ensure FMG stays focused on its goal of being a trusted source of knowledge and advice for its customers.”

After spending twenty five years working with both corporate and government organisations in New Zealand and overseas, Mr Black is looking forward to the challenge of heading the country’s leading rural insurer.

“FMG is an outstanding company that’s had a positive influence on rural New Zealand throughout its history. I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the company through its next phase of growth,” said Mr Black.

Mr Black formally commenced the role on the 15th of December.

ENDS

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