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Kiwi billionaire Stephen Jennings joins NZ Initiative board

Kiwi billionaire Stephen Jennings joins NZ Initiative board

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Kiwi billionaire investor Stephen Jennings has joined the board of the New Zealand Initiative think-tank.

The Taranaki-born entrepreneur helped build one of the biggest Russian investment banks - Renaissance Capital - during the privatisation boom of the 1990s and more recently established Africa's largest urban development company, Rendeavour. The National Business Review's 2018 Rich List estimated his wealth at $1.2 billion.

Despite pursuing his career overseas, Jennings has continued to take an interest in New Zealand society. Last year his foreword to ACT MP David Seymour's book called the country's housing and education "matters of national shame" for the major political parties. The year before he identified six areas in dire need of reform during a keynote speech to the NZ Initiative, including the need for a capital gains tax.

"The Initiative’s methodological, fact-based approach to policy is ideally placed to improve public understanding on many of the key challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand,” Jennings said.

He will join chair Roger Partridge, executive director Oliver Hartwich, Barbara Chapman, Chris Quin, Linda Meade, John Judge, Matthew Cockram, Neil Paviour-Smith and Scott Perkins on the think-tank's board.

Partridge said Jennings will bring valuable insights to the group's work.

The think-tank was formed through the merger of the Business Roundtable and the New Zealand Institute in 2012. This week it released a report on productivity which identified 20 to 30 areas where laws and regulation could be improved to make the government more efficient.


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