Independently Assessed Candidates For Fonterra Board Of Directors’ Election Announced
Incumbent Director Brent Goldsack, along with Nathan Guy, Cathy Quinn and Mike O’Connor have been announced as the Independently Assessed Candidates for the 2020 Fonterra Farmer Directors’ election. This year there are two Board positions up for election.
Nathan Guy, Mike O’Connor and Cathy Quinn were recommended by the Independent Selection Panel after their assessment process.
Incumbent Director Brent Goldsack is seeking re-election and chose to participate in the Independent Assessment Process. The Panel’s assessment of Brent will be included in the voting pack and as a re-standing Director he automatically goes through to the ballot.
Independently Assessed Candidates
Full candidate statements and biographies will be included in the voting pack. A short introduction from each candidate is provided below:
Brent has served on the Fonterra Board for three years, having been elected in November 2017. He is currently the Chair of the Co-operative Relations Committee, is a member of the Milk Price Panel, the Safety and Risk Committee, the Capital Structure Committee, the Divestment Review Committee, and the Disclosure Committee. In addition, he serves as the Fonterra representative on the 'Dairy Tomorrow' Steering Group – which focuses on the strategy for the dairy industry. Previously, Brent enjoyed a professional services career with PwC of more than 20 years as a tax and financial advisor. He advised many New Zealand companies operating in the primary and export led sectors and led PwC New Zealand’s ‘Behind the Farm Gate’ Agri strategy. He also holds several governance roles, including director of Rabobank and Chair of Waitomo Petroleum Group. He was previously on the board of Canterbury Grasslands Limited and the New Zealand National Fieldays Society. He is married with two daughters and lives just outside of Hamilton. The family owns three dairy farms in the Waikato milking 1,500 cows and takes an active role in these businesses.
Nathan, aged 50, is retiring at the 2020 election after 15 years as a National MP, culminating in five years as the Minister for Primary Industries. He is the third generation to grow up on his family dairy farm at Koputaroa, near Levin. Nathan has a long history with the dairy industry – his great grandfather, Joseph Nathan, helped establish Glaxo in the Manawatu and his grandfather, Duncan Guy, was Chair of Levin Dairy Co-op. He also has a long history of public service, with three generations of family before him all involved in local government. Prior to becoming an MP, Nathan served as an elected Councillor on the Horowhenua District Council. Nathan is now the joint owner and Managing Director of Kereru Farm that began supplying the Levin Dairy Co-op in 1933 and has grown to milk 1,400 cows. He is also a director of Horowhenua Kapiti Rugby Football Union. He is married with three children.
Mike is a third-generation farmer and current General Manager and majority shareholder of Spectrum Group. The group comprises five Canterbury dairy farms and three Waikato-based dairy operations, milking a total of 8,200 cows and producing 3.1 million kgs milk solids/year. The group also operates a large-scale heifer grazing block in Canterbury on a fully irrigated 300ha lease block located in the West Melton area. Mike started his farming career as a cadet, moving on to a 50/50 sharemilking career which spanned twelve years. He and his wife purchased their own Waikato dairy farm in 1992 where they still live and where they have raised three children. Mike has been the General Manager of Spectrum Group since 2007, leading the business through a complete restructure in 2013 to allow the exit of other shareholders and to create a sustainable business fit to withstand future challenges and provide a succession pathway. He also has experience in governance roles for several organisations, including a current position as Chair of Koromiko Grazing Ltd.
Cathy has a number of governance roles having previously enjoyed a 30+year career as a commercial and corporate lawyer with MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and has significant expertise in governance, equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and private equity services. Amongst the numerous awards she has won, Cathy was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to law and women in 2016. Cathy grew up in rural New Zealand and spent summers on family farms in her youth. She is now a director and shareholder of Thistlehurst Dairy Limited, based in the Waikato. She has advised the dairy industry for many years including the Dairy Board, Fonterra, the Shareholders’ Council, and competitors of Fonterra. Cathy is now pursuing a full-time governance career, having stepped down from the MinterEllisonRuddWatts partnership at the end of 2019. Key commercial Boards that Cathy serves on are Fletcher Building, Tourism Holdings, Rangatira and she chairs Fertility Associates. In terms of public service roles Cathy is on the advisory board of New Zealand Treasury and is a member of the Council of Auckland University. Cathy lives in Auckland and has two adult sons.
There are two different ways that Shareholders can stand for the Board – as Independently Assessed Candidates or as Non-Assessed Candidates.
Nominations for Non-Assessed Candidates, where farmers can stand as a candidate for the Board with the support of 35 different Shareholders, are now open. Nominations close at noon on Thursday, 24 September 2020.
The full list of candidates for the Fonterra Board of Directors’ Election, being the Independently Assessed Candidates and any Non-Assessed Candidates will be announced on Friday, 25 September 2020.
Independent Selection Panel
The three-member Panel is comprised of Tony Carter (Chairman of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, TR Group and Datacom Group), Joan Withers (Chair of The Warehouse Group) and Rob Campbell (Chair of Skycity Entertainment Group, Summerset, Tourism Holdings and WEL Networks). The Panel has a key role in the Fonterra Farmer Directors’ Election process as it provides the Co-operative’s Shareholders with an independent assessment of Farmer Director candidates who elect to go through the Independent Assessment Process.
Voting Period, Voting Methods and Notification of Election Results
Voting Packs, containing candidate profiles, will be mailed to eligible shareholders on Tuesday, 13 October 2020. Shareholders can vote by internet or post, using the First Past the Post voting system. Voting closes at 10.30am on Tuesday, 3 November 2020 with the results being announced later that day.