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New Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Appointed, Completing Executive Leadership Team

Karen Silk has been appointed as the Assistant Governor / General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets and Banking at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua.

Ms Silk is a highly experienced financial services executive, currently a general manager with Westpac New Zealand.

Ms Silk fills the role previously held by Christian Hawkesby, who became Deputy Governor of RBNZ in January 2022.

Governor Adrian Orr says he is delighted to have Karen’s leadership and experience in such an important role at Te Pūtea Matua.

“Ms Silk has a wealth of leadership experience in banking. She has been a senior leader across retail and wholesale banking, wealth management, financial market infrastructure and payment systems,” Mr Orr says. “These are all areas where the RBNZ has significant projects underway.”

“Karen is steeped in climate change and risk management, including co-chair of the Sustainable Finance Forum,” Mr Orr says. “She is a respected leader in the banking sector.”

Ms Silk will take up the role at the Reserve Bank in coming months, with a start date to be confirmed in due course.

The role of Assistant Governor / General Manager of Economics, Financial Markets and Banking is also a member of the Monetary Policy Committee.

Within the last month, three other Assistant Governor appointments have made to the RBNZ, so with the appointment of Ms Silk, all eight Executive Leadership roles are now filled. Five of them are existing senior staff at the Bank.

The recruitment is progressing well to appoint a new Director of Economics / Chief Economist, to replace Yuong Ha, who will leave RBNZ in March, after the February Monetary Policy Statement.

Meanwhile, Nigel Prince has been appointed to a newly-created fixed term position of Strategic Advisor to the Governor. Mr Prince, who will be a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) has been RBNZ’s Business Services Improvement Programme director for the last year, and brings significant leadership and change experience from the public and private sectors.


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