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ASB Bank Sponsorship Boosts Business School

ASB Bank Sponsorship Boosts Business School

The University of Auckland's world-class business school project has been boosted by a multi- million dollar sponsorship from ASB Bank. The Bank's sponsorship represents the largest single contribution to the construction of the new building. It also coincides with yesterday's ground breaking for the new building, the centrepiece of the $110 million project.

ASB Bank's contribution brings the total raised from the private sector to $20 million in confirmed funding against a target of $50 million. The Government has agreed to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to the first $25 million, under its Partnerships for Excellence programme. The School is able to draw on this money in tranches of $5 million and is currently preparing its second tranche filing. The University is contributing the balance of the funds.

The Business School's fundraising efforts will continue towards the opening of the new building scheduled for 2006.

Of the project 's total estimated cost of $110 million, $80 million will be spent on the facility and $30 million on programmes and staff, including the creation of 12 new chairs to be filled by global recruitment searches. This development of programmes and staff is ongoing.

ASB Bank Head of Retail Banking and Marketing Barbara Chapman says the Bank is delighted to embark on a sponsorship that represents a 20-year strategic partnership with the University of Auckland Business School.

"There are some natural parallels between the organisations including a long and successful history in the Auckland region, our commitment to technological advancement and to being leaders in our respective fields.

"The 20-year strategic partnership reflects ASB Bank's long-term commitment to building the business leaders of tomorrow, supporting the community and building our position as New Zealand's premier business bank."

ASB Bank will have a leading-edge branch in the building that will complement the high-tech environment of the building itself. It will have a 21st century look and feel and will blend banking technology advancement with personal service. Plans for the new branch are yet to be unveiled.

ASB Bank's sponsorship gives the Bank 20-year naming and signage rights to the new building's atrium and careers centre as well as benefits around promotion of bank services to students and staff.

"As part of our own commitment to continuing the education and development of our people, the benefits we have secured as part of our sponsorship include scholarships worth up to $15,000 annually for Bank staff for study at the Business School," says Ms Chapman.

Business School Dean Professor Barry Spicer welcomed ASB Bank's sponsorship.

"The School is delighted to have the support of ASB Bank. This is a long-term relationship which will benefit both parties and, ultimately, the wider community."

The Business School embarked on its project in 2001, aiming to transform itself from a leading Australasian institution into a truly world class centre, excelling in the basic disciplines of business and economics, and providing leadership to meet the challenges of New Zealand's enterprise creation and growth.

The new six-storey state-of-the-art building, designed by a consortium of Australian architects FJMT and New Zealand-based Archmedia, will cover 28,000 square metres on the corner of Grafton Rd and Wynyard Street on the city campus. The site is currently used for carparking.

The project is believed to be the largest single-focus fundraiser in New Zealand's tertiary history.

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