Rural insurer FMG says paying out a record amount of claims, because of the Kaikoura earthquake, has seen it incur a loss for the latest financial year.
Geoff Copstick, Murray Taggart and Steve Allen were elected by FMG members at its annual meeting in Hanmer Springs this week.
Copstick was chief financial officer of Gallagher Group in Hamilton for nine years. He is now on Gallagher’s board and chair of its audit and risk committee. Copstick also serves as an independent advisor to Northland Regional Council on finance, audit and economic development issues.
Taggart, a sheep, beef and arable crops farmer is chairman of Alliance Group and a director of Ballance Agri-Nutrients.
Allen is chairman of Tatua Dairy and a member of the Waikato Dairy Leaders Group.
There were three vacancies on the board; two long-term members - Greg Gent and Graeme Milne retired and the board was expanded by another member.
Board chairman Tony Cleland, who also retired by rotation and was re-elected, says attracting the three new directors is “a significant endorsement on where we’re at as a business”. “Their inclusion will add to the diverse combination of agricultural knowledge and business acumen already within the board and position us well to support the mutual’s continued growth aspirations.”
The decision to increase the board from seven to eight was in recognition of the number and high calibre of candidates that were nominated for consideration and the fact that Marise James will be retiring after 16 years on the Board in 2018. This will ensure there is a strong succession plan for the board.
“With three new additions, two exceptionally talented rural governors in Greg Gent and Graeme Milne are retiring after serving FMG for the last 12 years. They’ve played an important part in helping reposition FMG and in the progress we’ve made over recent years. A special thanks to Greg for chairing the FMG board so ably for the last 10 years,” says Cleland.
FMG’s chief executive Chris Black also acknowledged their contribution.
“Both are passionate advocates of the Mutual and have served it extremely well for 12 years. In addition, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside Greg in his capacity as chairman, which has been a real career highlight for me personally.
“The FMG executive leadership team is looking forward to working alongside the newly elected member directors. All three have had impressive careers to date and in addition, believe in the core purpose and value of the mutual model and being there for members and clients when it counts,” says Black.
FMG received 21 expressions of interest to join the board. In accordance with FMG’s director appointment & re-appointment policy, the board worked with an external independent consultant, Caldwell & Partners, to assess the member candidates against a specified set of criteria. This included governance experience, connectedness to the rural sector, affinity with the mutual/cooperative model and commercial acumen.