Tuesday, 10 November 2020 05:54

Privilege to serve

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Cathy Quinn. Cathy Quinn.

Auckland lawyer and new Fonterra director Cathy Quinn is looking forward to making a positive contribution around Fonterra’s board table.

Quinn, who narrowly missed out last year, says she’s delighted to have received shareholder support. Quinn received the second highest number of votes among the six candidates.

“It’s a huge privilege to serve Fonterra shareholders. Fonterra is so important to all our shareholders, our staff, our investors, local communities throughout New Zealand and New Zealand itself,” she told Dairy News.

Quinn says her priority is to be the best director she can be for shareholders, Fonterra people and investors. 

“I look forward to making a positive contribution around the board table, which will now be led by Peter McBride.”

Quinn says there are plenty of challenges and opportunities ahead. 

“In my mind, retaining milk supply Fonterra has is the key. Consistent financial performance is part of that, but capital structure is also part of the issue and the board has said it will be discussing capital structure with shareholders. “Balancing the demand by customers and communities in terms of sustainability – and NZ dairy farmers are the most sustainable dairy farmers in the world – with increased regulatory and other costs on farm is an issue-dairy farming does need to be economic. 

“There are also plenty of global issues that the Fonterra team is aware of and needs to manage its way through.”

Quinn, a commercial and corporate lawyer with MinterEllisonRuddWatts until end of last year, has significant expertise in governance, equity capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and private equity services. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to law and women in 2016. 

She is now a director and shareholder of Thistlehurst Dairy Limited, based in the Waikato. 

Her current board memberships include Fletcher Building, Tourism Holdings, Rangatira and she chairs Fertility Associates.

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