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Govt reappoints RBNZ chairman Arthur Grimes to help oversee appointment of Bollard's successor; Names board for AMI earthquake liability company

Govt reappoints RBNZ chairman Arthur Grimes to help oversee appointment of Bollard's successor; Names board for AMI earthquake liability company

The government has reappointed Reserve Bank chairman Arthur Grimes with Finance Minister Bill English saying Grimes will help with the selection of a new Reserve Bank Governor to replace the departing Alan Bollard.

Bollard is due to step down after 10 years in the role in September. The new Governor is appointed by English on the recommendation of the Reserve Bank board. Grimes has been appointed for a new five-year term having been on the board as chairman for 10 years. In his book 'Crisis' Bollard wrote of calling on Grimes' counsel during the height of the global financial crisis in 2008-2009.

Meanwhile, English has also named the board of Southern Response Earthquake Services Ltd, a new government owned company that takes on AMI Insurance's Christchurch earthquake liabilities when the insurer's "good" business is sold to Australia's IAG, owner of NZI and State, for NZ$380 million.

Ross Butler will chair Southern Response Earthquake Services, with the balance of the board comprising deputy chair Anne Urlwin, Jenn Bestwick, Bevan Killick, Susan Thodey and David Whyte. The board members will take up their new roles when the now Commerce Commission approved sale is complete, which is expected to be in April.

"All appointees have relevant governance or senior executive level backgrounds that collectively offer the skills required for the establishment board. I am confident the new board will effectively assist the residual company to assess and meet AMI’s Canterbury earthquake-related claims," English said.

English has also unveiled six new board members to Crown Asset Management Ltd, which the government has set up to consolidate the management and recovery of six finance companies in active receivership.

The appointees are chairman Gary Traveller, deputy chairman Peter Castle, Debbie Birch, Steven Fyfe, Keiran Horne and Steve Smith.

"As experienced commercial directors and insolvency practitioners with varied backgrounds including banking, law, accounting and finance, the board is well placed to assist the company to provide a better return to the Crown by maximising returns and minimising costs," said English.

Last October English said the government was spending NZ$800,000 of taxpayers' money to establish a company to manage the realisation of about NZ$350 million worth of assets in failed finance companies, that failed whilst in the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme. He said setting up the new company should halve the costs of managing the recovery of the assets, which would save about NZ$13 million over two years. The six companies whose assets will feature all have the Crown as their sole creditor. They are; South Canterbury Finance, Allied Nationwide Finance, Vision Securities, Mascot Finance, Mutual Finance and Rockforte Finance.

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