Strong interest expected with vacant governance roles on Ballance Board
A “genuine and rare governance opportunity” has opened up with one of New Zealand’s industry-leading rural co-operatives with Ballance Agri-Nutrients announcing that two farmer-elected directors will be stepping down from its Board this year.
Ballance shareholders are currently being notified of the vacancies created by the decisions of Gray Baldwin not to seek re-election, and Donna Smit who is standing down in the North Island Ward (N). Murray Taggart is retiring by rotation (as required under the Co-operative’s Constitution) and seeking re-election in the South Island Ward (S).
Chairman, David Peacocke, says the dual vacancies in a single ward, with no directors standing for re-election, is a first for the Co-operative.
Ballance is calling for nominations through to 14 August 2018 (closing 5pm), and Mr Peacocke says he expects strong interest from shareholders, given the depth of governance capability in the rural sector along with commercial experience that could complement the current Board composition.
“There’s a great pool of talent out in rural New Zealand, and we really value that diversity of thought as part of strong governance in our Co-op.”
Donna Smit tendered her resignation this month to allow nominations as part of the normal annual election cycle. Mr Peacocke says it was a tough and considered decision for her to stand down after two years on the Board, due to additional governance workload since being elected to the Fonterra Board in 2016, together with growing industry and business commitments.
“My thanks to Donna for her contribution to the strength of discussion, and the Board dynamic, during her time as a Ballance director.”
Mr Peacocke says Ballance shareholders owe a debt of gratitude to Gray Baldwin – for his role in governance over the past nine years on the Board and his contribution on the Leadership Team, as GM Sales & Marketing and GM Distribution & Logistics through a key period in the evolution of the business following the rebrand from BOP Fertiliser.
“Gray has had a very significant and positive influence – with a big vision for our Co-op. He’s always been prepared to challenge the status quo and bring innovative thinking to the table. This has helped move Ballance forward to the very strong position we are in today. He’s done a great job.”
Mr Peacocke says Gray Baldwin’s commercial acumen was matched with an unwavering focus on shareholder value, with farmer benefit right at the front of his mind.
All shareholders are contacted as part of the Directors Election process, and nomination forms – along with eligibility requirements – are available from the Shares Registrar on 0800 267 266. The outcome of the nominations (and any vote) along with director changes, will become effective at the Ballance Annual Meeting on 26 September.
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