Wellington Scoop

Four new executives employed to make the racing industry grow

Press Release – NZ Racing Board
Major changes have been made to the New Zealand Racing Board’s executive team to lead the growth of the country’s racing industry.

NZ Racing Board Chief Executive Chris Bayliss said the appointment of four highly-regarded New Zealand business professionals to his leadership team would provide the necessary expertise and experience to deliver long-term growth to the industry and complement other changes within the organisation.

Stewart McRobie joins the organisation as Chief Financial Officer, Monique Cairns as General Manager Strategy, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Colin Philp as Chief Information Officer and Shameel Sahib as Head of Strategy.

Mr Bayliss was delighted with the calibre of the new appointees, which would enhance the NZ Racing Board’s leadership capability with no increase to its cost base.

“The industry is facing a number of significant challenges and opportunities that make it vital we have a leadership group comprising different skills, experiences and approach.

“The New Zealand racing industry makes an important contribution to the country economically, socially and culturally, and these new appointments to the leadership team will ensure we’re able to take an effective, agile and innovative approach to maximising this contribution and leading growth.

“There is a clear need for change. This new leadership team will initiate and lead that change with a strategy focused on delivering significantly enhanced returns to the racing industry.”

Mr McRobie is one of the most skilled and experienced finance professionals in New Zealand, having held senior executive roles with some of the country’s largest and most successful organisations. With more than 30 years of finance and accountancy experience, he has held the positions of CFO for Westpac and AMP and has been with ASB Bank for the past six years as CFO and Chief Executive of Relationship Banking.

Ms Cairns is a marketing and corporate affairs professional with global executive experience gained with Barclays, ANZ, Telecom, BNZ and GE Capital.

Mr Philp is an experienced ICT professional who joins the NZ Racing Board from Gen-i, where he is currently Head of Client Delivery for Gen-i’s Australian business in Sydney.

Mr Sahib has more than 20 years’ strategy and business performance experience in senior roles with SkyCity, Air New Zealand and BNZ.

All four new executives will start in their roles from next month. In addition, the key appointment of General Manager Sales and Distribution is pending.

Meanwhile, as part of the NZ Racing Board’s renewed commitment to transparency and open communication with industry stakeholders, Mr Bayliss will join new Board Chairman Dr Alan Jackson in December in hosting the organisation’s first annual general meeting in more than five years.

Open to all racing industry participants, the December 6 meeting in Wellington will also see full audited results for the 2011/12 financial year made available.

The 2011/12 accounts have now been approved by the Board. Despite a writedown on the NZ Racing Board’s wagering system project as at July 31, 2012, provisionally disclosed in its recent Statement of Intent, the 2011/12 distribution to the racing industry has been increased by $2 million on forecast to $132 million following a financial year where wagering turnover on racing and sport exceeded $1.6 billion for the first time.

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