Last family link retires from Fletcher Building

Retirement ends association with the firm stretching back more than 100 years.

BUSINESSDESK: Fletcher Building non-executive director Hugh Fletcher will step down from the board of the country's biggest listed construction company, ending his family's link with the firm stretching back more than 100 years.

Mr Fletcher, the second son of the late Sir James Fletcher, will retire at the end of the month as part of the board's succession arrangement for directors, the company says.

Mr Fletcher has been on the board of Fletcher Building since it was spun out of Fletcher Challenge in 2001, when the group was broken up. He was chief executive of Fletcher Challenge between 1987 and 1997.

"On behalf of the board and shareholders, I would like to acknowledge and thank Hugh for his long service and insightful contribution to Fletcher Building, and wish him well for the future," chairman Ralph Waters says.

Mr Fletcher graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Commerce, with honours, from University of Auckland. He was the university's chancellor from 2004 to 2008.

He is also a director of Rubicon, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Vector and Insurance Australia Group. He is a member of the Australia and New Zealand advisory board of L.E.K. Consulting and a trustee of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery and The Fletcher Trust.

The husband of Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, Mr Fletcher played a major role in developing New Zealand industry, following in the footsteps of his fatyher and grandfather Sir James (Senior).

His brother Angus, ex-husband of former Auckland mayor Christine Fletcher, was also involved in the family firm. Brother James became managing director of Dominion Breweries. James was killed by an intruder at his Bay of Plenty holiday home in 1993.

Last month, Auckland-based Fletcher Building reported a 17% drop in construction earnings to $50 million though its backlog of building work had climbed to $1.09 billion at the end of June from $764 million a year earlier.

The shares fell 0.9% to $6.88 in trading today and have gained 11% this year.

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