NZRU appoints Jannine Mountford as finance chief

The role will provide commercial insight, financial knowledge and technical ability to the union's executive team and the wider rugby community.

BUSINESSDESK: The New Zealand Rugby Union has appointed Jannine Mountford as its new chief financial officer starting from next year.

The role will provide commercial insight, financial knowledge and technical ability to the union's executive team and the wider rugby community, the union says.

It was created to replace general manager of corporate services after Kristen Patterson moved to the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

"It's vital we are well equipped to deal with the opportunities that are before us and the most challenging economic conditions we have faced," chief executive Steve Tew says.

Ms Mountford is the commercial manager of Fletcher Building Roof Tile Group, a global building products manufacturing business with operations across Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA, as well as New Zealand.

Her appointment will give the national sporting body some financial clout as it strives to shore up its income streams and puts pressure on its provincial partners to do the same.

Last week the NZRU has signed a five-and-a-half year deal sponsorship deal for an undisclosed sum with AIG, giving the American insurer's logo prime position on the All Blacks' jersey.

Adidas will remain the All Blacks' "principal partner", a higher status and more valuable relationship for the NZRU, until at least 2019.

The union has been looking at ways to capitalise on the global appeal of the All Blacks brand as it seeks to break even this year.

It posted an operating loss of $3.1 million in the 2011 calendar year, smaller than the $3.6 million loss budgeted for and in line with the $3 million loss in 2010.

When unrealised exchange rate gains of $13.4 million are included, the NZRU's operating loss turned to a net profit of $9.6 million.

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