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Bennett oversees NZX clean-out

Blair Cunningham
Wed, 10 Oct 2012

NZX boss Tim Bennett says he wants to work more closely with listed companies to improve their customer and investor relations.

The sharemarket operator announced the resignation of market services’ head Simon Smith, who will leave at the end of the year.

Mr Smith, a chartered accountant, has been with NZX for eight years, in a number of roles, including head of finance.

In recent months, he has helped to establish the market services division and was appointed its manager in July.

Since then he has been responsible for market and issuer services.

Accountant Mandy Simpson will replace Mr Smith from mid-November. She is currently the cfo and technology solutions general manager at software company Fronde.

Mr Bennett told NBR ONLINE he is planning to work alongside Ms Simpson to provide a better "customer relations management" service to listed companies. He says they will be working with smaller listed companies to better engage with and understand their investors.

Mr Bennett says companies are more interested in knowing the analytics of their shareholder base, such as who is on their register and who is trading their stock.

It is the latest in a number of changes for the NZX which saw Mr Bennett take over from former boss Mark Weldon in May and the subsequent departure of former head of market supervision Caroline Leckie.

In June, Mr Bennett announced a reorganisation of NZX, creating a new markets group and a regulatory team to create a clearer distinction between the two roles.

The move followed criticism by the Financial Markets Authority of potential conflicts of interest when the NZX appointed its corporate counsel as head of market supervision.

The reorganisation has established a new chief financial officer position, which will be filled in mid-December by Bevan Miller.

Mr Bennett says he is shortlisting candidates for the Auckland-based head of cash markets – another new position. He expects to announce the successful candidate in the next fortnight.

He denies Mr Smith is leaving because he is disillusioned with recent changes and says it was simply a "good opportunity" for him to leave.

Mr Smith wants to spend more time with family and wants to take a break after helping to set up such a “credible bit of infrastructure for us”.

Mr Bennett says Mr Miller’s arrival as cfo will then allow him him focus on helping foster those investor relations. He is adamant there will be no further structural changes or reorganisation at the top once Mr Miller has arrived.

NZX was trading down one cent to $1.14 when the market opened today.

Blair Cunningham
Wed, 10 Oct 2012
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Bennett oversees NZX clean-out