Ryman expands board as veteran director Andrew Clements departs

Ryman Healthcare [NZX: RYM], the country's biggest listed retirement village operator, is expanding its board with two new hires, as 15-year veteran director Andrew Clements departs.

The Christchurch-based company has appointed former BHP accountant Clare Higgins and ex-Sealord and Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay as independent directors, while Clements steps down having been on the board since it floated on the NZX in 1999, Ryman said in a statement. Higgins' appointment adds a second Australia-based independent director as Ryman looks to grow its business across the Tasman.

Chairman David Kirk paid tribute to Clements, saying he had been a "great contributor" over the past 15 years. The reshuffle expands Ryman's board to eight directors from seven.

"Claire and Doug bring different skills, but they have some important things in common - they have a good understanding of, and empathy for what Ryman Healthcare is trying to achieve for its residents, and we think they can offer a lot to the board," he said.

Ryman owns and operates 27 retirement villages housing 7,500 residents. Like other retirement village developers and operators, Ryman is looking to latch on to an ageing demographic, and has increased its annual building target to 850 beds and units a year in New Zealand by 2017, from a rate of 700 a year.

The shares rose 0.3 percent to $7.70, and have slipped 2.2 percent this year.


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