Michael Stiassny has been appointed an independent director of Tower and Tower Capital.
The KordaMentha senior partner is currently chairman of Vector and on the boards of a number of public and private companies.
Tower's interim chairman Steve Smith said the directors were pleased to have someone with Stiassny's commercial, financial and governance experience join the board "as the company looks to assess and implement opportunities flowing from Tower's strategic review".
The NZX-listed insurer is under pressure to improve returns to shareholders and said last month it was looking at a number of options with a final plan likely to be announced in February.
The firm said then that while its share price has outperformed the NZX50 benchmark since separating from Tower Australia, it did not reflect the true value of the company. The firm's shares rose 0.6 per cent to $1.76 today, and have gained 24 per cent over the past 12 months.
Tower recently completed a strategic review of its business, a process that reportedly split the board over the best path, with partnerships, mergers, acquisitions, sell-offs and/or a return of capital all being considered. The insurer appointed investment bank Goldman Sachs to help identify the best options.
The plan to return value to shareholders came after Guinness Peat Group, Tower's single biggest shareholder, said it felt the Tower's shares did not reflect the component value of the insurer. GPG itself is in the throes of selling off its assets and returning the proceeds to shareholders.
- © Fairfax NZ News