Business intellectual links two worlds

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 13:00 31/12/2012

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United States-based Nelsonian David Teece is "absolutely delighted" that efforts to promote US-New Zealand relations have been officially recognised in the latest New Year honours list.

Prof Teece, an internationally acclaimed professor of economics, successful entrepreneur and consultant has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to New Zealand-United States relations.

He is one of 14 recipients in 2013 of the CNZM, which is the third-highest award in the Order of Merit.

Prof Teece said from Fiordland where he is holidaying, that it was wonderful that New Zealand made an effort through its awards system to recognise what people did for their community.

"In my case I have worked hard on a lot of issues between the US and New Zealand, but this is a complete surprise on my part. I'm delighted to have the recognition and I feel stimulated to work even harder towards achieving common goals between the countries," Prof Teece said.

The Blenheim-born, Nelson-raised man who lives in California but returns annually with his family to their house in Nelson is professor of global business at the Haas School of Business, and director of the Institute for Business Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

He holds multiple directorships of international business and policy groups and is a leading researcher in the fields of corporate strategy and innovation. Ten years ago, he was identified by global management company Accenture - a Fortune Global 500 company - as one of the world's top 50 living business intellectuals.

He holds four honorary doctorates, is on the editorial board of several scientific journals and has been an honorary member of the Law and Economic Society of Australia and New Zealand since 2008. He is also a member of the advisory board of the United States-New Zealand Council.

Prof Teece and New Zealand businessman Stephen Tindall co-founded in 2001 the Kea New Zealand global network. The not-for-profit organisation is governed by a global board and leverages its global network to support the international success of New Zealand and its people. It also aims to increase export trade by providing New Zealand businesses with greater access to international markets, promote international investment in New Zealand's productive and export sectors, promote the return of highly skilled migrants, and help match their skills with appropriate opportunities. Kea also supports the activities of other public and private sector partners who share its vision for a more globally connected New Zealand.

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The former Waimea College head boy remains ensconced in the US business and academic world but has been returning to New Zealand with increasing frequency to tend business interests here.

He told the Nelson Mail in 2009 that his hometown for everyday life was "the best place on the planet", but it was missing vital connections to the global financial communities, which was largely what kept him in the US.

However, the tide was turning.

"For the first time I think I'm beginning to think about shifting more of my interest and time to New Zealand.

"I think there are some fundamental problems in the US that worry me."

Prof Teece said pockets of the US were very positive right now, but the US was a land of "growing contrast".

He and his wife, Leigh, are involved in a variety of philanthropic activities, including in Nelson and have also been long-time supporters of the city's Suter Art Gallery.

"I maintain this delicate balance where my roots are in northern California but I remain deeply connected here, and come here with great enthusiasm.

"I enjoy the commercial and personal activities I'm involved with here and care deeply about," he said.

- The Nelson Mail

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