Fonterra announces TAF board

Last updated 09:52 17/10/2012

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The board that will initially govern the new Fonterra Shareholders Fund management company will be chaired by former PwC chairman John Shewan.

Other directors are Pip Dunphy (independent); Kim Ellis (independent) Sir Ralph Norris (Fonterra); Jim van der Poel (Fonterra).

Announcing the establishment board, Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said the governance of the fund at the time of launch was likely to be closely scrutinised by the dairy cooperative's farmer owners and potential unit investors.

The initial directors of the establishment board of the fund manager were appointed by Fonterra but in future three directors would be elected by unit holders and two by Fonterra, he said.

The shareholder fund is being established as part of Fonterra's Trading among Farmers (TAF) capital restructure, which will involve offering the public NZX-listed, dividend-carrying units in farmer-held Fonterra shares.

TAF is scheduled for introduction later this year. A prospectus is to be released imminently.Fonterra, a farmer-owned cooperative, is New Zealand's biggest company with annual revenues nudging $20 billion.

The hybrid TAF structure has been designed to provide Fonterra with permanent capital by ending its obligation to trade its farmers shares.

Farmers narrowly voted TAF in earlier this year.

In an email to farmer-shareholders today, van der Heyden has advised farmers to put a red ring around October 26 in their diaries, when Fonterra will screen a TAF update on SKY TV Channel 950.

The broadcast would be on the hour, every hour from midday to 10pm, he said. It would also be posted on the Fonterra farmer website Fencepost that day.


Shewan is currently an adjunct professor of accounting at Victoria University. He chairs the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust and the Victoria University business school advisory board and is a member of several government advisory committees.

Dunphy has worked in the New Zealand financial markets for more than 20 years, helping companies with capital raising and risk management. She chairs the boards of Mint Asset Management and the New Zealand Clearing and Depository Corporation, is deputy chairperson of Auckland Transports, and is a director of several other companies and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.

Ellis was chief executive of listed company Waste Management for 13 years until its sale in 2006. He chairs the boards of Enviro Waste, the New Zealand Social Infrastructure Fund and Macaulay Metals and has several other directorships.

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Norris joined the Fonterra board this year as a non-farmer appointed director. He was chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for six years until last year and is a former chief executive and managing director of Air NZ. He has had a 40 year career in banking, and is a director of Origin Energy and the council of Auckland University.

Van der Poel has been a farmer director of Fonterra since 2002. A Waikato dairy farmer, he is a director of several Fonterra committees including the TAF due diligence committee, and is chairman of the Spectrum Group, the International Farming Ventures Group and a trustee of the Asia NZ Foundation.

- Waikato

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