Two top lawyers take up Treasury Commercial Operations Advisory Board roles

by NZ Lawyer27 Jun 2014
To top lawyers have been appointed to the Treasury’s Commercial Operations Advisory Board this week, according to deputy chief executive, Vicky Robertson.

Minter Ellison Rudd Watts chair, Cathy Quinn and former Simpson Grierson partner, Mark Verbiest (who left the firm for a seven-and-a-half year stint on the senior executive team at Telecom) join Anne Blackburn, Marko Bogoievski and Roger France on the Board.

The Advisory Board has been established as one of a number of changes following a Treasury review of its commercial operations last year. The Board's role is to support and enhance the Treasury's commercial analysis and advice to Ministers by:
  • reviewing and testing the Treasury's high level strategic advice, where the outcomes could have a material impact on the performance of the commercial portfolio or debt management activities;
  • providing guidance on the strategic approach and work programme priorities of the Treasury's Commercial Operations group and Debt Management Office and
  • providing Ministers with access to an independent private sector perspective, to help them make well-informed decisions regarding the commercial portfolio.
"Commercial operations represent a big part of the Treasury's work," says Robertson.

"We monitor 48 fully or partially government-owned enterprises with fully or partially commercial objectives, in which the Crown has an equity investment of $56.2 billion. We also advise the Government on a range of commercial issues, such as major transactions and entities in distress and assist with the appointment of directors.

"With significant changes to the commercial environment and the Government's balance sheet in recent years, the Treasury thinks it's important to bring in expert external perspectives on the best approaches to our commercial operations. The Commercial Operations Advisory Board will keep our commercial advice tightly connected to markets and best practice investment management both locally and globally."

Appointment terms for the Board members have been phased from one to three years to allow for future Board succession.

"I'm excited to be supported by Board members who each bring with them a range of exceptional skills and experience, and who have a high standing in the commercial community," says Robertson.