Westpac NZ Announces Changes To Board Of Directors

Westpac NZ has announced the appointment of Debbie Birch as an independent non-executive director, effective 18 April 2024.

Ms Birch brings more than 30 years of financial markets experience, including managing global investment portfolios. She’s held a number of high-profile executive roles in New Zealand and Asia, including Head of Capital Markets Trading at Wardley Ltd, the investment arm of HSBC.

Her governance career has included a diverse range of board roles on Crown and Māori/Iwi commercial organisations, and she has held a number of industry and government positions in the financial services sector.

Westpac NZ Board Chair Pip Greenwood says Ms Birch will bring a fresh perspective to the Board along with a wealth of complementary skills and expertise.

“In addition to her financial markets experience, Debbie’s governance roles including as a director of Tourism Holdings Limited align with our commitment to supporting our customers and the communities we operate in,” Ms Greenwood says.

Ms Birch says she’s looking forward to helping ensure Westpac delivers on their purpose of helping New Zealanders succeed financially.

“Banks are expected to not just contribute positively to a strong and stable financial system, but to deliver products and services that enable Kiwi families, businesses and communities to grow,” Ms Birch says.

“I’m excited to join a Board of Directors that has the range of background, skills and experience to ensure Westpac continues to deliver for all its customers and stakeholders.”

Ms Birch is of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Raukawa ki te Tonga descent. She was Deputy Māori Trustee and General Manager of Investments at professional trustee services provider Te Tumu Paeroa from 2012 until 2016.

Last year she won the INFINZ Māori Leadership in Finance Award for her contribution to growing the Māori economy in her governance and advisory roles.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has provided non-objection to the appointment.

Ms Greenwood also thanked Jonathan Mason, who will retire from the Board effective 17 June 2024, for his significant contributions over the past nine years.

“Mr Mason has played an important role on the Board throughout his tenure, including as Board Audit Committee Chair. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours,” Ms Greenwood says.

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