Dame Jenny Shipley comes off China Construction Bank; replaced by New Zealander Murray Horn

Dame Jenny Shipley will stand down as a director of one of China’s most powerful banks at the forth-coming AGM – one of three independent non-executive directors who are retiring by rotation from the board at the shareholders’ annual meeting. The others are  Joseph Yam Chi Kwong  and  Wong Kai-Man. Dame Jenny was first appointed as a CCB director in 2007. An  informed source said the maximum term for independent non-executive directors was six years.

Dame Jenny’s retirement comes as China Construction Bank prepares to open a subsidiary in Auckland. It has voted an initial capital injection of $US50 million.
CCB’s announcement means New Zealand will go from having no mainland Chinese banks to two based here in less than one year. ICBC is more advanced with a subsidiary due to open mid-year in a central city location once Reserve Bank approvals are given.

Dame Jenny’s place on China Construction Bank will be taken by Dr Murray Horn. Horn is a previous Managing Director of ANZ NZ and Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury. Horn, 59, currently serves as a director of Telecom NZ and as Chairman of the National Health Board and the Health Innovation Hub.

Horn comes with the necessary credentials to assist CCB’s debut in the New Zealand banking market.

Both CCB and ICBC are included in the “Big Four” SOE commercial banks in China  and are also ranked first and second in the world by market capitalisation.  CCB’s post-tax profit for 2012 was RMB191.422 billion, nearly NZ$40 billion.

It is interesting to note that both Dame Jenny and Horn also each have strong connections with Richard Yan – the entrepreneurial former director who pulled the plug on Mainzeal on the shareholders’ behalf effectively sending the company into receivership. Dame Jenny resigned as Mainzeal chair following the shareholders’ move.

Horn joined Richina Inc as a senior advisor January 25, 2011.  Richina said then it was pleased to announce Horn’s appointment as senior advisor to the Richina Group as Richina and Mainzeal Property and Construction plan to significantly expand their activities in New Zealand as well as between China and New Zealand.

Dr Hu Zheyi has also reappointed as an executive director of the CCB Board. Hu is Executive VP at the bank and represented CCB at the VIP investor reception in Beijing for Prime Minister John Key held prior to the Gala dinner..

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