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NZX head Bennett to leave post

NZN 3/10/2016 Paul McBeth

NZX chief executive Tim Bennett will leave the stock exchange operator at the end of 2016, a year earlier than planned.

Mr Bennett will end a four-year tenure in charge of NZX on December 31 to allow for a new chief to start at the beginning of the financial year, the Wellington-based company said.

Under his watch, NZX oversaw a jump in listings that coincided with the government's partial privatisation programme, the expansion of a suite of derivative products, and the acquisition of SuperLife and Apteryx to boost the stock exchange's funds management business.

"Tim's original employment agreements envisaged a five-year commitment to NZX," chairman James Miller said.

"With Tim indicating a desire to step down and in order to ensure an orderly succession, the board started a conversation with Tim on how to best manage that transition, and today's announcement clears the way for the board to search for a new CEO."

Bennett replaced Mark Weldon in 2012 who had been in charge of NZX for a decade. Weldon oversaw a series of acquisitions that boosted the value of the stock exchange operator, though that included the Clear Grain Exchange which has been the subject of drawn-out litigation between NZX and its Australian vendors.

The company also warned on earnings guidance, saying the cost of restructuring its agri business and looking for a new chief executive will mean earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be at the lower end of its previous guidance of $22.5 million -$26.5 million.

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