Meridian Energy chair Chris Moller will retire from the board of the country’s biggest electricity generator next year and be replaced by its newest director, Mark Verbiest. 

Moller will end more than a decade on Meridian’s board, which he chaired for nine years, at next year’s annual meeting, the company said in a statement. Verbiest, a former chair of Spark New Zealand and grid operator Transpower, will take over the chair. 

Moller oversaw the partial privatisation of Meridian in 2013, which attracted 62,000 investors to the sell-down. That’s shrunk to 47,392 as at June 30 of this year, including the Crown’s controlling stake.

The shares were sold in instalments in the initial public offering at $1.50 apiece, and have climbed to $3.30 since then, a gain of 120 percent. That compares to an 80 percent increase in the S&P/NZX 50 index during the same period. 

Moller is the longest-serving director on Meridian’s board, followed by former retail executive Mary Devine who joined in 2010, and ex-Westpac New Zealand chair Peter Wilson and former Ngai Tahu chief executive Anake Goodall who were appointed in 2011. Port of Tauranga chief Mark Cairns and current Westpac New Zealand chair Jan Dawson joined the board in 2012. 

Verbiest stepped down as Spark chair last year, having joined Meridian’s board in March 2017. He is also a director of ANZ Bank New Zealand, Freightways and chairs Willis Bond Capital Partners. 

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