Infinz Awards: the big winners in the financial sector

David Mair, managing director of Skellerup Holdings.

Sanford chairman Sir Robert McLeod and Skellerup chief executive David Mair were honored for their leadership at the Institute of Finance Professionals (Infinz) awards in Auckland last night.

McLeod won the inaugural Māori Leadership in Finance award, while Mair won the overall leadership award in front of 800 guests gathered to recognize innovation and excellence in New Zealand’s financial sector ecosystem.

The judges noted McLeod’s many roles: he was the chief negotiator of the Ngāti Porou Treaty Settlement Committee, Te Haeata; a commissioner from the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission; president of Aotearoa Fisheries; and director of Tainui Group Holdings. He was a member of the Capital Markets Working Group; chaired the New Zealand Business Roundtable from 2002 to 2010; and chaired the Government Tax Review 2001.

Mair transformed Skellerup from a “tired old manufacturing company” into one with a deep knowledge of materials and hard-to-reverse tooling.

“Having a clearly defined sense of purpose and aligning employees around selling systems, not components, has been a key part of creating a winning culture. The company recently recorded revenue, profit and dividends records and over the past five years the total shareholder return has been some 430%”.

Investment firm Milford Asset Management has won the top diversified growth fund manager award, having won the former New Zealand equity fund manager award seven times in the previous 12 years.

Infinz noted the recent death of Milford co-founder Brian Gaynor, who was also a member of Infinz and who helped establish the NZ Society of Investment Analysts, which became Infinz.

Infinz chairman Mark Edwards said Gaynor had been a “titan” of New Zealand’s capital markets industry and sent his condolences to his family and colleagues.

Overhauled Rewards

Celebrating 20 years, Infinz has significantly refreshed the categories for 2022, including removing the prestigious Sharebroker and Sharebroking Firm of the Year awards.

It is understood that two major brokerage firms have withdrawn from participation in these categories.

“Membership now encompasses the broader financial services ecosystem that realizes the vision when the Society of Investment Analysts and the Society of Corporate
Treasurers merged in 2002 to create an organization focused on a broader industry,” Infinz said.

This reflected the evolution of the financial services industry, including the growth of corporate finance practices, KiwiSaver, and innovation, including retail investment platforms.

Contemporary themes around ESG (especially diversity, inclusion and climate change) and
digital transformation have also received more attention.

“The primary objective of the Infinz Awards is to raise standards by recognizing and rewarding innovation and excellence. A key criterion is how participants from the financial industry have added value to their customers and to the ‘wider financial services ecosystem.’

Fifteen awards were presented, with 38 experts acting as judges, as well as leading fund managers and equity analysts.

Revamped awards included ESG, Diversified Fund Managers, Investor Relations, and Excellence in Institutional and Corporate Banking. Among the many winners were Contact Energy (for Investor Relations and Debt Market Issue of the Year) and Mercury NZ (for M&A and Treasury Excellence).

Several awards have been given to organizations and entities addressing the “E” or ESG environment, including New Zealand’s first certified Green Capital Bond/corporate hybrid issue (for best debt market issue awarded to Contact Energy) and Westpac (Excellence in Institutional and Corporate Banking awarded for leading and accelerating sustainable finance).

Several awards have addressed ESG’s “S” or Social, including one for innovation (given to Community Housing) and funding Whakatane Mill (for best debt deal) which helped keep this facility open.

Two new Fellows were inducted – Infinz Executive Director Jim McElwain and former Infinz Board Member Sara Double. The seventh Distinguished Fellowship Award went to current Infinz Fellow Garth Ireland.

Full list of winners of the Infinz Awards 2022:

Craigs Investment Partners: Best Investor Relations Award

contact energy

Hunter Campbell: ESG Award


NZX: Research Report of the Year

From Upstairs to Downstairs Trading: Evidence of a Highly Segmented Market
Authors: Jędrzej Białkowski, Sanghyun Hong, Moritz Wagner

Chapman Tripp: Diversified Growth Fund Manager of the Year

Milford Asset Management

PwC: New Zealand Stock Market Deal of the Year

EBOS Group’s NZ$845m placement and retail offering
Financial Advisor, Debt Arranger, Sole Lead Manager, Bookrunner and Underwriter: macquarie

MinterEllisonRuddWatts: M&A Deal of the Year

Mercury’s acquisition of the New Zealand assets of Tilt Renewables for NZ$797 million
Joint Financial Advisors: Forsyth Barr, Citigroup Global Capital Markets Australia

BDO: Intermediate transaction of the year

Sale of a majority stake in Fertility Associates Limited
Senior Financial Advisor: Cameron Partners

Fitch Ratings: Innovation in Financial Services

Community Funding: Integrating Impact Investing

Guardian Trust: New Zealand debt market issue of the year

Contact Energy Limited NZ$225m Green Capital Bond
Joint arrangers and joint lead managers: Craigs Investment Partners, Forsyth Barr
Green program co-lead and coordinator: BNZ

University of Auckland Business School: Emerging Leader of the Year

Sharesies 3EO: Brooke Roberts, Leighton Roberts, Sonya Williams

Bloomberg: Cash Excellence

Mercury NZ

Public Trust: Debt Deal of the Year

Whakatāne Mill Limited debt financing
Borrower: Whakatane Mill Limited
Debt arranger: BNZ
Senior Financial Advisor: KPMG

Tax Management NZ: excellence in institutional and corporate banking

Westpac: excellence in leading and accelerating sustainable finance

Johnson Partners: Leadership Award

David Mair, Chief Executive Officer, Skellerup Holdings Limited

NZTE: Te Tohu Kahukura Māori Prize for Leadership in Finance

Sir Robert McLeod


Jim McElwainexecutive director of INFINZ for 10 years

Sarah Doubleinvolved in New Zealand capital markets for over 30 years, with a focus on corporate bonds

Ireland (Distinguished Fellow), Executive Director of Ireland Wallace & Associates, a leader in promoting shareholder value for 35 years.

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