23 Sep 2010

New GPG directors applauded by investors

7:37 am on 23 September 2010

Investors have supported the appointment of four new directors to Guinness Peat Group, saying the future of the troubled investment concern has brightened.

The company founded by Sir Ron Brierley encountered stiff resistance to its plans to split its Australian arm into a separate business, including from its New Zealand director, Tony Gibbs, who was later dumped.

GPG has plumbed for people with experience in investment banking and governance, appointing Mike Allen, Rob Campbell, Mark Johnson and Gavin Walker.

They join Sir Ron, Blake Nixon and Gary Weiss, while Ron Langley resigned.

Milford Asset Management executive director Brian Gaynor says the new independent directors have the experience to help restore GPG's fortunes.

He says their calibre is very high and described the appointments as an

excellent move.

"There's now much more hope that this company will be governed more effectively than in the past," he said.

GPG will now set up a sub-committee of the board, which includes the new directors, to consider the company's future direction.

Shares in GPG rose 1 cent to 67 cents each on Wednesday.