Abby Foote

Abby Foote

2024 Beacon Award

We’re pleased to recognise Abby Foote as the Beacon Award winner for 2023.

The NZSA has chosen to recognise Abby Foote for two specific issues arising during 2023, relating to the stance she adopted in relation director independence at Sanford Limited and her strategic review at Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL) that would have resulted in improved returns for Christchurch City Council while allowing access to more effective capital funding for the key assets owned by CCHL.

These actions align with critical themes for New Zealand investors. Director independence is a key factor in ensuring effective protection for minority shareholders, while encouraging differing approaches to infrastructural asset ownership is a key factor in allowing infrastructure owners to more easily access required capital to optimise returns.

Abby Foote demonstrated courage in standing up for her convictions and reflecting those to stakeholders. The NZSA Beacon Award reflects this courage. Regardless of outcome, the ability to challenge others plays a key role in leadership and allows diverse perspectives to be considered in decision-making.

Abby is a full-time professional director. She has over 15 years’ governance experience as a independent director, having served on both listed and Crown companies. With qualifications in both law and accounting, Abby’s executive career encompassed both disciplines, focusing on strategy, corporate finance and large-scale commercial transactions. As an experienced director Abby has a particular interest in risk management and ESG issues and is committed to strong and effective corporate governance.

Abby is currently the chair of Christchurch City Holdings and a director of KMD Brands Limited (previously known as Kathmandu Holdings) and Freightways Limited. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of Chapter Zero New Zealand. Previous roles include Chair of Z Energy Limited and as a director of TVNZ; Transpower; Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa; Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC); Sanford and the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA).