Mark Verbiest

Mark Verbiest

2022 Beacon Award

The Beacon Award is an annual celebration honouring one individual or team in the New Zealand business community who demonstrates leadership, bravery and respect while championing equitable outcomes, outstanding governance, and respecting the rights of all shareholders.

We’re pleased to recognise Mark Verbiest as the Beacon Award winner for 2022.

Mark exemplifies a core principle underpinning NZSA – that quality governance leads to strong performance. His approach is the opposite of ‘shouting from the rooftops’, with decades of experience of steady achievement.  NZSA Chair, Andrew Reding, noted that “Mark exemplifies best practice governance practices both within his own approach to governance quality and within the organisations he Chairs.”

NZSA notes that effective governance does not always reap immediate benefits. Nonetheless, NZSA notes that Mark’s development of an effective governance culture has resulted in strong shareholder returns that have endured into the long-term at the organisations where he is Chair.

Each year, NZSA assesses factors related to governance quality and the level of disclosure for all NZX-listed companies. The policy set that underpins our assessments represents evidenced best practice, in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Mark has reflected that best practice within their own, personal approach to governance quality and also within the organisations that he Chairs, setting high standards for their Board and executive in supporting the rights of shareholders to transparency and a high standard of accountability. In our 2022 assessments, Meridian Energy (Chaired by Mark since 2019) received the strongest match to NZSA’s best practice criteria out of the 155 companies we assessed. We know that creating an effective governance culture is indeed a team effort, but we also recognise the role played by a Chair in creating the conditions in which that culture can thrive.

Mark is a lawyer by training, who, after many years in private practice, then joined the senior executive team of Telecom NZ, being responsible for many groups, including Telecom International and Yellow Pages. He commenced his governance career post-2008 and has served on many boards.

Mark is currently chairman of Meridian Energy and Summerset Group Holdings. He recently retired as Chair of Freightways, and as a director of ANZ NZ. His previous governance roles included terms as Chair of Spark, Transpower and Willis Bond Capital.

He has been a long-term supporter of the NZ Shareholders Association.