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Business Leaders

14 July 2023

From Dr Rob Fyfe and Arihia Bennett to Allen Curnow and Katherine Corich, learn about the business leaders UC is showcasing to celebrate our 150th anniversary.

Dr Antony Gough

BSc (Hons) 1971, DCom 2014

Antony Gough, Managing Director of The Terrace Christchurch Ltd, is known in Christchurch for creating 'The Strip', a parade of bars and restaurants down Oxford Terrace that became a popular social precinct and tourist destination along the Avon River until the earthquakes in 2011. A successful property investor and entrepreneur, he has made a significant contribution to the development of Christchurch’s central city. Post-earthquake, Antony was a vocal and enthusiastic supporter of the city’s rebuild, also helping to establish the Re:Start container mall in Cashel Street. In 2014, Antony was awarded an honouree doctorate in Commerce by UC for his work in rebuilding Christchurch after the earthquakes.

Anthony Romano
Anthony Romano

BCom 1989

A strategic advisor and executive leader, Anthony Romano’s career has taken him around the world. His previous roles include c-suite positions at Timberland, Calvin Klein, Prada, Luna Rossa Challenge 2007 and Church & Co Footwear. He was recognised in the 2020 Walpole Power List as one of the 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury and offers his time to help NZ companies expand into Europe through his position as a Kea World Class New Zealander and NZTE. A basketball fan from his youth, winning 2 National Championships with the Canterbury Rams, and recently reunited with UC basketball teammates to compete in the last 3 World Masters Games.

Arihia Bennett
Arihia Bennett MNZM

CertSocWork 1985, GradDipSocWork 1988

The CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu since 2012, Arihia Bennett and her team work to protect and advance the interests of more than 78,000 iwi members, guiding the organisation according to its tribal whakataukī: Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – For us and our children after us. A respected leader and community champion, Arihia’s background in social work and passion for the wellbeing and empowerment of Māori has built a strong foundation for her work across advisory groups, panels, and directorships. In 2008, Arihia was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and the community.

Rob Fyfe
Dr Rob Fyfe CNZM

BE (Hons) 1983, DCom 2015

Rob Fyfe joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force before studying towards his Bachelor of Engineering. Rising to the rank of Flight Commander at age 24, his career has since seen him hold positions with Telecom, BNZ, ITV, and CEO of Air New Zealand from 2005 to 2012. He was awarded the Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for his services to business and tourism in 2012 and says, "I haven’t had a choreographed career at all. I’ve always just been really fascinated by how things work – how you do business, how you treat people, how you achieve outcomes. That curiosity has taken me down some amazing paths".

Campbell Wilson
Campbell Wilson

BCom 1994 & MCom 1995

After 26 years in various leadership positions for Singapore Airlines, including as founding CEO of the Airline’s budget carrier Scoot, Campbell Wilson now helms the recently-privatised Air India Group as CEO & Managing Director.  Under his leadership, Air India is undergoing arguably the most complex aviation restructuring ever undertaken, including the merger of four operating airlines and a comprehensive rebuild of its flagship carrier, and has placed one of the largest new aircraft orders in history.  Christchurch born and bred, Campbell backpacked extensively in Europe and North America before continuing his international journey by working in Australia, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan.  He now resides in New Delhi, India.

Glenn Renwick
Glenn Renwick

BSc 1978

Dunedin-born Glenn Renwick’s career started as an Engineer at Bell Labs then moved on to American insurance giant Progressive for 32 years, half of which he spent as CEO. He helped build the business from a few $100 million revenue auto-insurer to one that now brings in $US 50 billion, making him one of the very few Kiwis to have led a Fortune 500 company. Twice included in the Forbes 40 Most Admired CEOs in the World list, Glenn’s leadership and innovative approach also saw him sit on the board of global fintech company Fiserv for 19 years and the world’s largest health care company, UnitedHealth.

Sara Clemens
Sara Clemens

BA 1992, BA (Hons) 1993, MA 1995  

No stranger to the tech world, Sara Clemens has lent her leadership talent to some of Silicon Valley’s most famous and influential companies. Currently a Senior Advisor at Blackstone Growth, Sara previously led Twitch as their COO during a rapid period of growth. In 2015 and 2016, she was placed on Billboard’s list of Most Powerful Women in Music for her influence as Pandora’s COO and has worked in pivotal positions for LinkedIn and Microsoft, among others, throughout her 25 years of leadership experience. “At the end of the day, it's the people who really make your career what it is.”

Carmen Doran

BE (Hons) 2003, ME 2004 

CEO of Helius Therapeutics, with a strong international background in pharmaceutical operations in both human and animal health, Carmen Doran has a bold vision to become a world leader in the research, development, and marketing of next-generation medical cannabis products. Contagiously passionate about empowering leadership and driving an environment of continuous improvement, Carmen’s hunger for pursuing excellence in areas impactful to the world around us has seen her living in six countries and traveling, personally and professionally, to over 50. Since 2019, Carmen has also been involved with Track Tec Racing, working enthusiastically as Team Manager and Race Engineer. 

George Hongchoy
George Hongchoy

BCom 1985

After choosing to study accounting at UC, George Hongchoy, originally from Hong Kong, stayed in New Zealand to begin his career, working his way to senior positions in financial consulting, investment banking, and real estate investment. In Hong Kong, George has been the CEO of Link Asset Management since 2010 and, over his tenure, has grown the Link Real Estate Investment Trust from HK$40 billion to over HK$100 billion.  He was named one of Harvard Business Review’s 100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World in 2018 and 2019. An avid All Black supporter, George also gives back to his community through numerous public service positions.

Tan Sri Dr Ngau Boon Keat

BE (Hons) 1973, DEng 2012

Tan Sri Dr Ngau Boon Keat is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of DIALOG Group – a leading integrated technical service provider to the energy sector in Malaysia and internationally. Operating in ten countries, DIALOG is listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia with a market capitalisation of RM13.8 billion (December 2022). With over 50 years of experience under his belt, Tan Sri Dr Ngau received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Malaysia, in 2013 for recognition of his visionary leadership. In 2009, he and his wife, Puan Sri Jean founded the MyKasih Foundation, a welfare organisation aimed at alleviating poverty in Malaysia.

Phil veal
Phil Veal

BE (Hons) 1992

Phil Veal is the Managing Director of Forthco, a New Zealand private equity company. After graduating civil engineering, his work has focused on building a more productive and sustainable world. He spent most of his career in New York City, working in mergers & acquisitions before moving into investment management. After the 2011 earthquake, he helped raise money to rebuild UC. He’s been an investor in iconic Kiwi businesses including Hellers, Tuatara Brewing, and New Zealand Mint. Outside of business, he has been active in building Kea, New Zealand’s global talent network of one million expats, and Chapter Zero, a WEF decarbonisation initiative. With the Gough Family Foundation, he’s proud to mentor the next generation of leaders in the MBA programme at UC.

Katherine Corich
Katherine Corich FRAeS*

BA 1983, MA 1985  

A visionary leader, Katherine Corich founded Sysdoc to deliver transformational change programmes to large-scale global organisations. Sysdoc offers expertise in Process, Organisation Design, Change Management and Learning. Its flagship digital systems enable significant change to be delivered in smarter ways. Katherine is a non-Exec Director of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, a member of RNZAF Leadership Board, and AirNZ’s Sustainability Advisory Panel. Trained as a commercial pilot, Katherine aims to use digital, change leadership, and aviation skills to effect transformational change. Katherine is the recipient of the Agile Organisation Award, Next Aveeno Businesswomen of the Year, EY Master Entrepreneur of the Year, UK New Zealander of the Year, and was inducted into NZ HiTech Hall of Fame. 

*Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society

Catherine McGrath

LLB 1994, BCom 1994

After working in financial service organisations in the UK and New Zealand for the past 25 years, Catherine McGrath was excited to return home in 2021 to take up the mantle of CEO for Westpac. Passionate about the role a bank has in supporting the community it serves, Catherine believes they can be a force for good in helping New Zealanders achieve what they want to achieve, as well as helping the economy. Reflecting on UC, Catherine says, “Canterbury was a place of making lifelong friends, learning about the pitfalls and opportunities of being a fully independent adult, and critically teaching me my craft, which continues to stand me in good stead throughout my career.”

David Teece
Professor David Teece CNZM

BA 1970, MCom 1971, DCom 2007 

Renowned economist and authority on matters of organisational economics, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Dr David J. Teece, is a self-labeled 'scholar entrepreneur'. Ranked as the world’s most cited scholar in the combined field of business and management, he has received multiple awards and was bestowed with Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2013 for his services to NZ-USA relations. He is a Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California (Berkeley) and Executive Chairman of the Berkeley Research Group, a General Partner in Pilatus Capital, and owner of Mount Beautiful wines and Pelorus Properties, Eskhead Station. In 2017, The Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities, part of UC Arts at the Arts Centre, was named in recognition of David’s generosity to UC. 

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