Time for ‘new blood’ at Kina Securities with CEO Yates to step down

Syd Yates, Chief Executive of Kina Securities, has announced that he will relinquish the role next month after 20 years with the company, with Westpac’s Greg Pawson joining the company. Yates tells Business Advantage PNG he believes it is time for new blood.

Syd Yates (centre) with Kina Securities staff. Credit: Kina Securities

An announcement today to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and Port Moresby Stock Exchange (POMSoX) said the Chief Executive and Managing Director roles at Kina, PNG’s fourth largest bank, will be split to facilitate the transition.

Yates will remain on as Managing Director until the end of the year ‘to enable him to continue overseeing the advancement of several strategic initiatives.’

Meanwhile, Greg Pawson, the former Regional Head of South Asia and the Pacific for Westpac, will take over as Kina’s new Chief Executive.

Decision

‘It has been 20 years and it is a good time to make the decision and let someone else take it to the next level,’ Yates told Business Advantage PNG after the announcement.

‘I have done everything I set out to do. I have still got more I would love to do but I just think it is good to have new blood and new energy in an organisation.

‘I remember that in the first day in the office we had seven people and three computers.’

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‘I have been working on this thing for a while. I am certainly not going to retire. I will have a good break and work out what I would like to do.’

‘I think you need to have a different level of experience—you can be in an organisation too long. I am not saying I am less committed, but it is good to have fresh blood and we have done that pretty well by bringing in a new management team. The time is right.’

Small

Kina’s new Chief Executive Greg Pawson

Yates says his background, prior to joining Kina, was working in larger enterprises.

‘I remember that in the first day in the office we had seven people and three computers. It is a little different today. About 300 people work for Kina now.

‘In the Kina Finance days, I brought in some new blood and we took that next step. Now it’s appropriate to move on and do things differently.

‘I am proud to get someone of the quality of Greg Pawson.’

Milestones

Yates nominates a critical milestone in his tenure as Chief Executive as the purchase of Maybank and Kina’s listing on the ASX in 2015.

‘Buying Maybank was a key thing that we had to do. Being the biggest non-bank lender, you get to a point where you have to do it .’

‘Being listed on an exchange is like being naked in a fish bowl.’

‘We needed to source some capital funding and get new shareholders in. The best way to do that was to get a listing on the stock exchange, and the best stock exchange to list on was the ASX.’

Yates says the listing enhanced the company’s credibility and presence. ‘People start looking at you differently.’

Fish bowl

The ASX listing also brought with it higher reporting requirements, says Yates.

‘You have got a whole lot of people looking at you. Being listed on an exchange is like being naked in a fish bowl. Anything you do has to be transparent.

‘You can’t control your price; it goes up and down. And you have got to deal with all these shareholders. International shareholders are a lot different to shareholders in PNG. They scrutinise you more.’

Yates is positive about the possibility of PNG’s largest bank, Bank South Pacific, also listing on the ASX.

‘I hope they do because it would be a great thing if they did that. It would be great for PNG.’

New chapter

In today’s announcement, Kina Chairman Isikeli Taureka said: “We are very pleased that Greg [Pawson] is joining us at this time. His engagement signals a new and exciting chapter for Kina. His depth of industry experience in the Asia Pacific region is highly valued as Kina is poised to participate in the next cycle of Papua New Guinea’s development.”

Taureka thanked Yates for successfully leading the company through a period of unprecedented change.

‘Syd’s tireless energy and personal dedication to Kina’s growth have been significant factors in Kina’s success,’ he said. ‘On behalf of the Kina Board, management and staff, I wish Syd well for his future endeavours.’

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