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July 6, 2020

Manuka honey maker Comvita hires ex-Synlait finance chief Nigel Greenwood

New Zealand-based Manuka honey maker Comvita has hired a new finance chief to replace interim CFO Adrian Barr.

By Dean Best

New Zealand’s Comvita has announced Synlait’s former finance chief Nigel Greenwood is to join the Manuka honey maker as CFO in September.

Greenwood, whose planned departure from New Zealand-based infant-formula producer Synlait was first revealed last October, will take up his new CFO role on 15 September. He will replace Adrian Barr, who was appointed interim finance chief of Comvita in February after Julianne Keast resigned from the position in January.

Prior to joining Synlait, Greenwood served at accountancy firm Deloitte Touche, the Lyttelton Port Company, logistics provider Gough Group and Crane Distribution. 

Comvita chief executive David Banfield said in a statement: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Nigel to the Comvita leadership team. His extensive financial, commercial, primary sector and Asian market pedigree, along with his strong listed-company experience, will be invaluable to us as we position Comvita for long-term success.”

Barr will take up the newly-created position of chief business development officer at Wellington-listed Comvita and will be responsible for overseeing a NZD15m (US$9.8m today) transformation plan launched in March. 

The company also recently completed a business review launched last June, which Comvita said at the time would involve looking at “under-performing assets of the business, as well as structural, balance sheet, leadership and organisation considerations”. CEO Banfield was part of that process and joined the business in January.

And in May, Comvita revitalised a plan to raise additional capital as it sought NZD50m to “improve balance sheet flexibility and build resilience”.

“Adrian Barr has performed superbly for Comvita in the role of interim CFO since February,” Banfield said. “He led a review of the finance structure, strengthened internal reporting processes and forward planning and was also integral to the success of our recent capital raise. Having Adrian focus on business development for Comvita will enable us to accelerate our return to sustained profitable growth.” 

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