Magazine article New Zealand Management

Top 200 Thinking: Wayne Boyd; QBE Chairperson of the Year 2011

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Top 200 Thinking: Wayne Boyd; QBE Chairperson of the Year 2011

Article excerpt

What will the business environment be like over the next 12 months?

We'll continue to have ongoing global financial uncertainty, a multi-speed business environment, and the prospect of multi-year low growth domestically and within many of our traditional trade partners.

What should NZ business people be focusing on?

Management should have a strong focus on delivering, and growing, business-generated free cash. Sharp oversight of debtors and stock will be essential.

Post the GFC many will have endeavoured to optimise the mix of equity and debt invested in their businesses. The continuing global financial uncertainty and the prospect of an ongoing low growth operating environment demands further oversight of that debt equity mix.

A timely rigorous review initiated and implemented by shareholders and management almost always leads to a better business outcome than a debt holder-generated review.

Optimal mix of equity and debt, particularly where the operating environment and the term of the debt have been calibrated to reflect the pulse and prospects of the business, allows management to focus on the business.

Focus on, and in, the business should deliver, at the very least, return on capital employed appropriate for the investment risk and the opportunity to plan for growth.

What advice would you give to NZ business people?

Given the size of the New Zealand marketplace, growth for New Zealand-owned businesses at the level necessary to facilitate a lift in prosperity within New Zealand will have to be secured in other geographies. …

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