Forestry Director Bert Hughes (pictured) takes up the helm as CEO of Forest Enterprises as Steve Wilton initiates the latest stage of the company’s succession plan by handing the leadership to fellow Directors. Wilton is taking on the new role of Special Projects Director, retiring from his responsibilities as Managing Director.
Hughes retains his forestry responsibilities. Graeme Tindall has been appointed Managed Investments Director, assuming much of Wilton’s investment-related responsibilities.
Forest Enterprises’ priority is to accelerate the planning necessary to ensure the profitable harvest of their investor’s forests and secure the future for the investments. The new role means Wilton will be dedicated to the specialist work required to implement these plans over the next eight months to 1 October.
Wilton describes this as a “triple win” scenario. “This restructure fulfils all my ambitions for the company, as well as for my own retirement, and ensures that our Investors’ interests remain the paramount focus, now and into the future.”
Says Hughes of the changes, “Steve followed company founder Charles Wallis as a pioneer of the retail forestry investment business, and built the Forest Enterprises we have today. Having Steve so focussed on our business growth plans is of huge value to us and our clients. He has left us big shoes to fill, but I speak for all the shareholders when I say how confident I am of our plan and our people.”
Wilton has been progressively selling down his shares over a number of years as new talent has been introduced to Forest Enterprises’ senior management. Hughes and Tindall started the process in 2012 by becoming shareholders, followed in 2015 by Legal Services Director Gordon Wong and by Forest Estate Manager Malte Coulmann in 2016. Dan Fraser, Forest Enterprises’ Gisborne Regional Manager, joins the shareholder group from 1 April 2018.
From 1 October 2018, Wilton will be appointed the non-executive Chair of Forest Enterprises Growth Limited (the parent company of the business) in which role he plans to be active for some years.
For more information contact Bert Hughes, 027 441 0535.