John Prendergast has resigned as CEO of the $200 million plus Community Trust of Southland (CTOS) after almost 20 years in the role.
Industry sources have confirmed that Prendergast would officially exit CTOS early this month.
Margot Hishon, CTOS board of trustees chair, declined to comment on the news nor whether the trust would recruit a replacement chief executive.
Prendergast was unavailable for comment.
Including Hishon, the CTOS board numbers 10 trustees, four of whom have been appointed within the last two years. Most recently, Queenstown-based financial adviser, Warren Skerrett, joined the CTOS board in June 2016 with Hishon (elected as chair in November last year), Mata Cherrington, and Invercargill financial planner, Stephen O’Connor, appointed the previous June.
According to the 2015/16 CTOS annual report, the organisation embarked on a “new strategic direction” over the period with innovations such as the ‘SmartyGrants’ online system.
In March 2016, CTOS also replaced long-time investment consultant, MCA (led by Michael Chamberlain) with Aon Hewitt.
The-then CTOS chair, Trish Boyle, says in the annual report: “The staff, led by our hardworking CEO, have embraced the many changes in a positive and enthusiastic way as they have worked together to bring about many changed practices…
“The Trust has appointed a new Investment Adviser and the Investment team led by Lindsay Wright have reviewed investment practices and refined our practice to continue to grow and develop our funds to provide for our community now and in the future.”
CTOS funds under management grew by $7 million after returning 5.9 per cent over the year to March 31, 2016, to close the period at about $208 million.
Prendergast was appointed CTOS chief executive in 1998. Prior to joining the community trust he worked as a chartered accountant in the UK and NZ as well as holding senior management positions PowerNet, TrustBank Southland and Tranz Rail.