Meet The Judges

FRAN O'SULLIVAN (Judging Panel Convenor)

Fran O’Sullivan is Head of Business (Content) for NZME and a high-profile business columnist for the New Zealand Herald. She has a strong interest in New Zealand's international business success and is a frequent television commentator and public speaker.


Fran chairs the NZ US Council’s Advisory Board, is a member of the NZ China Council’s Advisory Board and deputy chairman of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (NZ) board. She is a regular participant in NZ’s partnership forums with the United States, Australia and China. Fran also chairs the Metropolis Body Corporate.


She is a former editor of National Business Review and has an award-winning track record in business journalism.


Dame Alison Paterson was appointed as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business in the New Year’s Honours 2014 and was previously awarded the QSO for services to the community.


Dame Alison’s experience spans a range of industries in both the public and private sector. She is recognised as being a trailblazer for women in governance roles. She is a chartered accountant who operated a sole farm accounting practice. Her first major board appointment was in 1976. Dame Alison served on the Reserve Bank board from 1996 to 2010 including as chair of the audit committee and Deputy Chair. Her past appointments include the chair of several organisations including Landcorp Farming, Abano Healthcare, Crown Irrigation Investment, Waitemata Health and as a director of Metrowater.


Dame Alison is a Fellow of the University of Auckland, D.Com [Massey], a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors, an FCA. She was 2010 QBE Chairman of the Year and was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame in 2015.


Jonathan Mason has over 30 years of experience in financial management roles in the oil, chemicals, forest products, and dairy industries with an emphasis on emerging markets. Jonathan was CFO of Fonterra Co-operative, CFO of Cabot Corporation (a Boston based chemical company), and CFO of Carter Holt Harvey. Jonathan also served in senior financial management positions at US based International Paper from 1990-2000.


Jonathan is currently a director of numerous large organisations and an Adjunct Professor of Management at the University of Auckland.


Neil Paviour-Smith has over 25 years' experience in various roles in New Zealand capital markets. He is Managing Director of Forsyth Barr Limited, a leading NZX sharebroking firm and investment bank.


Neil is Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, chair of the NZ Regulatory Board and past director of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ), director of The New Zealand Initiative and former director of NZX Limited. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ (INFINZ) and former chair of the NZ Society of Investment Analysts.


Neil was an inaugural recipient of a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2005.


Cathy Quinn is a senior partner (and former Chair) of MinterEllisonRuddWatts.


Cathy was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in 2016 for her contribution to the law and women. Cathy was the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award Winner 2010 (New Zealand).


Cathy is on the Board of Fletcher Building, Tourism Holdings , the NZ Treasury and the NZ China Council.


Managing Director of Direct Capital, the leading private equity fund which has invested in over 75 companies in New Zealand and Australia over the last 25 years. Ross has been involved in the private equity industry in Asia, Australia and New Zealand since 1987 and played a key role in establishing our private equity industry. Ross is currently a director of Bayleys, Perpetual Guardian, Qestral and Beca.


Young Executive of the Year Judge


Liam Dann is the Business Editor of the New Zealand Herald, overseeing all business content in print and online. He has been a journalist for 20 years, covering business for the last 15 of them. He has also worked in the banking sector in London and travelled extensively. His passion is for Markets and Economics, because they are the engine of the New Zealand economy.


Young Executive of the Year Judge

Chris Moller is the current Chair of Meridian Energy and former Chair of SKYCITY, New Zealand Transport Agency and New Zealand Cricket. In 2006 he received the QBE Insurance Chairperson of the Year award as part of the Deloitte Top 200. Prior to his governance career, Chris was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the inaugural Deputy Chief Executive of Fonterra.


Young Executive of the Year Judge


Theresa Gattung is a leading New Zealand business personality and author of best-selling autobiography Bird on a Wire.


From October 1999 to June 2007, Theresa was the CEO and Managing Director of Telecom New Zealand, where she led the company through world-changing technology developments.


Over the last few years Theresa has been involved in a wide spread of governance positions in both New Zealand and Australia. She also co-founded the hugely successful start-up, My Food Bag, which has a turnover of over $130m.


In 2015 she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy and also inducted into the TVNZ New Zealand Marketing Hall of Fame.  In September 2018 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the Women of Influence Awards.


Theresa is involved with a number of not-for-profit and philanthropic interests, including being co-founder of the World Women Charitable Trust and Patron of the Cambodia Charitable Trust.  She was Chair of the Wellington Board of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for many years and on the Royal New Zealand SPCA (RNZSPCA) National Board from June 2016 to April 2018 as it transitioned to become ONE SPCA. In February 2019 she was inducted into the RNZSPCA Hall of Fame.


Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Judge


Scott joined the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in May 2013, following a 25-year career as a Chief Executive and senior leader in the global insurance industry. He is also non-executive director for Chubb Insurance in Australia and New Zealand, and a shareholder director in state-owned Kiwibank.


Before joining ACC, Scott was regional CEO for one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, Willis (Towers Watson), for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Scott has also worked for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (RSA) as Regional CEO for Asia and the Middle East. He has also held senior regional leadership and CEO roles at ACE Insurance (now Chubb Insurance) and CIGNA in the Asia-Pacific region.


Scott’s driving philosophy is to ensure the organisations he’s involved with always deliver quality customer service and outcomes. That can only be achieved when a business is truly inclusive, champions accessibility, and recognises differences and diversity as a strength.


Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Judge

Jo is an experienced gender and leadership consultant who has led a variety of projects and assignments. She is regularly asked to facilitate strategy sessions with leadership teams, coach emerging leaders and lead substantial policy, strategy and gender projects. Recent assignments include facilitating sessions at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April 2018, working with the leadership team of the New Zealand Defence Force to develop strategies to increase the gender diversity of the forces, and completing a gender analysis of immigration policy.


Jo was the previous Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women. One of the youngest Chief Executives ever appointed in the New Zealand Public Service, she has invested her time and energy in advancing the cause of the vulnerable in society, spearheading some of the most difficult issues of our time, including child abuse, child poverty, family violence and vulnerable women.