The Institute of Directors (IoD) has made Sir Eion Edgar a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute in recognition of his contribution to business, governance and the community.
Distinguished Fellow status is the IoD’s highest accolade, awarded to members who have sustained a prominent and distinguished career as a director.
Chair of the IoD’s Otago Southland Branch Committee Trish Oakley MInstD says Sir Eion has had a profound impact on business and the community across many sectors.
“The IoD exists to support directors as they guide companies, organisations and community groups to success. Sir Eion has had a remarkable life that has touched people in each of these,” Oakley says.
“With Forsyth Barr, he was part of a new era of wealth management in New Zealand’s financial services. As head of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, he supported the triumphs of amateur Kiwi’s on the toughest of global sporting stages and represented this country with distinction. His passion for community sport, too, is evidenced by Dunedin’s indoor sports Edgar Centre.”
Sir Eion Edgar has had a rich and varied governance career, which included time as Chancellor of the University of Otago, as a director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, chair of the New Zealand Stock Exchange, president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, a founding trustee of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand and trustee and patron of the Queenstown Trails Trust in addition to many company director roles.
While chair of Forsyth Barr, he championed the company's sponsorship of Forsyth Barr Stadium.
He is a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
As a role model for aspiring directors, Sir Eion urges people to become involved in governance where the opportunity arises and to focus on opportunities to learn how to make good decisions.
“I started on the local kindergarten and then the school committees. They are great ways to learn. The good thing about being on those committees – particularly if they ask you to chair – is that you have got to learn to work with people,” he says.
“It’s the same at all levels. Any good board will not always agree, as you won’t on the school committee. But you have to find a way through it, respect people’s views and recognise that at the end of the day you have got to find a solution. That’s one of the important things in governance – recognising that people have different views but that the important thing for a board, a council or a school committee is to come to a good decision.”
Sir Eion was conferred Distinguished Fellow status in a presentation at a special function at Queenstown Resort College on Thursday 29 April.
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