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Gerald has a broad and eclectic practice in the corporate, finance and property sectors, but does not neglect the needs of individuals. He is one of New Zealand’s most experienced advisers to overseas investors from the USA, China and Europe seeking assets or a foothold in New Zealand.

During New Zealand’s financial revolution of the 1980’s Gerald developed a recognised expertise in financial markets, advising on numerous debt financing, equity raising projects and a wide range of complex insolvencies and regulatory matters arising from the public securities markets. At the same time, he has always been prepared to assist individuals with their special problems.

In more recent years, the broad base of his experience has led to him being sought after to manage large projects in a wide variety of sectors and to bring his governance experience and insights to the boards and senior management teams of leading New Zealand entities. In 2016/2017 he advised on six takeovers under the New Zealand Takeovers Code.

Gerald applies that cross-border investment experience with the Overseas Investment Act to help overseas investors acquire dairy and pastoral farms, forests, companies, and lifestyle assets.

Gerald has developed expertise in the emerging regulation of freshwater quality through his role as a governing trustee of the Lake Taupo Protection Trust since 2006. Over this period the trust has reduced the level of manageable nitrogen entering Lake Taupo by 170 tonnes, by acquiring land covenants at a total price of approximately $80 million.

Gerald is the current Chair of the Michael Hill International Violin Competition and President of the Waitati Beach Reserve Society. The former is one of the world’s most prestigious violin competitions and the latter is one of New Zealand’s oldest private conservation initiatives.

Admission date: 1983

EXPERIENCE

Gerald has advised: 

  • NZX listed Michael Hill International on the migration of its primary stock exchange listing to Australia by way of a new Australian-incorporated and ASX-listed holding company. The new company acquired all the shares in the New Zealand entity through a court approved scheme of arrangement seldom seen in NZ, in a process which required careful management of shareholder interests, and compliance with the requirements of the High Court of NZ, the NZ Takeovers Panel, the Financial Markets Conduct Authority, the NZX and ASX.
  • NZX listed Kirkcaldie & Stains on its strategic decision to exit its iconic department store business and return funds to its shareholders, by way of the sale of its retail business to David Jones, a divestment of liabilities, a court ordered return of excess capital to shareholders, followed by a third party takeover to return remaining funds to shareholders. 
  • Buller, Grey and Southland District Councils, representing their interests in assuring the funding of the long term environmental remediation liabilities (hundreds of millions) associated with the mines located within their districts when Solid Energy went into voluntary administration status.  
  • Mount Creighton Station on an agreement with the New Zealand Crown for the tenure review of more than 16,000 hectares of perpetually renewable Crown leasehold land in late 2017. Completion marked the end of 17 years of complex negotiations and a process involving formal public consultation and submissions, detailed analysis of economic, cultural, environmental and recreational values of the property, and careful valuation work.
  • Confidential clients on various overseas investment transactions in New Zealand and enforcement action taken by the Overseas Investment Office.

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