Former environment minister Ian Campbell hasn’t wasted any time landing his first board seat since formally leaving Parliament. Perth-based IT company ASG Group yesterday announced Campbell as a non-executive director and The AFR is already suggesting he could be helpful in landing some government contracts for the ‘Access Card’.
Crikey has long remarked that Australia doesn’t have much of a record of former politicians joining public company boards. Nick Greiner is the only one who made it into the first division of the directors’ club and the rest have had a pretty mixed record in the second division.
Take my old boss Alan Stockdale as an example. He did a fantastic job bringing Victoria back from the financial brink as Jeff Kennett’s treasurer during the 1990s, but since leaving office in 1999, he spent a few years not particularly starring at Macquarie Bank and now runs the industrial relations practice for small Melbourne legal firm Mills Oakley.
In August 2000, Stockdale also took the chair of soap manufacture and specialty chemicals company Symex Holdings, which raised $11 million in a float at 50c a share. Sure, the stock pushed through $2 in late 2001, but it’s now back to 55c.
Similarly, on 15 March, 2006, Melbourne food group Senatas announced that Stockdale would take over as chairman. I bought 1000 shares at 51c the following month, but they’ve completely tanked and this morning were trading at 14.5c.
This poor performance is not necessarily replicated by the emerging club of former Queensland Labor treasurers – Keith De Lacy, Terry Mackenroth and David Hamill – who are pursuing careers as directors of public companies as the following list reveals.
Former politicians currently sitting on public company boards:
Larry Anthony: ABC Learning, Macquarie Leisure
Keith De Lacy: Macarthur Coal, Reef Casino Trust
Wayne Goss: chairman Ausenco
Nick Greiner: QBE, Stockland, Bradken, Bluefreeway Group
David Hamill: Babcock & Brown Infrastructure
Paul Keating: Brain Resource Company
Terry Mackenroth: Devine
Alan Stockdale: chairman of Symex Holdings and Senetas, director Marriner Financial
Shane Stone: City Pacific
Robert Webster: Investa and Brickworks
Neville Wran: chairman of Cabcharge
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