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Media release: Simon Challies named New Zealand's top executive

Ryman managing director wins Deloitte Top 200 award 


Ryman Healthcare managing director Simon Challies has won New Zealand's most prestigious business award.

Mr Challies, who has been in the top job at Ryman for the past eight years, was last night named the Deloitte Top 200 executive of the year.

The judges said Mr Challies was a master of detail and a consistent top performer who had devoted himself to the company for a long, long time with great results.

Mr Challies took over as chief executive from company co-founder Kevin Hickman in 2006 and had overseen double digit growth at New Zealand's largest retirement village operator. Over that period the company has more than doubled in size.

Ryman Chairman Dr David Kerr said it was a great accolade for Mr Challies.

"We are really proud of Simon and what he's achieved. It's a result of him building and leading a great team that's focussed on our residents.''

"He understands that if we get that right, then great financial results will follow.

Dr Kerr said Simon Challies worked hard and led by example.

"There are no airs and graces with Simon, he is down-to-earth and genuine. Simon epitomises the values of Ryman.''

Mr Challies said he was very fortunate to have been mentored into the role by company co-founder Kevin Hickman and that Dr Kerr’s support as chairman had also paved the way for his success.

He considered himself lucky to work with an amazing management team that had been with him for a long time as obsessive and passionate about the business as he was.

“I have an amazing management team who have been with me for the past eight years. And we are surrounded by this amazing group of people known as Rymanians. They are pretty unique. They are always up for a challenge and they are passionate about making the lives of older New Zealanders better.’’

He thanked the two significant women in his life, his wife and his mother.

Ryman has been one of New Zealand's best performing companies for three decades.

The company raised $25 million when it listed in 1999 and had spent $1.6 billion on construction and returned more than $380 million in dividends to shareholders.

This year Reader's Digest named it the country's Most Trusted Brand in the retirement sector and the Boston Consulting Group ranked it as one of the Top 10 healthcare businesses in the world.

In 2013 Ryman Chairman Dr David Kerr was named chairman of the year and in 2012 Ryman won company of the year at the Top 200 awards.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies.  The company owns 30 villages and serves over 8,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia.  Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.


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