MA (Oxon), AFInstD

Richard Westlake is the founder and director of Westlake Governance Limited, a New Zealand-based globally focused business and one of New Zealand’s leading corporate governance advisory firms.

Governance Advice

Westlake Governance undertakes complex governance assignments for all types of organisation. Significant recent clients have included the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council; The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN” – USA); the West Coast Development Trust; Rabobank (Australia); the Office of the Auditor-General (New Zealand); and an educational NGO for whose members Westlake Governance has developed and managed board evaluation and development programmes over the last four years.

Governance Development Programmes

Richard is a highly sought after trainer and facilitator for boards, directors and chairs in New Zealand and internationally. He leads governance development programmes in many regions, including South and East Asia, Australia, the Middle East and the Pacific.
In 2013, the IFC commissioned and published Richard’s book “Guidance for the Directors of Banks,” which has been adopted internationally by bankers and regulators.

Chairmanship and Governance

Richard is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors (CFInstD), with over 20 years’ experience as a Director and Board Chairman, and currently chairs Careerforce, the Industry Training Organisation serving New Zealand’s health, disability and aged care workforce.
He is the first independent director of the Dairy Goat Co-Operative (NZ) Ltd, the world’s leading exporter of goat’s milk infant formula, and a director of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), one of the main banks in the Philippines, appointed by the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank’s private sector arm (IFC).
Among previous roles, Richard chaired software company Intergen Limited, until its sale in October 2014, and was a founding director of Kiwibank Limited for ten years from 2001, where he chaired the board’s Finance, Audit & Risk Committee.
He was Chair of Standards New Zealand from 2003-2010, Establishment Chairman for two State-Owned Enterprises, MetService and Quotable Value, and has chaired and served on the boards of several other companies, government-owned entities and NGOs.

Executive roles

Richard’s executive roles have included five years as Chief Executive of a regional bank in New Zealand, Interim Chief Executive of a regional council, and four years as Chief Operating Officer for the New Zealand of a leading British bank. Much of Richard’s earlier career experience came through fifteen years’ merchant banking in New Zealand and Australia.

Early Career

Before moving to New Zealand, Richard gained his MA degree at Oxford University, after which he trained as a fast-jet pilot in the Royal Air Force. His first leadership appointment came at age 22, running a 4,500-person refugee camp at a British base in Cyprus.