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Graeme Wheeler to replace Bollard at Reserve Bank's helm

Former World Bank and New Zealand Treasury official Graeme Wheeler will succeed Alan Bollard as governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

by Jenny Ruth

"Mr Wheeler's extensive experience makes him a highly respected figure in world financial markets and within New Zealand," says Finance Minister Bill English. "We were fortunate to have someone of his calibre available for this important role."

Wheeler will be governor-designate until a new policy targets agreement (PTA) is finalised - each new governor must sign a PTA - and will take the helm at the central bank when Bollard ends his second term on September 25.

English says he doesn't envisage any major changes to the PTA. "However, the global financial crisis has focused some attention on monetary policy frameworks and I want to ensure that the PTA continues to reflect best international practice," English says.

Wheeler worked for the World Bank between 1997 and 2010, most recently as operations managing director between 2006 and 2010 and before that as vice-president and treasurer between 2001 and 2006.

Previously, he was deputy secretary of the New Zealand Treasury and treasurer of the Debt Management Office.

Currently, Wheeler lives in the US and runs his own advisory business. English's office said Wheeler won't be commenting on his appointment until after he has take up the role.

English paid tribute to Bollard for his leadership of the central bank over the past 10 years.

"He helped steer the New Zealand financial system trhough the biggest global crisis in several generations," English says. "At the same time, he ensured that this country continued to enjoy one of the most stable inflation environments in the world."

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