Three more of the Reserve Bank's senior leadership team are leaving, including senior financial stability team members Toby Fiennes and Andy Wood, the central bank has confirmed.

Chief financial officer (CFO) Mike Wolyncewicz will also leave the central bank in May next year after 21 years.

Governor Adrian Orr said in one of two statements on the departures that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) is "well advanced in its transformation to meet its new mandate".

"We are aware of our future governance expectations under new legislation. We're strengthening our foundations and how we operate," Orr said.

Orr's statement said the RBNZ is expanding its leadership team from six to eight roles: the 2021 annual report featured Orr and six others.

New roles

The additional roles are general managers of risk, compliance and legal services and of information and data analysis.

"These new roles have been created to bolster the overall capability and capacity of the leadership team and to ensure these important tasks are given appropriate prominence," Orr's statement said.

"Other senior leadership roles have been refreshed to both accommodate the new roles and to ensure the bank's broader mandate is being appropriately managed," it said.

Wood and Fiennes "have chosen not to pursue roles in the new structure", he said.

Praise for the departing

“Andy and Toby have both achieved a huge amount in their careers at the RBNZ. Toby has overseen first-class policy advice that has driven a significant expansion of our regulatory responsibilities, and Andy has successfully nurtured talent and led the growth to support our more intensive supervision approach,” he said.

Wood will leave before Christmas and Fiennes will depart in March. Scott McKinnon, who has previously been acting head of supervision, will step back into that role until the new structure is in place, he said.

The departures are the latest of a long line of senior people at the central bank since Orr's appointment in March 2018.

Of the 12-person management team featured in the RBNZ's 2018 annual report, only two will remain at the central bank after the latest rash of departures. While Fiennes and Wolyncewicz were two of the people in that 2018 team, Wood was not.

The statements were issued late today after BusinessDesk asked RBNZ if it was true Wood and Fiennes were leaving.

Unanswered questions

BusinessDesk had asked:

  1.  I understand that both Andy Wood and Toby Fiennes are leaving the RBNZ. Can you confirm that?
  2.  An announcement to staff is planned for tomorrow after the appearance at the Finance and Expenditure Committee. Can you confirm that?
  3.  A formal announcement is planned for Thursday. Can you confirm that?
  4.  I understand that means about half of the financial stability group will have left. Can you confirm that?
  5.  I understand that RBNZ had 25 tier 2 and 3 staff in June and that 10 have left or are leaving. Can you confirm that?

Orr said all existing permanent senior leadership team members "have been reconfirmed or reassigned, other than the bank's CFO Mike Wolyncewicz, who has been with the bank for 21 years and has chosen not to take up a role in the new structure". 

"He will remain at the bank until May 2022 assisting with transition and supporting a major project", the statement said.

Praise for Wolyncewicz

"Mike has made an incredible contribution to the RBNZ. He's led admirably through challenging times and ensured the seamless delivery of critical projects like the payments system replacement project."

Orr said recruitment for the new and vacant roles will begin shortly.

RBNZ's website said Wood joined RBNZ in 2008 to lead its oversight of non-bank deposit takers before advancing to head of supervision.

It said Fiennes, head of financial system policy and analysis had worked in prudential supervision since 2005 and had headed the department between 2007 and 2018.

The news of Wood's and Fiennes's departures follow the resignations of chief economist Yuong Ha and deputy governor and head of prudential supervision Geoff Bascand, who is also a deputy governor of the bank.

Other senior staff to have left RBNZ since Orr became governor in 2018 include former chief economist John McDermott, former head of human resources Lindsay Jenkin, former head of financial markets Mark Perry, former assistant governor and head of operations Sean Mills and former chief information officer.

Patrick Hoerler, head of business operations, left RBNZ in April following a well-publicised data breach.

This story has been corrected in reference to the fifth question asked by BusinessDesk.