The founder of dual-listed steel and metal distributor Vulcan Steel is stepping down after being in the job for 27 years.

Peter Wells made the announcement to the New Zealand stock exchange (NZX) this morning.

The Vulcan Steel founder, who set up the steel company in 1995, plans to retire at the next annual meeting on Oct 22. 

Wells said he would still be available to Vulcan’s directors and management when needed.

He also told the Australian Financial Review today that he and his wife Mary weren't planning to sell any of their shares because they held “emotional sentimentality”.

Since founding the firm, Wells spent the past 10 years as a non-executive director and served as chair between 2005 and 2021. 

The steel and stainless-steel distributor employs more than 800 people across 29 sites in Australia and NZ.

In August, Vulcan reported full-year profit rose 91% and its revenue was up 33% at $972.7 million, up from $731.5m a year earlier.

The steel distributor's net profit increased to $124m in the 12 months to June 30 from $64.8m the previous year.

Wells and his wife have the biggest share of the $1.14 billion (A$1.03b) company with a 14% stake held through their trust, Takutai Ltd.

Vulcan’s board appointed chief operating officer Adrian Casey as a director, effective from today, and shareholders will be asked to ratify that decision at the company’s annual meeting. 

Independent director Pip Greenwood has advised the board that she will not seek re-election.

Vulcan Steel shares were down 3.5% to $8.62 in afternoon trading.