5 Apr 2013

Diligent appoints another US based director

7:02 am on 5 April 2013

Diligent Board Member Services has appointed another US-based director to its board, prompting speculation that it may be getting ready to list in America.

The appointment of Greg Peterson as independent director means only three of the seven directors are based in New Zealand.

Milford Asset Management holds about 6% of Diligent and its executive director, Brian Gaynor, said it is realistic to have more American directors in what is essentially a US company.

He said the company has been questioned about whether it will list on the Nasdaq and it has always said it would wait until it is ready.

Mr Gaynor said some of the issues that Diligent has had with the regulatory authorities in New Zealand, due to being based in New York and listed in New Zealand, may mean it will want to accelerate that listing.

"But they've given no indication to us or to any other shareholders that I'm aware of that they are going to list in New York within the immediate future."

Last week the New Zealand stock exchange operator NZX declined to give Diligent a waiver from rules that required the company's finances to be audited by a registered firm, saying it should have been aware of changes in legislation put in place last year.

US-based Deloitte's will take over as Diligent's auditor, though because it is a US auditor it still does not meet New Zealand's regulatory requirements. Diligent says it will work with the accountancy firm and regulators to resolve the problem.

The appointment of Greg Petersen and Deloitte will not be finalised until Diligent's annual meeting in June.