Hobson Leavy Recruits Chief Legal Officer for Southern Cross Health Society

October 4, 2019 – Legal recruiting continues to be a hot area for search firms. Lawyers employed by government agencies in particular have been on the move as a result of changes in government administrations, according to analysts at Hunt Scanlon Media. Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 10 percent through 2022. Demand for legal work is expected to be robust as individuals, businesses and all levels of government require legal services in the U.S. and internationally as global economies expand.

Recently, New Zealand executive search firm Hobson Leavy placed Fiona Brown as chief legal officer of Southern Cross Health Society in Auckland, New Zealand. She starts her new role on Oct. 16.

Southern Cross Health Society CEO Nick Astwick said Ms. Brown’s depth of expertise will be a significant asset. “Fiona brings a diverse range of skills and decades of experience in the financial services sector to this key senior leadership role with Southern Cross Health Society,” he said. “Her track record as an authentic leader of high-performing teams is also an excellent fit with Southern Cross, where our people share a deep commitment to helping Kiwis live their healthiest lives.”

Ms. Brown is a legal and compliance senior executive with experience across a range of legal, governance, commercial and risk management roles. She takes up her new position following her role as general counsel and company secretary at Kiwibank, where she led an industry-recognized team providing legal risk management and best practice corporate governance. Prior to her six years with Kiwibank, Ms. Brown spent 11 years in a variety of roles at ANZ, including head of governance, chief of staff and head of securitization. She began her law career with the top-tier law firm Chapman Tripp.

“I’m delighted to be joining Southern Cross Health Society in this new leadership role,” Ms. Brown said. “I look forward to being part of a team that shares my passion for serving fellow Kiwis.”

Founded in 1961, Southern Cross is a group of businesses whose range of products and services, combined with its not-for-profit focus, size and experience, allow the organization to play a unique and important role in the New Zealand health sector. The Health Society has over 850,000 members representing a 62 percent market share and more than 17 percent of New Zealand’s population.

Top Recruiters

Hobson Leavy, founded in 2006 by Carrie Hobson and Stephen Leavy, focuses on CEO and executive-level and non-executive director appointments across all sectors in New Zealand. The firm has completed searches in sectors ranging from agriculture to wealth management. It has offices in Auckland and Wellington.


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Hobson Leavy recently recruited former Well Foundation executive Andrew Young as chief executive officer of the Cancer Society of New Zealand (Auckland and Northland). Mr. Young is a highly experienced not-for-profit CEO with particular strengths in the fundraising area. The Cancer Society of New Zealand is the country’s leading organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of cancer and ensuring the best cancer care for New Zealanders.

Ms. Hobson has over 25 years of corporate experience, initially in banking and finance and later in executive search. She has held senior positions in corporate banking with major banks in both New Zealand and the U.S. and has worked with top-level executives optimizing financial performance and implementing company strategy. She has held directorships in both the private and public sectors, with particular expertise in finance, health and human resources. Prior to Hobson Leavy, Ms. Hobson was a partner with another New Zealand executive search firm.

Mr. Leavy has extensive international experience in senior-level executive recruitment. He began his career as a solicitor with New Zealand law firm Russell McVeagh. He then moved to London where he joined professional services recruitment firm Quarry Dougall, becoming an associate director. He remained with the firm after its acquisition by Nasdaq-listed TMP Worldwide. Mr. Leavy later returned to New Zealand and was a partner with another leading New Zealand executive search firm before co-founding Hobson Leavy.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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