Richie McCaw could play a key role in the Silver Lake deal. Photo/Getty
Having made the deepest mark in All Blacks history as a player, Richie McCaw could soon have a central role in shaping the future of New Zealand rugby.
McCaw is the favorite among a handful of former
The All Blacks are being considered to serve as the Rugby Players Association’s representative on the soon-to-be-formed nine-person board that will govern the newly created company if the Silver Lake deal goes ahead.
It’s a move, should it pass, that will give the best captain the All Blacks have ever known significant influence in determining whether the national game can use Silver Lake’s investment to safeguard community rugby for the next two decades and reposition New Zealand as the epicenter. of the world game.
Under the terms of the proposed $200 million deal, a new company called CommLP will be formed which will become the owner and manager of all of New Zealand Rugby’s commercial properties, such as broadcast and sponsorship contracts, test ticket sales and digital assets.
While CommLP will hire recruitment firm Egon Zehnder to conduct a global search for a CEO and will have $38 million available to staff and fund initiatives, there is universal agreement that the quality of its governance will be key to its success. .
The first step in building that governance team will be finding an independent chairman (Egon Zehnder will also do this), with Silver Lake taking two seats, NZR five and RPA one.
Strong governance will be critical as the creation of this new company will divide the management of the national game into two distinct arms, professional and amateur, but the future of both will be determined by CommLP’s ability to make astute investments and support quality initiatives. . that create surplus revenue to pump back to the grassroots.
CommLP will focus exclusively on exploring business and technology opportunities that maximize financial returns and it is because of this narrow mandate that McCaw’s nomination encountered an element of resistance from a handful of provincial unions when it was first proposed several weeks ago.
Concerns were placed on two fronts, the first being that there was initially opposition to RPA being given a seat on the CommLP board as part of the deal.
The RPA does not have an appointed seat on the current NZR board of directors and there were some provincial unions who argued that they should not have one on CommLP either given the specialist business nature of the new organisation.
And the second problem for some unions was that despite all he had accomplished as a player, McCaw has limited governance experience and is not exposed to the heavy corporate world of complex and leveraged financial investments.
But in recent weeks, unions skeptical of McCaw’s presence on the board have been won over after a better understanding of the strength of his credentials and his deep knowledge of the Silver Lake deal and potential investment avenues that could be pursued.
The unions have come to see that McCaw will be a voice to protect the brand’s legacy, to put forward the high-performance vision and potentially excite a host of new investors who will be aware of his legacy and commitment to the jersey.
His name alone will open doors to places NZR couldn’t go without him.
He is also equipped with a unique set of leadership skills, strategic vision, and although he has not served on the board of directors of any major corporation, he is a shareholder in several small companies and was an RPA director while playing.
McCaw, who has had little to do with rugby since retiring in 2015, became more involved in RPA last year when the trade body objected to the first version of the Silver Lake deal, which was to sell a 12, 5 percent. participation of a penny to the American firm.
The RPA is expected to finalize its CommLP nominee candidate in the coming weeks.