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Clocktower.Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Otago alumnus Graeme Hart has been awarded a Honorary Doctor of Commerce by the University of Otago.

The University of Otago will this week confer an Honorary Doctor of Commerce degree on internationally renowned businessman and philanthropist Graeme Hart.

Mr Hart, of Auckland, is an Otago alumnus and is considered one of the most successful and generous businessmen to operate within New Zealand, and on a global scale.

Mr Hart left school at the age of 15, but at the age of 30 he embarked on what he considers the most pivotal and influential experience of his career, undertaking a Master of Business Administration at the University of Otago.

Mr Hart says he is immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to study and learn from academics at the School of Business, to have experienced life on the University of Otago campus, and to meet individuals with global reach.

University of Otago Chancellor John Ward describes him as an "outstanding" University of Otago graduate.

"I am immensely proud to be able to recognise Mr Hart's substantial contributions to New Zealand, its business community, and people," he says.

Mr Hart is married with two children and four grandchildren. His priorities revolve around family, work ethic, strong values and integrity in his personal and professional life.

His philanthropic focus has been on helping New Zealand children, particularly those in need. While Mr Hart prefers to keep a low profile, individuals, family groups, organisations and schools have all benefited from his generosity.

Mr Hart's business career started when he was 18. Over the past 44 years he has achieved amazing success thanks, in no small part, to his leadership skills and a profound ability to build and retain personal relationships.

He has substantial expertise in the disciplines of accounting and finance, corporate strategy, business integration, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

His current profile relates to building, owning and managing the largest business enterprise in New Zealand – Rank Group – under which sits a vast global platform.

The group has built and developed several substantial financial entities including Whitcoulls Group, Goodman Fielder and Carter Holt Harvey.

Mr Hart's honorary doctorate will be conferred at the University's 4pm Graduation Ceremony at the Dunedin Town Hall on Wednesday 13 December.

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

Electronic addresses (including email accounts, instant messaging services, or telephone accounts) published on this page are for the sole purpose of contact with the individuals concerned, in their capacity as officers, employees or students of the University of Otago, or their respective organisation. Publication of any such electronic address is not to be taken as consent to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages by the address holder.

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