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Graham Shaw, Peter Huljich join Pushpay board

Graham Shaw and Peter Huljich have joined Pushpay Holdings' board as part of the NZAX-listed mobile payment app developer's plan to graduate to the NZX mainboard.

Shaw's appointment meets listing rules for a minimum of two independent directors, the Auckland-based company said in a statement. Huljich was appointed by Christopher Huljich as his alternative non-executive director and is a partner at Christopher and Banks Private Equity, which is a cornerstone shareholder in Pushpay.

Peter Huljich's appointment is his first to a public company board since he resigned from all his listed company directorships in April 2011 after the family sold Huljich Wealth Management to Fisher Funds. He had stepped down as managing director of the fund manager in 2011 amid criticism he had topped up funds from his personal resources in a way that artificially boosted their performance, and later pleaded guilty to a charge of misleading investors in the KiwiSaver scheme, receiving a fine of almost $113,000.

Pushpay listed on the small-cap market last August at $1 per share in a compliance listing, meaning it raised no funds from the float, and last traded at $2.50. In June, Pushpay raised $9 million in new equity among private investors, issuing shares at $1 each and valuing the company at $50 million. The capital raise was underwritten by cornerstone shareholder Christopher and Banks Private Equity, the Huljich family's investment vehicle.

Shaw, a former chief executive of law firm Kensington Swan, was previously a director of cloud-based accounting software firm Xero and currently sits on the board of Gentrack Group, the utility and airport software developer. He replaces departing chief financial officer Rodney Macdonald as a director, while Macdonald's management role will be filled by Derrell Hunter.

Last year the mobile payment app developer moved its executive, sales and marketing teams to the US, where it's targeting the faith and philanthropic sectors for growth. In November, Pushpay said it widened its loss to $2.7 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $568,000 in the same period a year earlier. Sales climbed to $1.6 million from $90,000, while operating expenses rose to $4.5 million, from $661,000.