Our Team and Board

We've been financing kiwi's for over fifty years.

With it's origins in major appliance rental, Thorn Finance have been providing financial services to Kiwis since the 1960's. Meet our board members and management team below.

mark spring

Mark Spring

Managing Director

After an initial stint in the NZ Army, Mark spent the first part of his career in sales and business development roles in the technology and office equipment industry.

Mark stepped into his first General Management role in 1996 with Pitney Bowes in Sydney covering both Australia and New Zealand. He then took a General Manager role with NZ Post owned Datamail focusing on acquisition, organic growth options and organisational re-engineering.

Mark joined Thorn Finance as Managing Director in February 2005. The following year, he drove a management buy-out by himself and then Asia Pacific Chief Executive Gordon Howlett from the UK based Venture Capital owners. Mark soon initiated a turnaround programme at Thorn that touched virtually every aspect of the business and has resulted in uninterrupted growth ever since. In 2012, Mark also became part owner and Chairman of Auckland based retailer The Appliance Shed.

Mark has an MBA and a post graduate Diploma in Finance from Auckland University.

garry stratta

Garry Stratta

General Manager

Garry began his retail career in the UK with Harrods in 1983. Garry eventually became responsible for the buying function for a number of their Homeware departments.

In 1997, he joined the UK’s largest luggage retailer as Buying and Merchandise Director. In this role he was responsible for supplier relationship management with external brands, plus supply chain management to over 100 High Street stores and 29 designer factory outlets across the UK and Europe. Garry joined DTR in 2002 as the Northern Network Manager and has been in the General Manager role for four years.

Garry Holton

Finance Director

Garry has a 40 year accounting career that includes senior roles at Avis Lease, Esanda and Fleet Partners. Garry’s best-of-breed accounting practices continue to help drive improvements in processes, systems and reporting.

Garry’s executive responsibilities at Thorn include IT and Credit Analytics. Garry is a qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Tracy Pennell

General Manager - Strategy, Transformation & Risk Management

Tracy joined the group in July 2017 and brings with her a wealth of banking and finance experience in both publicly listed and privately owned organisations.

Most recently, Tracy held the position of General Manager, Product for Equifax (formerly Veda) and was responsible for executing a product diversification strategy through the introduction of complimentary credit bureau capability such as identity verification and affordability solutions. Prior to this role, Tracy held the position of Head of Business Transformation and was responsible for leading the business through significant periods of regulatory and strategic change, focused on Comprehensive Credit Reporting and Anti-Money Laundering, in both New Zealand and Australia.

Prior to Tracy’s 9 years at Equifax, she held a number of positions with both BNZ and Kiwibank where she built expertise in product and market strategy, credit risk and customer insight.

jeff knight

Jeff Knight

Business Development Manager

Jeff is focusing on developing partnership relationships for Thorn. This builds on an extensive history of growing businesses through creating strong industry alliances and partnerships. This includes six years as National Manager Business Development for then NZ Post owned Datamail Group where he essentially focused on growth through new ventures.

This was followed by two years as National Manager Corporate Alliances for Tower Health and Life. Immediately prior to joining Thorn, Jeff became Sales and Marketing Director (and a shareholder) for Dataprint. Dataprint is a mailhouse that focuses on the management of transactional communications for major NZ corporates and local authorities. Jeff began working for Thorn following the sale of Dataprint to Freightways.

Mike Frederickson

Head of Marketing

Mike began his marketing career with consumer goods manufacturer Unilever before joining ANZ as a Marketing Manager. In 2000 he joined the small team that managed the business case and launch phase of Kiwibank. As Head of Marketing for Pacific Retail Finance (the finance arm of Noel Leeming Group) he was then part of a team that took that finance business from a virtual start-up to half a billion dollars in lending before its sale and merger into GE Money.

More recently, Mike was Chief Marketing Officer for the development and launch phase of Harmoney immediately prior to joining Thorn Finance in 2014. Mike has a Business Degree and an MBA from Massey University.

Lee Trigg

IT Manager

Lee joined Thorn in 1999 from a background with Glengarry Wines and Southern Cross Health Insurance. His role encompasses design and operations of the extensive IT infrastructure that supports DTR’s 23 branches, online channels, help desk and call centre operations.

Having recently completed the ITIL Information Technology Service Management course and the Prince2 Project Management certification programme, Lee project managed the recent launch of our Revolving Credit product. This was the largest change project in nearly ten years for DTR.

jamie carson

Jamie Carson

Digital Specialist

Jamie started his career in 2013 in a business incubator owned by Howard Willis group. His first major project was an online based short term lender – among the first in NZ to enable customers to complete an entire loan process online.

Jamie moved into Thorn Finance in 2015, with the change in shareholders, and now plays a critical role in the digital side of the business. His projects focus on improvement and streamlining in the customer on-boarding and experience.

Jamie holds a Masters Degree in Management Studies (first class honours) majoring in Marketing and Strategic Management from Waikato University.

Sam Morgan

Product Delivery Lead

Sam joined Thorn in February 2016 after coming from his role as Operations Manager at the Start Up Factory. Sam has a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in Strategic Management and Agribusiness with a specialisation in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the University of Waikato.

Sam leads the product delivery of Thorn’s Motor Vehicle and Store Card partnerships from product requirements to operational rollout. Sam was awarded Thorn's Support Person of the Year for 2016-2017.

Dee Patel

Account Manager - Partnerships

Dee joined Thorn in 2013 after completing her Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing and Management at Auckland University of Technology. She has a background in Operations, previously working for DSS Animal Management - contracting to Auckland City Council

As Account Manager, Dee is responsible for managing the day to day relationships within our partner strategy focusing on Vehicle and Retail. Dee was awarded Thorn's Support Person of the Year for 2015-2016.

guy howard willis

Guy Howard-Willis

Chairman

Guy began his career in the British merchant navy before migrating to New Zealand and settling in Hamilton. He created two substantial businesses in the furniture manufacturing and retailing industries, building them over a twenty year period.

In 2004, he founded the Torpedo 7 brand with his son Luke, as an on-line retailer selling bicycle equipment and a range of outdoor sporting goods. In 2007, the company added daily deal website 1-day selling items at daily cut price deals and this was expanded across the Tasman in 2009. The brands Number 1 Fitness and Shotgun Supplements were later added.

By 2013, the Torpedo 7 Group employed more than 300 people and were dispatching two million plus orders annually from their 16,000 square meter purpose built Warehouse in Hamilton. In 2013 Torpedo 7 sold a majority shareholding to The Warehouse Group, with the remaining shares being added in 2016.

In 2015, Guy and Luke Howard Willis took a majority shareholding in Thorn Finance from retiring Chairman Gordon Howlett. In addition to his role as Chairman of Thorn Finance, Guy has a number of investments including commercial property, travel and technology development.

luke howard willis

Luke Howard-Willis

Director

Luke is a successful entrepreneur with a passion for e-commerce. He specialises in disruptive online businesses across New Zealand and Australia.

Shortly after completing his degree and building on his sporting interest in mountain biking, he founded the Torpedo 7 brand with his father. Luke’s particular focus within Torpedo 7 was strategy and marketing. Torpedo 7 began in 2004 as an on-line retailer, selling bicycle equipment and a range of outdoor sporting goods. Having been swamped with offers of products to list through Torpedo 7 that didn’t quite fit into the action sports category, Luke then created daily deal website 1-day in 2007. Sub sites selling wine, vouchers and T-shirts were quickly added, as was Number 1 Fitness while the group expanded across the Tasman.

By 2013, Torpedo 7 Group employed more than 300 people and were despatching two million plus orders annually from their 16,000 square metre purpose built Warehouse in Hamilton.

In addition to being a director of Thorn Finance, Luke is currently investing in a number of growing online businesses.

mark spring

Mark Spring

Managing Director

After an initial stint in the NZ Army, Mark spent the first part of his career in sales and business development roles in the technology and office equipment industry.

Mark stepped into his first General Management role in 1996 with Pitney Bowes in Sydney covering both Australia and New Zealand. He then took a General Manager role with NZ Post owned Datamail focusing on acquisition, organic growth options and organisational re-engineering.

Mark joined Thorn Finance as Managing Director in February 2005. The following year, he drove a management buy-out by himself and then Asia Pacific Chief Executive Gordon Howlett from the UK based Venture Capital owners. Mark soon initiated a turnaround programme at Thorn that touched virtually every aspect of the business and has resulted in uninterrupted growth ever since. In 2012, Mark also became part owner and Chairman of Auckland based retailer The Appliance Shed.

Mark has an MBA and a post graduate Diploma in Finance from Auckland University.

Garry Holton

Finance Director

Garry has a 40 year accounting career that includes senior roles at Avis Lease, Esanda Fleet Partners and Auto Advance. Garry’s best-of-breed accounting practices continue to help drive improvements in processes, systems and reporting. Garry’s executive responsibilities at DTR include IT and Credit Analytics. Garry is a qualified Chartered Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

phillip deason

Philip Deason

Director

Phil is a seasoned executive with an extensive background in e-commerce and telecommunications. After various roles within the engineering and corporate sales and services side of Telecom, Phil spent over eight years consulting in the IT space for Assured Systems in Asia, Europe, Australia and South Africa. In 2007 he joined payments provider Paymark. At Paymark, he became head of products and partner relationships. This role included manging the relationships between Paymark, New Zealand’s three major telcos and four major retail banks who were jointly investing in shared infrastructure.

In addition to his role as a director of Thorn Finance, Phil is also General Manager of an investment company with interests in private equity, commercial property and start-ups.

Phil has a Bachelor of Engineering degree with honours from the University of Canterbury majoring in electrical and electronics engineering.

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    2 cheap cars
    auto finance direct
    smart loanz

Our Lending Partners

Thorn Finance are also one of the companies that specialist retailers like Mag and Turbo, Auto Finance Direct and 2Cheap Cars use for finance.