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Leadership Team

Executive Leadership

Adjunct Associate Professor Simon Keating

Group Chief Executive Officer

Simon is a seasoned senior executive with extensive experience in the healthcare sector internationally across both the public and private sectors, including private equity and not-for-profits. Among many qualifications, he holds a Bachelor of Nursing from La Trobe University (1997 a Master of Health Science from La Trobe University (2008), a Master of Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University (2019) and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Simon was also selected to participate in the McKinsey & Company Executive Leadership programme in 2012 as a top ASX100 emerging talent.

Following a successful clinical career, Simon became Director of Medical and Critical Care Services at Cabrini Health Australia before joining Healthscope. He became the CEO of three health services (La Trobe Hospital, North Park Private Hospital and North Eastern Rehabilitation Centre) with 1000 staff. In developing his career opportunities and a desire for public health exposure, Simon became Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer with Northern Health in 2018, running Pathology, Radiology, Pharmacy, Mental Health, Language Services and Aboriginal Health. He has also specialized in growth in private equity-backed companies with a tenure as the Managing Director of iMedX Australia and New Zealand.

His most recent role was as a CEO of McKenzie Aged Care Group, successfully growing and divesting the business in February 2023.

Simon has a very warm, pragmatic and open leadership style. He has had broad experience in driving outcomes and growth within complex stakeholder environments during his twenty-five years in healthcare. He has a significant breadth of medical and commercial experience, which is a perfect fit for Evolution.

Matthew Clarke

Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Clarke brings extensive experience providing strategic financial leadership across a portfolio of businesses with over 20 years of experience in finance and commercial management roles across the services and resources sectors. Returning to New Zealand in 2019 after 15 years spent mostly in the UK and Australia, Matthew has previously held senior finance positions with global quality assurance provider Intertek Group, including Group Treasurer in London and most recently Regional CFO based in Sydney.

Jozsef Ekart

Chief Operations Officer – Health and Wellbeing Services

Jozsef joined Evolution Healthcare in January 2022 as Chief Operations Officer for our Health and Wellbeing Services, leading our Proactive, WOHC, and Re-centre operations.
He comes with diverse background in Management, with several international and national awards in leadership and clinical research. He has 20 years’ work experience in private and public healthcare in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, having worked in the private IVF industry (Fertility Associates NZ, Pannon Institute of Reproduction, Hungary and Fertility Society of Australia), NZ public hospital system (Northland DHB) and allied health/ learning support services (Ministry of Education). He is a clinical embryologist by training, has a Ph.D. in ovarian research and several publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

Brendon Tod

Chief Strategy Officer

An original founder of Proactive, Brendon has more than 20 years’ experience in the Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Sector. From small beginnings in Wellington, Brendon’s vision to provide a nationwide service has seen Proactive expand to reach Kiwis across both North and South Islands.
Brendon holds post graduate qualifications in Sports Medicine and is a graduate of Harvard’s Disruptive Strategy programme. Brendon brings extensive knowledge in the health and wellbeing sector to Evolution Healthcare as Chief Strategy Officer – Health and Wellbeing Services, as Proactive was acquired by the Evolution Group. His strategic expertise supports Evolution to develop and deliver on key strategic projects for the Groups rehabilitation, workplace health, and mental health services.

Rebecca Atkins

Human Resources Manager

Jeff Arthur

General Manager Property & Projects

Chief Operations Officer

Dr. Christine Howard-Brown

CEO of Health and Wellbeing

The Health and Wellbeing Portfolio includes:
• ABI Rehabilitation
• Proactive
• Evolve
• Proactive Occupational Health
• Evolution Care Pathways.

Health quality and equity improvements have been the backbone of Christine’s career, originally training as a registered nurse and since then holding senior leadership positions in health, rehabilitation and disability within large government organisations and as a consultant. This mahi has involved leading (and sponsoring) several national strategies, action plans and service developments / designs that have focused on achieving equitable access and outcomes for people requiring rehabilitation following serious trauma (including spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)).

As current Chair of the National Rehabilitation Providers Group and Governance Group Chair of the Spinal Cord Register, her mantra of ‘the little things matter’ remains unwavered. Discovering what the little things are for kiritaki, whānau, kaimahi, you really have to genuinely connect with them through every interaction and that’s what Chris holds firm to her approach to mahi.

Prior to this, Chris led the team at ABI Rehabilitation as Chief Executive Officer for four and a half years. With a Master of Business Administration and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Medicine, coupled with her health qualifications and experience, Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that supports advancing healthcare services in Aotearoa.

Chris takes a practical, collaborative and innovative approach to her role, and takes time to build relationships to strengthen outcomes.

Nico Smit

Safety, Quality & Risk Group Manager

Senior Leadership Team

Marion Webb

Integration Lead

Laura Blackburn

Group Marketing & Communications Manager

Karen Below Te Arawa | Ngāti Whakaue | Ngāti Rangiwewehi

Manahautū Ora (Senior Cultural Advisor)

Tony Clayton


Keith Muller

Group Financial Controller

Thomas Westgarth

Commercial Manager

Nik Cheals

Group Procurement Manager

Evolution Board

Susan Paterson


Paul DeSouza

QIC Appointed NED

Tom Hodgkinson

QIC Appointed NED

Kim Ngārimu


Ben Thynne


Over the past fifteen years, Ben Thynne has gained significant experience in acquiring, redeveloping and managing private hospitals with a focus of delivering excellence in healthcare. Prior to founding Evolution in 2011, Ben was the Founder and Managing Director of Healthe Care Australia. Under Ben’s management, Healthe Care became Australia’s largest privately-owned network of private hospitals. For several years Ben was a director of the Australian Private Hospitals Association. Ben’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Law and a Graduate Diploma in Finance and Investment. He has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland.

Andrew Blair


Richard Grenfell

Medical Director / Director

With over 35 years as a specialist Anaesthetist, Richard Grenfell founded Boulcott Hospital in Wellington, serving as founding Chairman and CEO. He has been intimately involved in the operational management whilst elevating the medical and surgical capability of the hospital since its inception. Richard stepped down from his role as Chairman in 2005 and as Managing Director in June 2015. He was a Director of Wakefield Hospital from 1989 to 1997 and is currently the Medical Director and a Director of Evolution Healthcare.