New Zealander Chris Liddell, the former boss of forestry company Carter Holt Harvey who built a business career in the US, is a member of the team that will shape the administration if Republican Mitt Romney becomes president.

Mr Liddell is overseeing the day-to-day operations of Mr Romney's transition team, Associated Press reports.

The team, led by former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, is preparing to build a new government if Mr Romney wins on November 6.

Planning by the team on economic policy is a focus of coverage of the campaign in the US as the balance struck between spending and taxation will determine the strength of the US economic recovery.

Mr Liddell was born in Matamata and attended Mount Albert Grammar School in Auckland. He has an engineering degree from the University of Auckland but turned to investment banking as New Zealand's economy was deregulated. He joined CS First Boston as an analyst in 1984 and rose to be joint chief executive.

He moved to Carter Holt Harvey, rising to the role of chief executive and then moving to work with parent International Paper in the US.

The former director of the New Zealand Rugby Union built a career in the US, overseeing $3 billion of cost-cutting as chief financial officer of Microsoft and working as chief financial officer of General Motors after it emerged from bankruptcy.

NZ Newswire

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