Former NAB bigwig Mike Baird has appeared at the helm of the federal government’s $540 million Business Growth Fund (BGF).
Mr Baird walked away from NAB with a cool $1.9 million after leaving the role of chief customer officer in March. He’s now returned to the public service as the new chair of the BGF, which provides small and medium-sized enterprises with cash injections as Australia moves into the recovery phase of COVID-19.
“Mr Baird brings a wealth of experience to the fund, having served as the premier of New South Wales from 2014 to 2017 and in senior positions in the investment and commercial banking sector,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.
The fund contains $100 million in investment from the federal government, along with equivalent amounts from ANZ, CBA, NAB, and Westpac. HSBC and Macquarie have also committed $20 million.
Mr Baird was close personal friends with former NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn, who was deposed by the royal commission, and left the bank shortly after the appointment of Ross McEwan along with a number of other senior personnel.
“I have an open mind about what I will do next and will use the time to determine where I believe I can make the best, most fulfilling contribution to business and the wider community,” Mr Baird said at the time.