Westpac NZ boss exits amid demerger talks

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The chief executive of Westpac’s New Zealand business has announced that he will retire after more than 20 years with the group as the big four bank eyes a potential demerger.

David McLean joined Westpac in 1999 and held a number of senior roles across retail and institutional banking before being appointed CEO of the New Zealand business in 2015. He will remain in the role until 25 June, at which time institutional business manager Simon Power will take over pending a global search for his replacement.

“David has been with Westpac for more than two decades and has held a number of senior roles in that time. He has made a significant contribution to the company, including playing a pivotal role in driving growth in the New Zealand business while lifting the bank’s support for New Zealanders,” said Westpac chief Peter King. 


“David has led the bank through the challenges of COVID-19, with a sharp focus on helping customers adapt and supporting New Zealand through the recovery. I wish David all the best for retirement.”

Mr McLean is leaving the bank at a time when it is assessing the viability of its New Zealand business in the wake of a simplification strategy that has already seen its Asian and wealth-related businesses put out to pasture. 

“Westpac NZ is a valuable part of the Westpac Group and has been for over 160 years. However, given the changing capital requirements in New Zealand and the RBNZ requirement to structurally separate Westpac’s NZ business operations from its operations in Australia, it is now appropriate to assess the best structure for these businesses going forward,” the bank said in March.

The RBNZ has instructed Westpac to commission a number of reports around its risk and liquidity management processes after it breached RBNZ’s liquidity policy. 


Westpac NZ boss exits amid demerger talks
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