Westpac has announced that after more than 30 years as group chief economist, Bill Evans will step down and take on a new role as senior economic adviser for Westpac, effective January 2024.
Mr Evans has served as chief economist since 1991, with Westpac deeming him one of the country’s pre-eminent economic analysts and forecasters, having led the banking group’s economic research and provided valuable insights to Westpac and the broader Australian public.
Commenting on the move, Westpac chief executive Peter King said that Mr Evans has defined the role of a major bank chief economist in Australia.
“Bill has built a legacy of trust and a record of service that is unmatched. His generosity and ability to explain the economy in clear and simple terms has meant that Australians from all walks of life have benefited from his considerable knowledge and insight.
“Bill joined Westpac in the midst of the 1991 recession and since then has been a trusted voice in Australia through every economic cycle,” Mr King said.
“I’m pleased the bank and our customers will continue to have the benefit of Bill’s extensive experience and knowledge in his new advisory capacity.”
Following the announcement, Westpac revealed that Luci Ellis will succeed Mr Evans as group chief economist and will join the bank on 9 October 2023.
Ms Ellis is currently the assistant governor (economic) at the Reserve Bank of Australia, a role she has held since 2016.
Before this, she was head of RBA’s financial stability department for eight years. She has also served as a deputy head of the economic analysis department and spent almost two years on secondment at the Bank for International Settlements.
Commenting on her appointment, Mr King said: “We are delighted to welcome Luci to Australia’s oldest bank.
“Luci is a highly qualified and respected economist who will build on Bill’s legacy of providing quality economic forecasts for Westpac customers.”
Ms Ellis holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales, a master’s degree in economics from the Australian National University, and a first-class bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Melbourne.