Suncorp Bank said on Tuesday its chief executive officer, Clive van Horen, will depart the role effective 24 December 2023. While Suncorp did not disclose where Mr van Horen was heading next, a statement issued by Colonial First State (CFS), just hours later, announced him as the firm’s new CEO.
CFS said that after an “extensive global search”, it has appointed Mr van Horen as its group CEO, commencing on 15 January 2024.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr van Horen said: “I’m thrilled to be joining CFS. Having worked alongside the business for many years during my time at CBA, it’s very exciting to see the huge strides that CFS has made in recent years under Rob’s leadership".
There appears to be no bad blood between Mr van Horen and Suncorp, with the CEO deciding to stay on until Christmas to help facilitate a smooth handover.
“Suncorp Bank is a strong business with great people and customers and has many opportunities ahead of it. I am thankful to the board and the leadership team for their support. I’m also very proud of the Suncorp Bank team and what we’ve achieved working together,” Mr van Horen said in Suncorp’s statement.
He also reiterated his support for the proposed sale of Suncorp Bank to ANZ, and said it is still in “the best interests of the bank’s customers, people and the broader community”.
van Horen’s new role
Mr van Horen is CFS Group’s first CEO, with the group previously headed by executive chairman Rob Coombe.
Commenting on Mr van Horen’s appointment, Mr Coombe said that the time is right to appoint a group CEO to run the overall day-to-day business.
“Clive is a highly capable executive with a proven track record that has seen him deliver impressive customer and business outcomes in a variety of settings” Mr Coombe said.
“I know that Clive will make a significant contribution to CFS and ensure we deliver on our ambitious transformation and growth plans.”
Suncorp ’disappointed’ by his departure
Mr van Horen, who has led the bank since joining Suncorp in August 2020, was praised by Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston.
“Clive and his team have done an exceptional job in simplifying the bank and growing our home and business lending portfolios, particularly in what has been a complex and highly competitive market. They’ve also made great strides in delivering improved experiences for our customers as well as brokers,” Mr Johnston said.
“The bank is a well-regarded franchise thanks to the work undertaken to transform the business, and it is well positioned to continue this positive trajectory into the future. We’re disappointed to see him go but wish him all the very best for the future.”
Last month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it has decided not to grant merger authorisation for ANZ to acquire Suncorp Group’s banking division in a deal valued at $4.9 billion.
At the time, Suncorp chair Christine McLoughlin said the group was surprised and disappointed with the ACCC’s determination and would fully support a referral of the decision to the tribunal.
“When we embarked on this transaction, we were of the firm belief it was in the best interest of our customers, shareholders, and employees and that it would provide a net benefit to the Australian economy,” she said.