Mike Baird joins big four bank

The former premier of NSW has joined a major bank as the new chief customer officer for corporate and institutional banking.

Mr Baird, who stepped down from his role as premier of NSW and member of Manly on 23 January, will join NAB in the role of chief customer officer, corporate and institutional banking (subject to regulatory approval). 

The former politician and Treasurer will take on the position in mid-April from acting CCO Cathryn Carver, who had been heading up the new customer-facing business unit since it launched in August last year to unite the corporate and institution business components of NAB’s former Business Banking division.

NAB group chief executive officer, Andrew Thorburn, commented: “Mike started his career with NAB in 1989 and spent 17 years working in corporate and institutional banking roles in Australia and overseas with NAB, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, before entering politics. 

“His time as Treasurer and premier of NSW means he returns to banking and NAB with invaluable experience in leading economic and financial reform to grow the economy. 

“Mike has outstanding leadership and a determination to drive change and make a difference by building relationships with customers and the community.” 

Mr Thorburn also thanked Ms Carver for her “significant contributions” while she has been in the role, including leading the “improvement of return in corporate and institutional banking. Ms Carver will reportedly remain at NAB in a “key leadership role” (yet to be announced). 

As well as the appointment of Mr Baird, NAB has also appointed lawyer Sharon Cook, a former managing partner of King & Wood Mallesons, to the group executive leadership team in the new role of chief legal and commercial counsel (subject to regulatory approval). Ms Cook will also begin her new role in mid-April.

Mr Thorburn stated: “Sharon is a vital addition to the team, bringing more than 25 years’ experience in the legal profession, most recently as a managing partner with King & Wood Mallesons. 

“She has extensive experience in the banking and financial sector and is highly regarded for her commercial and strategic approach to complex issues. In a period of significant industry reform and heightened public focus on banking, this is a new and important role on our executive leadership team.” 

Lastly, the former global chief operations and technology officer of Barclaycard, Patrick Wright has been announced as the new chief technology and operations officer. 

Mr Wright will take over the role from acting CTOO Matthew Lawrance in mid-May (subject to regulatory approval).

The NAB group CEO commented: “Patrick joins NAB from Barclays in the US where he is global chief operations and technology officer of Barclaycard, leading a team of 15,000 people. He has extensive experience in driving major transformations in large financial services companies and innovating in fast-paced, competitive and highly-regulated markets. 

“As we reshape our business, Patrick will lead our simplification, digitisation and automation agenda to deliver greater efficiency and create a simpler and easier experience for our customers and bankers.” 

Thanking Mr Lawrance for his “passion and commitment”, Mr Thorburn particularly noted that the acting CTOO had “embedded key productivity initiatives in the technology and operations space”. 

Like Ms Carver, Mr Lawrance will also remain in a “key leadership role” (yet to be announced). 

Mr Thorburn concluded that these latest appointments complete the new executive leadership team at NAB, and were done after “extensive global searches”. 

He said: “Mike, Sharon and Patrick each bring to NAB exceptional track records of performance and delivery and will help accelerate the execution of our strategy so we can deliver for our customers and our shareholders. 

“They are also authentic, inspiring and passionate leaders whose values align with NAB’s values and our ambition to be Australia and New Zealand’s most respected bank.”

[Related: NAB boss highlights new mortgage distribution deal]

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Annie Kane

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