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Major bank updates Remuneration Committee remit

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has broadened the scope of its Remuneration Committee to include a focus on people, talent management and diversity, among other aspects, as the bank continues to shake up its board structure.

The board of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced that the Remuneration Committee has been renamed the People & Remuneration Committee as of this week (1 July), with the scope of the committee broadened to include a human resources aspect.

Historically, the committee was responsible for assisting the board in discharging its responsibilities on matters relating to the group and bank’s remuneration, superannuation and performance management frameworks.

The board said that the committee would now have “an additional focus” on “people and remuneration strategies, talent management, diversity and inclusion and organisational culture”.

Paul O’Malley, the former managing director and CEO of BlueScope Steel Limited and CBA Nominations Committee member, has now been appointed as the chair of the People & Remuneration Committee.

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Mr O’Malley will take up his new role from 1 January 2020, following the retirement of the committee’s current chair, Sir David Higgins (effective 31 December 2019). 

The other members of the People & Remuneration Committee include Catherine Livingstone AO, Mary Padbury and Wendy Stops.

The move comes as the major bank continues to build on the work of its Remedial Action Plan, which seeks to address concerns and shortcomings in governance, culture and accountability – as flagged by APRA last year.

At the time, CBA announced that it would work to address its governance issues, including by cutting executive pay by $60 million.

The major bank has been busy making changes to its executive leadership team recently as it continues its “focus on earning trust and restoring the reputation” of the institution.

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The bank announced earlier this week that, following the retirement of Anna Lenahan, its group general counsel and group executive for group corporate affairs, the role will be split in two.

CBA’s deputy CEO, David Cohen, is now assuming responsibility as group general counsel and corporate affairs while the bank looks for a permanent new executive for group general counsel and governance.

Priscilla Sims Brown, the CEO of US digital healthcare startup Emerge.me, will take up the new role of group executive marketing and corporate affairs at CBA on 1 August, subject to regulatory and all other necessary approvals. 

[Related: CBA creates new role as it works on ‘restoring reputation’]

Major bank updates Remuneration Committee remit
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts. 

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