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Westpac appoints new chair

The Lottery Corporation chair and non-executive director of Challenger has been named as the next chair of the major bank.

Major lender Westpac Group has appointed Steven Gregg as a non-executive director and chairman-elect.

Mr Gregg, who is currently the chair of Lottery Corporation and a non-executive director of Challenger Financial Group Limited, will be taking on his new positions as non-executive director and chairman-elect on 7 November 2023, subject to regulatory approvals.

In an announcement yesterday (16 October), the big four bank said Mr Gregg would succeed outgoing chairman John McFarlane, who will complete his term as Westpac chair at the group’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 14 December.

Mr McFarlane stated: “Steven is the right leader to take Westpac into its next chapter. With a long career in corporate and investment banking across Asia, Europe and the US, combined with his experience chairing ASX 100 companies, Steven is a world-class executive and director who will bring a fresh perspective to the board.

“He has deep experience chairing consumer-focused companies, a strong track record of disciplined decision making and contributions to board oversight of organisations undergoing technology transformation.

“When I took on this role in 2020, I made a commitment to shareholders to build a customer-focused digital bank and create a leaner, more agile and better-performing company. We have made great progress in achieving these goals and turning Westpac around.

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“I’m confident that Steven will build on that success, working closely with Peter (King), the executive team and directors.”

Due to his appointment, Mr Gregg will retire as a non-executive director of Challenger Financial Group Limited and as chair and non-executive director of The Lottery Corporation “in the first quarter” of the 2024 calendar year.

Mr Gregg stated he was looking forward to joining the Westpac board and that it was an honour to be appointed chair.

He commented: “From my observation, Westpac is in a period of transition. After the hard work of simplification over the past three years, now is the time to look forward and have a strong ambition.

“My priority will be working closely with fellow directors and the management team to deliver the very best service for our customers and better returns for our shareholders.

“There are so many things to look forward to at Westpac: working with a great team, taking the organisation to the next level and helping it move forward.

“It will be a privilege to succeed John McFarlane and build on the important work of the past few years.”

The appointment is the latest in the major bank’s board turnover, with independent non-executive director Michael Hawker AM stepping down from his role in July.

[Related: Westpac board member steps down]

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