Fresh blood at NAB as Ross McEwan appointed CEO

Written on the 19 July 2019 by Business News Australia

Fresh blood at NAB as Ross McEwan appointed CEO

National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) has found its new chief executive officer in the form of Ross McEwan.

The New Zealand-born, former Australian banking industry executive has been the CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) since 2013, leading that organisation through change and recovery.

The appointment of McEwan represents a fresh start for NAB after a period of significant change at an executive level.

Interim CEO and chairman-elect Philip Chronican will transition to the chairman position in mid-November 2019, replacing Dr Ken Henry.

Chronican has been interim CEO since March 2019, following the resignation of Andrew Thorburn in the wake findings from the Royal Commission into the banking and finance sector.

McEwan will start at NAB once his obligations to RBS have been discharged, no later than April 2020.

Chairman-elect Chronican says NAB has secured a senior, global financial services executive with deep experience in international markets and long-standing knowledge of the Australian banking environment.

"Ross McEwan is the ideal leader for NAB as we seek to transform our operations and culture firmly around leading customer service, experience and products," says Chronican.

"Ross brings a compelling range of experience across finance, insurance and investment with a track record of delivering important and practical improvements for customers. RBS has been through many of the same challenges which NAB now faces around culture, trust and reputation."

McEwan joined RBS Group as CEO UK retail in 2012 from the Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) where he had been group executive for retail banking services for five years.

He had also previously been CBA's executive general manager with responsibility for its branch network, contact centres and third-party mortgage brokers.

McEwan says returning to Australia to lead NAB is a privilege.

"There are a number of areas where NAB can extend its lead, such as business banking, agriculture and health, and other areas where I believe we should consistently lead such as customer service," says McEwan.

"We must also meet and exceed the expectations of our many stakeholders."

"It is essential that I protect and accelerate the bank's transformation program. The community also expects a higher level of accountability and transparency from the banking industry. Australians deserve NAB to be a world class service provider."

McEwan will be employed on fixed remuneration of $2.5 million per annum, inclusive of superannuation and any salary sacrifice arrangements, reviewed annually in accordance with NAB's remuneration policy.

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