Big bank appoints ex-director as chairman

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ANZ has appointed ex-director David Gonksi to replace chairman John Morschel in 2014.

Gonski is a man with a hectic schedule, already serving as chairman of Coca-Cola Amatil, the Guardians of the Future Fund, the Sydney Theatre Company and Investec Bank. He is also a director of Singapore Telecommunications, Infrastructure NSW and the Lowy Institute for International Policy and is chancellor of the University of NSW. 

He will relinquish some of his current commitments before assuming the Chair in May 2014. He will then stand for election as director at the ANZ AGM in December. Gonski previously served as ANZ director from 2002-2007.

CEO Mike Smith acknowledged Morschel’s “outstanding” contribution during his time as chairman at the bank’s annual general meeting yesterday.

“He has been of particular support to me and to all of the senior management team and I want to extend our thanks to [Morschel] on behalf of shareholders and management.”

Departing chairman Morschel acknowledged Gonski as “one of Australia’s most respected business leaders”.

“David’s business experience in Australia and in Asia, and his broad range of involvement with government and with the education and community sectors will be a significant asset for ANZ,” said Morschel.

The bank has had a particulary strong year, yesterday announcing profit in the Australian division was up 11%.

“Overall the 2013 result demonstrated that ANZ is firing on all cylinders,” said Smith.

“We saw the strongest overall growth of all major Australian banks across home lending, deposits and credit cards,” he said.

ANZ’s commercial division also acquired 30,000 new clients and saw above system growth in lending and deposits, said Smith.