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Ross McEwan to take helm at NAB

By Jenny Ruth

July 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealander Ross McEwan has been appointed National Australia Bank’s new chief executive after holding that role at Royal Bank of Scotland since 2013.

He will join fellow Kiwi and incoming NAB chair from November Philip Chronican who has been acting chief executive since the February departure of Andrew Thorburn.

Both Thorburn and current chair Ken Henry fell on their swords in the wake of damning findings by the Hayne royal commission into financial services.

McEwan will join NAB, which owns Bank of New Zealand, no later than April 2020 and is expected to be invited to join NAB’s board. His appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Dunedin-born Chronican says in a statement that McEwan is “a senior global financial services executive with deep experience in international markets and long-standing knowledge of the Australian banking environment.”

McEwan, who was born in Hastings, had worked for Commonwealth Bank of Australia, First NZ Capital Securities and Axa before joining RBS.

“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,” Chronican says.

McEwan will be paid fixed remuneration of A$2.4 million a year to be reviewed annually with the potential to earn up to 150 percent of his salary on top of that each year with half that paid in cash and the other half vesting over four years.

On top of that, he will get a long-term incentive of another annual grant of up to 130 percent of salary, subject to performance testing after four years.

Vesting of all variable rewards remain subject to ongoing board review and shareholder approval, the bank says.

Thorburn had fixed remuneration of A$2.3 million and collected a total of A$4.91 million in the year ended September 2018, well below the total available of A$7.94 million and down from A$8.99 million the previous year.


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