Chair appointed at Westpac to replace McFarlane

westpac challenger

17 October 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Steven Gregg has been appointed as a non-executive director and chairman-elect at big four bank Westpac.

Gregg has held a number of senior executive roles in financial services and has more than 35 years’ experience.

This includes his role as an independent non-executive director at Challenger Financial Group which he stepped down from in September, after 11 years with the firm, actively recruiting for a replacement.

At Westpac, he will succeed John McFarlane as chairman, effective from 7 November subject to regulatory approval. McFarlane will step down from the board at this year’s annual general meeting on 14 December, having served as chair since 2020.

McFarlane said: “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.”
Gregg said: “It is an honour to be appointed chair of Westpac. 

“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.”

The Westpac board consists of chief executive Peter King, Tim Burroughs, Nerida Caesar, Audette Exel, Chris Lynch, Peter Nash, Nora Scheinkestel, Margaret Seale and Michael Ullmer.

Shares in Westpac have fallen by 8 per cent over the past year to 16 October, versus gains of 5 per cent by the ASX 200. 

This is the worst performance of the big four banks, with ANZ and CBA both reporting positive performance, and NAB down by 5 per cent.  

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