Former federal Treasury secretary Ken Henry will take the helm of National Australia Bank’s board when chairman Michael Chaney retires at its next annual general meeting in December.
It is a sign that Perth-born Mr Chaney’s long-standing career as a business leader may be coming to an end, as he is also expecting to retire as chairman of Woodside Petroleum in 2017.
It is not yet known if he will announce his retirement as chancellor of the University of Western Australia at some stage in the near future.
Mr Chaney said he was honoured to have served as NAB’s chairman over the past 10 years.
“It has been a time of significant challenge for the bank, in particular with the global financial crisis, the UK recession and the subsequent major regulatory reforms,” he said.
Mr Chaney graduated from UWA with a bachelor of science and master of business administration in 1972 and 1980 respectively.
He completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School in 1992 and has also been awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from UWA.
He was a director of BHP Billiton for 10 years until 2005.
Mr Chaney said the NAB board was fortunate to have a person of Dr Henry’s calibre within its ranks.
“Ken has an unequalled understanding of the Australian financial system, the issues facing financial services companies and the Australian economy more generally. He will be an excellent chairman,” he said.
Dr Henry, who is also a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, was previously a member of the Council of Financial Regulators and joint chair of the Trans-Tasman Banking Council.
He said he was very pleased to have been asked to head the bank’s board.
“I am looking forward to the new role, working with an outstanding group of directors and a highly professional, energetic and focused CEO and management team,” Dr Henry said.