CBA's Matt Comyn has made final changes to his executive team

Matt Comyn. Image: Supplied
  • CBA chief executive Matt Comyn announces six major changes to his executive team.
  • The move is all about restoring the reputation of the Commonwealth.
  • The bank is still looking for a new Chief Financial Officer.

Matt Comyn, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth, has taken a key step on the path to restoring the reputation of Australia’s biggest bank, announcing six appointments and changes to the Executive Leadership Team.

The restructure is the second announcement today in his simplification of the bank, bringing the CBA back to its core banking businesses. He earlier outlined plans to demerge the bank’s wealth management and mortgage broking businesses.

He says the new team members bring a strong mix of deep experience in banking, risk management, digital transformation and cultural change leadership.

Comyn says he looked at a large number of impressive external and internal candidates.

“This team will be critical to continuing the changes and improvements we need to make to earn the trust of our customers and the community and build a better bank for the future,” he says.

Comyn says there have been some issues, including the scandals being investigated by the financial services royal commission, to deal with in his first couple of months as CEO.

“I think today is a very important and significant step, as is, also, the appointment of my Executive Leadership Team,” he says.

“We have dealt with a number of those issues. I think that is going to allow us to now focus on the future. And of course, earning the trust of our customers and the broader community, and ensuring that we are the best bank that we possibly can be going forward.”

The changes:

Nigel Williams has been appointed Chief Risk Officer and will join the Bank on November 5. He has more than 30 years of experience, including 15 years at ANZ as CRO and previously Head of Institutional Banking in Australia and in New Zealand.

David Cohen has been appointed Deputy CEO, and will be moving from his current role as Chief Risk Officer. He will be responsible for: strengthening the Group Customer Relations and Customer Advocate functions; leading the demerger of the Colonial First State Group, and the M&A team; and assisting the CEO with Group-wide initiatives including engagement with industry groups, government, regulators and community groups. He has more than 20 years of banking and wealth management experience, previously serving as General Counsel for CBA and prior to that at AMP.

Pascal Boillat has been appointed Group Executive Enterprise Services and Chief Information Officer, with responsibility for all technology and operations. He starts October 1. He brings more than 30 years of experience, most recently from Deutsche Bank where he was Global Group Chief Information Officer. Prior to Deutsche Bank, he was head of operations and technology for Fannie Mae, and before that worked at Citi. He will be responsible for delivering CBA’s future technology and operations strategy, including data management, enabling innovation, strengthening risk controls and simplifying the business.

Sian Lewis has been appointed Group Executive Human Resources, starting from August. Lewis joined CBA in 2014 and currently leads more than 2500 people across in customer contact centres. Prior to joining CBA, Lewis spent nine years at Westpac working across retail and business banking, including as head of the NSW retail network.

Andrew Hinchliff has been appointed Group Executive Institutional Banking and Markets, effective from August. He joined CBA in 2015 as Executive General Manager Global Markets after more than 15 years in global institutional banking and markets roles with Goldman Sachs, and earlier at Credit Suisse First Boston. He will be responsible for leading the banking and global markets divisions servicing Institutional clients.

Angus Sullivan has been appointed Group Executive Retail Banking Services, effective from July. He is currently Acting Group Executive Retail Banking Services and joined CBA in 2012, where he has led the retail strategy, retail products division, payments innovation and most recently the retail branch network. He started his career at Unilever and Goodman Fielder and also worked as a research analyst at Fidelity. He was then a partner in McKinsey’s North American Financial Services practice where he worked with a range of banks, wealth managers and financial regulators.

Comyn says all other roles on the leadership team are unchanged.

“We are still completing the search process for the final ELT position of Chief Financial Officer, considering both internal and external candidates,” he says.

“We expect to be ready to make a permanent appointment after the full year results in August.”

Today’s announcement followed changes in March when three senior executives lost their positions — Melanie Laing, Group Executive Human Resources, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Group Executive Institutional Banking and Markets, and David Whiteing, Group Executive Enterprise Services and Chief Information Officer.

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