CBA announces leadership change, flags sale of its asset management division

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Commonwealth Bank has announced a change in its leadership team this morning. Annabel Spring, CBA’s head of wealth management, will leave the bank in December.

Her departure follows the finalisation of the sale of CBA’s CommInsure life insurace division.

In a separate ASX announcement this morning, the company said that it had sold Comminsure Life to AIA Group Limited for $3.8 billion.

“The sale agreement also includes a 20-year partnership with AIA for the provision of life insurance products to customers in Australia and New Zealand,” the bank said.

Spring has been with CBA since 2009 when she joined as head of strategy. Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev thanked Spring for her contribution as part of a statement released on the ASX this morning to announce the change in management.

ÔÇťAnnabel’s strategic leadership of the Wealth Management business led to the successful divestment of the property management businesses in 2014, and now to today’s announcements. We thank her for her contribution, and wish her the very best for the next successful phase in her career,” Narev said.

“Over the last six years, she has led and managed our diverse Wealth Management teams through challenging and changing times for the industry overall, and for CBA specifically.

“She has shown determined leadership in addressing complex and long-standing issues in the businesses while growing and transforming the businesses culturally, technologically and strategically.”

The bank accounced that Michael Venter — currently the CFO of International Financial Services — has been appointed as COO of the wealth management division, effective immediately.

Venter will report to the Group Executive Committee following Spring’s departure, and manage any organisational changes stemming from the change in staff.

CBA has also announced that it would be conducting a strategic review of its asset management business, Colonial First State Asset Management.

“The strategic review will consider a range of options, including an intial public offering (IPO),” the bank said.

This morning’s management change comes amid a difficult time for the bank, which is currently the subject of civil proceedings in Federal Court, and is also under investigation by bank regulator APRA following a series of money laundering scandals.

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