REPORT: ANZ bank has kicked off the search for its next CEO

ANZ. Photo: Getty Images

The ANZ board has begun searching for outgoing chief executive Mike Smith’s replacement, although the process is likely to take years with “succession plans in place” for key executives and Smith indicating he’s staying for “around another two years”.

The bank will reportedly consider both internal and external talent for the position, especially those with a keen focus on Asia.

“Naturally, the board has succession plans in place for all key executives, which are then able to be activated at the appropriate time,” an ANZ spokesperson said.

The Australian reports the leading internal candidate is understood to be chief financial officer Shayne Elliott, while International and Institutional Banking (IIB) boss Andrew Geczy may also be considered.

Although there’s no official search firm established, the external focus will include international banks with an active presence in Asia.

ANZ snared Smith from HSBC in mid-2007, with the aim of tapping into Asia’s above-average growth as part of an advanced regional strategy.

Smith’s departure and eventual succession roughly matches the departure timeline of his predecessor, John McFarlane.

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