The new ANZ CEO will continue with the 'immense' opportunity of the bank's super regional strategy

Shayne Elliott. From an ANZ Bank Youtube clip.

Shayne Elliott will be keeping the ANZ Bank’s super regional strategy across Australia, New Zaeland and Asia when he starts as CEO in January.

“The opportunities are immense and it fits the ANZ’s strengths and our own core capabilities, what’s in our DNA,” he said during a call with broker analysts today.

He says he’s “totally committed” to the opportunity.

Mike Smith, the outgoing CEO, has been positioning the bank as a player in Asia. Revenue from Asia has consistently grown at double digit rates with the cumulative annual growth rate over the last five years at 19%.

Elliot, who is currently the chief financial officer with responsibility also for strategy, says it’s about investing so that a customer gets the same experience across the region.

“What has been achieved over the last seven or eight years has been building out the foundations of the strategy,” he says.

“Getting the building blocks right: the right country presence, the right licences to operate, the right product capability, the right people on the ground and a fantastic customer network.

“The niche phase is really about the connectivity. Mike’s (Smith) always spoken about being the most respected and the best connected and that’s how we’re really going to monetise it.”

Elliot says the bank needs to take that to a whole new level.

“It means investing in and ensuring that our customers do get a seamless experience whether they be in Thailand or Taiwan or Wellington or Perth or the Philippines,” he says.

“They get to experience the insights that the ANZ has about those markets, knowing what’s going on, what’s going on first, not just reading about it in the newspapers.”

However, the super regional strategy was launched into a world before the GFC.

“The opportunity remains valid but the way we operate has to change,” Elliot says. “And that’s provided a little bit of challenge in terms of returns and growth.”

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