Mike Smith will continue to spend time in Asia, where he has made a name as a businessman with deep contacts, when he steps down as CEO of the ANZ Bank at the end of the year.
ANZ chairman David Gonski says Smith has transformed ANZ into Australia’s only international bank with a focus on Asia Pacific
“There is no-one that I have met with the contacts and the empathy with doing business in Asia like Mike Smith has,” Gonski told a media briefing.
Smith will be retained at the bank as a non-executive advisor to the board, initially for one year.
“I don’t want to lose that (Asia expertise) and the board is clever enough in my opinion that we don’t want to lose those contacts, the ability to work out who’s who in the various organisations,” Gonski says.
“This has been built up, of you look at Mike’s career, over 30 odd years.”
Smith will continue to get his base pay of $3.4 million, plus his short and long term incentives, until at least July next year.
The UK-born banker is also in the process of becoming an Australian citizen.
“It’s in the works,” he said today. “Maybe I will call the Immigration Department to see where it’s at.”
Smith says he hasn’t ruled out anything but he was open to any public service role. He says he will put his mind to the future when things quieten a little.