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David Gonski named as new Chairman of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group

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December 18
12:44 AM 2013

Australia's sovereign wealth fund head David Gonski was named by the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd as its Chairman, Bloomberg reported. He will be succeeding John Morschel.

In a statement, the 60-year old Gonski said he will be taking over the post in May after he will step down in January as the Chairman of Australia's Future Fund. He assumed the role in April last year. The government named former Treasurer of Australia Peter Costello as the Acting Chairman of the AU$92 billion fund today, the report said.

In a statement, ANZ said Gonski's experience in Asia will be an asset to the firm. Morningstar Inc analyst David Ellis told Bloomberg in a phone interview, "He is highly regarded in business circles and has a strong mix of Asian and Australian experience. Gonski will only reinforce ANZ's twin focus of Asia and Australia for growth."

ANZ is the most Asia-focused bank in Australia, having a target of generating up to 30% of profits outside Australia and New Zealand by 2017, the report said.

A solicitor, Gonski said he will remain in his roles as the Chairman of Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd, the Director of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and the Chancellor of the University of New South Wales. The lender also said Gonski served as a Director of ANZ based in Melbourne from 2002 to 2007. Citing the fund's most recent annual report, Bloomberg reported that Gonski's term at the Future Fund was until April 2017.

ANZ did not reveal what Morschel planned to do after leaving the post he had occupied for a little over three years, the report said.

A joint statement from Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Costello will become the Acting Chairman of the sovereign fund for three months or until a replacement is found. He will hold the post starting January 11.

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