ANZ names Mark Whelan as new Australia CEO

By Reuters

Feb 16, 2015 01:57 AM EST

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) on Monday said Mark Whelan will replace Phillip Chronican as the head of its Australian business.

Chronican, who joined ANZ as its Australia CEO in November 2009 from rival Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX), will leave to pursue a "non-executive career," the bank said in a statement.

Whelan joined ANZ as head of sales in 2004 and is currently the managing director for global commercial banking. He will report to Group CEO Mike Smith in his new role, effective April 3.

Whelan "knows Australia and Asia well, and has a track record of delivering for shareholders and for customers," Smith said in a statement.

ANZ, Australia's No.3 lender by market value, is the only one of Australia's highly profitable big four lenders to have set its sights on developing a large business in Asia, building infrastructure and profits in a region experiencing rapid economic growth.

Chronican, an avid cyclist, has over 30 years of experience in banking and was in charge of about 10,000 Australian-based staff and more than 6 million customers.

David Hisco, CEO of ANZ New Zealand, will take up Chronican's responsibilities as global head of retail.

Shares in ANZ were trading down 0.4 percent at A$35.60 each in a weak Sydney market which was down 0.13 percent. ANZ has risen about 11 percent so far this year. The benchmark S&P/ASX index .AXJO is up 8.5 percent.

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