BNZ chief executive Andrew Thorburn is leaving the New
Zealand operations to take over as chief executive of BNZ
parent National Australia Bank.
Mr Thorburn was BNZ chief executive for five years and six
When interviewed by the Otago Daily Times during a
visit to the city, the paper asked about his future and
whether he might head across the Tasman to take up a role
He said at the time he was enjoying his job and it was still
providing personal and professional growth.
''I still have a real passion for the job. My personal
development is very important to me but so is my family,'' Mr
Less than a year later he is moving to take over the role
being vacated by Cameron Clyne, who will be invited to become
part of the NAB board.
During his time with the BNZ, Mr Thorburn actively promoted
women into positions of authority within the BNZ.
He was honoured in March last year by the United Nations as
one of five international business leaders recognised for
their success in promoting gender equality and the
empowerment of women.
The award, the inaugural United Nations Women's Empowerment
Principles ''Benchmarking for Change'', was announced in New
In an interview with the Otago Daily Times, Mr
Thorburn, the father of three daughters, said it was a proud
moment and recognition of a plan he put in place at the BNZ
BNZ chairman John Waller yesterday said Mr Thorburn had led
the company with passion and confidence and helped sustain a
strong and highly engaged staff culture that had underpinned
BNZ's solid financial performance throughout his tenure.
During Mr Thorburn's time at the BNZ, cash earnings increased
from $557 million in 2008 to $788 million last year. Deposits
increased from $24 billion to $38 billion and the bank
achieved a world class cost-to-income ratio of 40.3%, Mr
Mr Thorburn said his excitement at moving to Australia to
take up his new role was tinged with sadness at the prospect
of leaving BNZ after more than five years, in addition to the
14 years he had previously spent in New Zealand.
''At BNZ, I have worked with a brilliant bunch of people who
care deeply about what they do for New Zealand. I'll be
moving countries but will get back to New Zealand as often as
Mr Thorburn would move from leading a staff of 5500 at the
BNZ to managing a NAB team of about 42,000.