ANZ still searching for Asian boss

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, ANZ (ASX: ANZ) is still searching for a new head of its booming international and institutional banking division.

The company’s former Asian strategy expert and boss, Alex Thursby, has left the bank and is now CEO of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Mr Thursby has been in his new position since April but Australia’s third biggest bank by market capitalisation is unable to find his replacement.

It is believed the company’s number one candidate, Catherine Weir of Citibank, is “no longer a contender” for the position.  However the company has said “we expect to make an announcement about Mr Thursby’s permanent replacement later this year”.

The bank is changing how the company draws its revenue and is pushing to capitalise on Asia’s increasing need for finance and international banking. Therefore it needs to very carefully evaluate all potential candidates because the job would likely be a stepping stone into the company’s CEO position.

It is believed a candidate will emerge from another big western bank with Asian presence such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank or Citigroup.

Foolish takeaway

ANZ’s ‘Super Regional Strategy’ is on track to raising 25% – 30% of revenue from its APEA division in FY17. This will set it apart from Australia’s big 4 who focus primarily on domestic revenues. Together with its Asian strategy and 5% dividend, the company would make for a healthy addition to many investors’ portfolios.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares in ANZ.

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