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Gonski to replace Morschel at the top of ANZ

The board of ANZ Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) will look to add former solicitor and Australian business leader, David Gonski AC to the company’s top role.

According to a media release today, the board of directors of ANZ have chosen Mr Gonski – who was a former ANZ director from 2002 to 2007 – to take the reins from current chairman John Morschel in May 2014.

Mr Gonski is an accomplished business leader and has a number of current positions at prominent Australian institutions including chairman of Coca-Cola Amatil (ASX: CCL). He also has roles at the Guardians of the Future Fund, Investec Bank (Australia) and as a director of Singapore Telecommunications (ASX: SGT). In addition to senior positions in Australian businesses he is also Chancellor of the University of New South Wales, chairman of the Sydney Theatre Company, and a director of Infrastructure NSW and of the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

“Mr Gonski will join the ANZ Board in February 2014. After relinquishing some of his current commitments he will assume the Chair in May 2014,” ANZ said in its media release.

It appears ANZ has provided shareholders with a competent and experienced leader to succeed Mr Morschel as it continues to grow operations in Asia to counteract slower lending growth in Australia and New Zealand. “David’s business experience in Australia and in Asia, and his broad range of involvement with government and with the education and community sectors will be a significant asset for ANZ,” Mr Morschel said.

“It is a privilege to succeed John as chairman having had a strong relationship with ANZ over many years. The bank is in a strong position and I am looking forward to working with shareholders, with my fellow directors, and with Mike Smith and his management team to continue to realise ANZ’s super regional strategy,” Mr Gonski said.

Foolish takeaway

In past 12 months ANZ has recruited a number of senior leaders and is restructuring itself as it continues to push heavily into Asian markets. ANZ has the right strategy, people and the financial strength to see it succeed in delivering long term shareholder value.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any of the mentioned companies. 

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