Westpac (ASX: WBC) share price rises as it announces changes to its board

Board member Steve Harker has cited health reasons in his decision to step down.

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The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is in the green. It comes after the company announced some changes to its board of directors.

At the time of writing, shares in one of Australia’s ‘big 4’ banks is trading for $25.85 – up 0.23%. For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is 0.25% lower.

Let’s take a closer look at the news.

Changes at the top

In a statement to the ASX, Westpac announced Steve Harker will retire from the board by the end of the day.

Harker joined the Board in March 2019 and has been a member of the Board Audit, Board Legal, Regulatory & Compliance, and Board Remuneration Committees.

Westpac chair John McFarlane said:

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Steve for his considerable contribution to Westpac, in what has been a challenging time for the company.

Early this year Steve signalled he was considering retiring from the Board as he requires a double lung transplant and wants to focus on his health. We commend Steve for his professionalism and commitment to shareholders throughout his tenure and wish him a fast recovery.

While this is big news for the company, it is not price sensitive. So, what else could be affecting the Westpac share price?

Why the Westpac share price may be rising

Brokers are tipping big things for the Westpac share price in the near and medium terms.

As Motley Fool has previously reported, the bank is scheduled to release its full-year results on November 1 and Morgans is urging investors to buy this ASX 200 share.

This is despite the broker slashing its forecast final dividend to 30 cents a share from 54 cents a share after Westpac announced a $1.3 billion write-down.

“WBC is our preferred major bank,” Morgans is quoted as saying.

“We expect WBC to announce a $5bn off-market share buyback on 1 November and we expect investors to increasingly warm up to WBC’s medium-term cost out story.”

The broker has an “add” rating on the Westpac share price with a price target of $29.50 a share.

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Motley Fool contributor Marc Sidarous owns shares of Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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