ANZ Bank Appoints Greenhill’s Michelle Jablko as Finance Chief

  • Jablko, currently co-head of Greenhill, to join July 18
  • Appointment completes CEO Shayne Elliott’s leadership group

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. named Michelle Jablko as its chief financial officer, completing Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott’s leadership team as he focuses on shrinking the lender’s Asian business to improve returns.

Jablko, 43, will join July 18 from investment bank Greenhill & Co., where she has been co-head of Australia since 2014, Melbourne-based ANZ said in a regulatory filing on Monday. Her appointment concludes a seven-month search that began after Elliott, the previous CFO, was named to succeed Mike Smith as CEO.

ANZ is beginning to pull back from lower-yielding Asian assets after setting out to be a regional lender under Smith. The Asian strategy, while adding revenue and assets, has dragged on return on equity, and Elliott said this month he plans to reduce capital allocated to the institutional and international-banking unit as part of a plan to reshape the lender. ANZ has already cut its institutional banking risk-weighted assets by 7 percent in the year to March 31, filings show.

Jablko will have responsibility for all aspects of finance as well as treasury, mergers and acquisitions, and investor relations, and will also be a member of the lender’s group executive committee, ANZ said. The Monash University graduate was at UBS Group AG before the role for New York-based Greenhill, and advised companies on M&A and capital raising at both firms, the bank said.

‘Critical’ Role

“The CFO’s role is critical now for ANZ,” Brett Le Mesurier, a Sydney-based banking analyst at APP Securities Pty, said by phone. “Perhaps her appointment is indicative of the role she needs to play -- more M&A and cleaning up the Asian business -- rather than tinker with the well-performing Australia and New Zealand units.”

ANZ values its minority stakes in lenders including Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank, PT Bank Pan Indonesia and Malaysia’s AMMB Holdings Bhd. at about A$5 billion ($3.6 billion), Elliott said in an investor call on May 5.

“If they are required to sustain the existing business we have, great,” Elliott said on the call. “And if they are surplus to requirements, that’s another terrific thing for shareholders, and we have to decide at that time.”

Deputy CEO Graham Hodges, the bank’s acting CFO, will revert to his role, which includes overseeing the lender’s minority investments, ANZ said.

Greenhill’s Plan

Greenhill CEO Scott Bok said in a note to his staff that Roger Feletto becomes the sole head of the Australia business as Jablko departs. He will work closely with Peter Hunt, who founded the unit, and Jon Gidney, a vice chairman who rejoined the firm last year from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Jablko “becomes the fifth Greenhill managing director over the past several years to be asked to take on a CEO or CFO position by a major public company that he or she called on as a client,” Bok said in the note. “I can think no stronger indication of the quality of our people.”

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