National Australia CFO Drummond Resigns After Just 2 Years

  • Gary Lennon, executive GM for finance to replace Drummond
  • Lennon to take over from Drummond March 15, lender says

National Australia Bank Ltd. said Chief Financial Officer Craig Drummond, who oversaw the lender’s exit from underperforming assets, has resigned after a little over two years in the role and will be replaced by Gary Lennon.

Drummond, 55, who most recently led the Melbourne-based National Australia’s retreat from its U.K unit, said in a statement Friday he felt it was the “right time to consider the next step in my career.” He didn’t give further details.

“Craig has completed what he wanted to achieve with us and has decided that now is the time for him to move on to the next phase in his career,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thorburn said in the statement. “Gary’s appointment will ensure continuity and momentum for our company, so that we are able to continue to drive forward our agenda to strengthen our Australian and New Zealand franchise.”

Drummond’s exit means Thorburn loses one of his key managers in his bid to return National Australia to its roots at home and in New Zealand and lift returns that have lagged competitors for more than a decade. In his time at National Australia, Drummond was behind the exit from the U.S. unit Great Western Bancorp Inc., the spinoff and initial public offering of the U.K. unit CYBG Plc and the 80 percent sale of the life insurance business to Nippon Life Insurance Co.

‘Best CFO’

“Drummond was the best CFO that NAB has had for years and was instrumental in cleaning up the place,” Brett Le Mesurier, a Sydney-based analyst at APP Securities Pty, said. “The fact that he has gone is probably because he had enough or has an extremely good offer somewhere else. Lennon would need to do an extraordinary job to do better than Drummond.”

Lennon, 50, is currently executive general manager for finance and will take over on March 15, National Australia said.

Drummond, who also holds the group strategy role, joined National Australia in November 2013 after leading Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Australia for four years. Before that he was chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs JBWere, according to National Australia’s website.

Lennon has been executive general manager for finance since June 2010 and has been with National Australia since 2008. Before that, he spent eight years at Deutsche Bank AG in Australia, Japan and Singapore, according to the statement.

National Australia shares have lost 10 percent in 2016, the least among the nation’s four-largest lenders. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index has declined 6 percent.

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