NAB’s finance chief Craig Drummond resigns – Sydney Morning Herald

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Craig Drummond is resigning as finance chief at NAB to enter the "next phase" in his career.

Craig Drummond is resigning as finance chief at NAB to enter the “next phase” in his career. Photo: Jim Rice

National Australia Bank’s chief financial officer, Craig Drummond, is resigning after 2½ years in the role which put him at the centre of NAB’s withdrawal from the United Kingdom and United States and a massive capital raising last year. 

Mr Drummond will be replaced by Gary Lennon, who has been the executive general manager of finance at NAB reporting to Mr Drummond. Before joining NAB in 2008, Mr Lennon was at Deutsche Bank, and before that KPMG. 

Mr Drummond’s departure will come as a surprise to the market and many in NAB given the close working relationship he established with chief executive Andrew Thorburn. 

It is understood that Mr Drummond, 55, felt he had achieved what he was hired by NAB to do and has aspirations to work as a chief executive. 

Mr Thorburn said in a statement on Friday that Mr Drummond was moving to the “next phase” of his career.

As finance chief, Mr Drummond had a massive workload as he played a central role in a flurry of deals as NAB sought to reorientate itself back towards its Australian and New Zealand operations. 

He managed the sale of NAB’s US bank Great Western; a $2.4 billion deal to offload 80 per cent of its life insurance risk to Nippon Life in Japan; a $5.5 billion capital raising last year; and most recently, this month’s spin-off of NAB’s poorly performing United Kingdom business, Clydesdale Bank. 

“It is with disappointment that I announce Craig Drummond’s resignation,” Mr Thorburn said in a statement. “I am incredibly appreciative of what he has done for NAB.  During Craig’s tenure, NAB has been through a period of significant change, and Craig has been pivotal to this.”

Mr Drummond said: “I believe that NAB is a stronger and safer bank as a result of the work that has been done to reshape the business and deal with the legacy issues.  As a result I believe that now is the right time for me to consider the next step in my career.” 

It is not known what Mr Drummond plans to do nest. He was previously the local boss of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and ran Goldman Sachs JBWere. It is believed he aspires to become the chief executive of a large company. 

Big shoes to fill 

Before his appointment as executive general manager of finance at NAB in 2010, Mr Lennon was chief financial officer of wholesale banking at NAB. He is an executive member of the G100, the peak body for Australian finance executives. 

He previously worked at Deutsche Bank, where he was chief financial officer of the corporate and investment bank in the Asia Pacific for more than three years, based out of Singapore. He also had a three year stint as CFO of Deutsche Bank Japan and two years as CFO of Deutsche Bank in Australia and NZ.

Prior he joined Deutsche in 1997, Mr Lennon worked at KPMG in senior management roles within the financial services audit division for a decade in both Sydney and London. He has an honours degree in economics from the University of Sydney. 

According to his profile on Linked In, Mr Lennon is an avid cricket fan and is married with three children.  

ANZ Banking Group has been on the hunt for a chief financial officer for several months and this week said it would make an announcement within the coming weeks.

NAB shares opened down 1.3 per cent to $25.83 but ANZ was down by the same amount while Commonwealth Bank and Westpac opened around 0.7 per cent lower on Friday morning. 


NAB’s finance chief Craig Drummond resigns – Sydney Morning Herald}

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