Major changes within the NAB executive leadership team, including the resignation of former chief customer officer of consumer and wealth, Andrew Hagger, and the appointment of former NSW premier Mike Baird as chief customer officer of consumer banking, signal a clear handover of planning operations to MLC.

Despite NAB’s decision to hold onto its private client business, JBWere, as part of its move to spin off its investment management and dealer group brands, the reshuffle will result in the wealth title disappearing from its executive ranks.

In announcements today, the bank stated that Baird would lead NAB’s retail banking business and is charged with setting the bank’s “reputation agenda”.

Hagger, who had an extensive interview in Professional Planner in May, following news that a spinoff of MLC was imminent, leaves after the bank announced it was handing over its wealth management operations to MLC and in the wake of a torrid series of revelations at the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

In a statement released on Monday, Hagger acknowledged his role in the fee-for-no-service scandal revealed during his grilling at the Hayne royal commission.

“I take accountability for what has occurred on my watch, and accept that alongside successes were failures, including instances where we did not act with the pace required,” he said.

In July, NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn announced that the ex-head of ASX-listed financial services group Perpetual, Geoff Lloyd, would be the new chief executive of MLC, which will operate all of the bank’s financial planning licensees – apart from JBWere – as a separate entity.

An NAB representative confirmed for Professional Planner that the ‘wealth’ element of Hagger’s former title – chief customer officer, consumer and wealth – was removed “as soon as Geoff Lloyd took over the wealth operations to be divested/demerged on September 3”.

While NAB has retained financial advice licensee JBWere, which services its high-net-worth and business banking sectors, and its retail trading platform Nabtrade, neither of these now come under a ‘wealth’ division at the bank.

JBWere will be run by Justin Greiner and sit within the business and private banking division, run by chief customer officer, business and private banking, Anthony Healy. Nabtrade will be led by Adrian Hanley, within the customer experience division, which is headed up by chief customer experience officer Rachel Slade.

Preparations for the spinoff of MLC are now well under way, with Lloyd officially taking up his role as chief executive of the business at the start of September. The future of the dealer group brands, which include MLC Financial Planning, Godfrey Pembroke, Apogee, Garvan and Meritum, remains unclear; a possible breakaway of Godfrey Pembroke remains in play.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.
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