Westpac appoints new chair for its NZ business

  • By Elizabeth Fry

Westpac New Zealand has appointed Pip Greenwood as chair replacing current director Jan Dawson who will retire on Oct 1 after seven years in the role. 

Dawson has chaired the NZ arm of the Australian bank since Feb 2015 having joined the board in July 2011. 

Greenwood's appointment as Dawson’s replacement is subject to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand not objecting. 

A former Russell McVeagh partner, Greenwood joined the Westpac NZ board as an independent director in April 2019 and chairs the bank’s risk and compliance committee. She also spent 10 years on the legal firm’s board, including a period as chair. 

She also sits on the boards of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Spark New Zealand, The A2 Milk Company, and Vulcan Steel. 

Dawson has led the board through a period of change in the banking industry which included major regulatory changes and the financial impacts of the global pandemic. 

“I’m proud to have worked with a team of directors and senior management focussed on delivering great financial outcomes for our customers and also contributing to the well-being of the community through our approach to financial literacy, diversity, and sustainability,” she said in a statement. 

Strong banks critical to society 

She acknowledged David McLean, who was the chief executive during her term as chair, recognising his leadership both in the bank and in the industry through his role as chair of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association. 

“We have always been very mindful that strong banks are critical to the health of our economy and society.” 

Greenwood’s appointment follows the recent announcement by the lender’s Australian parent that they won’t ditch the Kiwi business. 

Westpac Group chief executive Peter King said after a detailed review, "we believe a demerger of the Westpac NZ business would not be in the best interests of shareholders.