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NAB names new group CEO

By Jane Shanahan

Thursday 31st July 2008

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National Australia Bank, which has taken A$1 billion of writedowns for collateralised debt obligations exposed to the US home mortgage market, named Cameron Clyne to succeed John Stewart as chief executive.

Clyne, who has been head of NAB’s Bank of New Zealand unit, will take up the job from Jan. 1 and will be invited to join the board at that time, the bank said in a statement.

Shares of National Australia Bank have dropped 17% since Stewart announced further writedowns on July 25. He defended the bank’s decision to buy the CDOs saying they had been rated AAA at the time with the prospects of default assessed as being “extremely small.”

Since then, bond insurers who helped underpin the top ratings have themselves had their credit ratings cut, including MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc.

The bank said Andrew Thorburn, currently head of NAB’s retail bank in Australia, will replace Clyne as Bank of New Zealand chief executive.

Stewart leaves after more than four years in the top job at the bank.


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