Issue 418, July 1, 2019
The sudden departure of David Hisco from ANZ as its Chief Executive last month became a subject of public discussion in the media.
The issues are still unclear but it is understood that there were complaints over $50,000 spent on wine storage and ‘corporate chauffeured cars’ used by Mr Hisco and his family.
Former Prime Minister and now the Bank’s Chairman Sir John Key spoke about the ‘disappointment’ that Hisco was leaving in unpleasant circumstances.
“It was not about the money itself but the way it was recognised in the ANZ records. We as a Board and I as Chairman expect transparency not only from our CEO but everyone who works for this company. You have to have trust in what people are recognising in their records. He didn’t meet the standards he set,” Sir John said.
A few days later, another cloud came above Mr Hisco after ANZ voluntarily handed over information on the purchase of a lavish mansion in Auckland’s rich suburb of St Heliers for $6.9 million, less than $7.55 million paid by the Bank in 2011.
FMA to probe deal
The Financial Markets Authority has since announced that it would probe the deal.
Mr Hisco was paid $3 million as salary and it is rumoured that he had eight spaces for car park at $500 per month rental per space in a City which is experiencing acute parking problems.
We do not wish to speculate on the dealings of Mr Hisco; that is for ANZ and the regulatory authorities to probe and make their findings public.
But it is important that people in high places are transparent. Governments around the world are insisting on greater accountability and make the earnings of corporate chiefs and boards of directors public, while financial regulators are increasing compliance requirements. And of course, investigative journalists are poring over corporate affairs.
Mr Hisco has undoubtedly lifted the profile of ANZ and ensured its profitability during his almost nine-years as its boss. But the way he left is a wakeup call for many others.