CBA, Westpac switch up private bank leadership

The two big four banks have made certain roles redundant in the higher ranks in their private banking businesses targeting high-net-worth clients, as they have rolled out new organisational structures.

CBA has confirmed it recently dropped three state manager roles within its private bank, Commonwealth Private, with the segment to be led by executive manager Robyn Saranah.

Ms Saranah has been acting temporarily in the role since the June departure of former boss Marianne Perkovic.

The major bank has made the change as it has rolled out a single national advisory model across Commonwealth Private, with state-led advice, investment research and support office teams.

CBA has committed $100 million to expand its private bank during the next three years, with plans to double its private banker and support teams to around 200 staff.

“Our new leadership model will bring our teams closer to the customer and help them to make the right decisions for their financial future,” a spokesperson for CBA said.


The private bank’s former general manager of investment and advisory services Maria Lykouras became general manager of advice in July.

Meanwhile, Westpac in recent weeks made structural changes to how teams are organised in Westpac Private Wealth, merging roles for state-based chiefs.

Former Wallabies rugby player Phil Waugh, who is head of the business banking division’s response to COVID, will be joining the private bank to lead its new merged NSW and Queensland teams, now called Private Wealth North.

The other states are being merged under Private Wealth South.

Ashley Stewart, managing director for Westpac Private Wealth, declared the bank is conducting an external search for a new leader of the southern states.

The changes have been made, he said, “to ensure we are best positioned to deliver for clients and to drive the next phase of growth”.

Westpac Private Wealth provides personalised banking, lending and investments to around 10,000 high-net-worth clients. The bank did not confirm how many private wealth investors work in the segment.

CBA, Westpac switch up private bank leadership
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