New NAB CEO and Essendon

Wonder how long until we get him onto our Board.


NEW NAB chief Andrew Thorburn has had plenty of powerful mentors but perhaps none more formative than Essendon finals player Doug Bigelow.

It was as a nine year old visiting his dad, a manager of the Renshaw marzipan factory in Kensington, where Thorburn met the 148-game Bombers backman and occasional ruckman who said it was time the boy picked a footy team.

“Doug was the foreman,‘‘ Mr Thornburn toldBusinessDaily on Thursday. “He said ‘son, I‘ll take you down to Windy Hill‘.‘‘

“I remember sitting with Doug watching Geoff Blethyn and Des Tuddenham. He took me back to the rooms after the game.‘‘

Mr Thorburn — who has been the head of NAB‘s New Zealand operations for six years — says a return to the MCG is the top of his list as he relocates back to NAB‘s Melbourne base. “I used to get quite excited.‘‘

Thorburn‘s background is not what you would expect from a 27-year career banker and latest member of Australia‘s big four lenders.

He was born at the Greensborough Hospital and grew up in suburban Rosanna in Melbourne‘s northeast.

“I don‘t think you should talk to any of my teachers at the Rosanna East High School, they might be a bit surprised where I ended up.‘‘

But he credits going to a normal suburban high school and then “stacking boxes” to pay his way through university as giving him grounding.

At 17, Thorburn went to live with his mother in New Zealand. He ended up studying economics at the University of Auckland and holds dual citizenship.

It was across the Tasman he met his wife Kathryn. They have three children aged 18, 21 and 23. It left another legacy — he‘s a devoted All Blacks fan.

Between 2005 and 2008 he ran NAB‘s retail bank out of Sydney. After working as an economist for New Zealand‘s ASB bank he took up a regional manager posting in 1986.

After running ASB‘s retail banking he moved to Commonwealth Bank, eventually running its Western Australian operations.

He followed Gail Kelly to St George Bank in 2002, where he served as group executive for personal customers.

Mr Thorburn also seems intent on continuing Cameron Clyne‘s “consumer champion” role for the bank as a sound strategy to keep increasing customer share.

“There is always a balance, you have to make sure you produce commercial returns. But I don‘t think they are in conflict. I am confident about that strategy.‘‘



Non Essendon?

Sounds like bugman has a new ■■■■ to kiss.


No more Grog Squad for him and megz. They'll be up there with caviar and foie gras with the nobs.