Westpac CEO Peter Clare resigns

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 10:47 12/08/2014
peter clare
DON SCOTT/Fairfax NZ
MONEY MAN: Westpac NZ chief executive Peter Clare.

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Westpac New Zealand chief executive Peter Clare has quit the top job to focus on his recovery from major heart surgery.

The veteran banker took leave in May to have an operation for a condition that had been known about for some time.

While he was expected to take several months off to recover, the bank announced this morning he would be leaving the company.

Clare had decided it was the right time to "take an extended break and provide himself with the best opportunity to make a full recovery", the bank said.

Westpac group chief executive Gail Kelly thanked Clare for the contribution he had made since he had joined in 2008.

She said he had played an important role in Westpac's merger with St George Bank, and had delivered "solid results" since heading up the New Zealand business in April 2012.

Clare said it had been a privilege to lead Westpac New Zealand and its 4600 staff.

"However, following my recent, successful surgery to correct a heart condition I have decided that now is the right time to have an extended break to ensure a complete recovery," he said.

Acting chief executive David McLean will continue to fill the role until Clare's replacement is chosen through an internal and external search.

McLean was flown in from his role in New York, where he manages the bank's institutional Americas division.

He has been with Westpac for 15 years, and previously headed up the bank's New Zealand institutional, private and wealth management businesses.

McLean's continuation as acting chief executive is subject to regulatory approval.

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