Regarding Crikey’s latest item on Tanya Costello’s appointment (yesterday, item 4), I’d just like to make a couple of points:

  • Chief executive John McFarlane had no involvement
    whatsoever in Tanya Costello’s appointment. ANZ Trustees is part of
    our Investment and Insurance business which in turn is part of the
    Personal Banking Division run by Brian Hartzer. Brian has well over
    10,000 employees in the Division. I think you would understand from
    this that Trustees and this role are not overly material given the
    overall size of the corporation and that Ms Costello’s role is one of around
    500 managers at this level in Victoria (bearing in mind our head office
    is here).
  • On the point of friendship, as far as
    I am aware it is a matter of public record in several publications that
    John McFarlane has a wide social network. The AFR’s Pamela Williams is not
    unique in covering this. I don’t think the fact you have socialised
    with the CEO precludes you from employment with ANZ – it
    would be a fairly lonely place if that were the case. (I believe in
    New York there are “six degrees of separation”. I often joke to people
    that in a city the size of Melbourne, there are maybe only two, so it’s hardly surprising people know each other.)
  • The business development role in ANZ
    Trustees has a substantial legal focus. We not only believe that Ms
    Costello is appropriately qualified for the role given her legal and
    community involvement experience, we also advertised the role
    internally and externally to ensure she is the best available person to
    ANZ Trustees for that position. We are looking forward to her joining
    ANZ and the contribution we believe she can make to growing the
    Trustees business.
  • The role has no strategic, policy or
    regulatory element – it is focused solely on ANZ Trustees, which
    provides services in estate planning, trustee management, asset
    management and administration to a broad range of Australian
    individuals, corporations and charitable institutions. There is no
    conflict of interest and indeed if we sensed that there could have
    been, the appointment would not have been made.

  • There has also been some comment on
    John Allen’s role in recruiting Ms Costello. As I toldThe Age’s Michael
    Bachelard, we do expect recruitment consultants to have an active and
    wide network so they are aware of and able to identify talent for us.
    John has been involved in successfully recruiting over 50 positions at
    ANZ over the last eight years. The fact he has been involved in another
    appointment is very much business as usual for ANZ.

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Peter Fray
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