BHP Billiton’s Chairman Jac Nasser

To be an effective chair of an ASX100 company, do you first have to have been a CEO of an ASX100 company to really understand what it takes?

That’s certainly the most common background of the current crop of ASX100 chairs and we saw another example this week when lawyer and former ASX Group CEO Tony D’Aloisio replaced Peter Scott as chairman of Perpetual. 

The following list looks at all the ASX listed companies that are more valuable than Perpetual and have an independent chair. We’ve excluded the non-independents such as Twiggy Forrest at Fortescue, James Packer at Crown and John Grill at Worley Parsons.

The chairs who have previously been public company CEOs are italicised below, and we’re looking at 27 out of 82, which is actually a lower ratio that what was anticipated when embarking on this research for the Crikey Lists project.

Lawyers and accountants — think Lindsay Maxsted, David Crawford, Brian Schwartz, Peter Hay and David Gonski — are the most common non-CEO chairs who have battled their way to the top of the directors’ club.  We’ve also got one career bureaucrat (Ken Henry) and one former politician (Mark Vaile), but only seven women, so there’s plenty of work to do on the diversity front.

Tracking the background of major independent public company chairs

  1. CBA: Catherine Livingstone, a former Cochlear CEO
  2. BHP, Jac Nasser: former CEO of Ford
  3. Westpac, Lindsay Maxsted: former KPMG CEO
  4. ANZ, David Gonski: former lawyer and investment banker
  5. NAB, Ken Henry: former Treasury Secretary
  6. CSL, chair Prof John Shine: medical professor and former executive director of Garvan Institute
  7. Telstra: John Mullen, former Asciano CEO
  8. Wesfarmers, Michael Chaney: former Wesfarmers CEO
  9. Macquarie Group: Peter Warne, capital markets executive at BT
  10. Woodside Petroleum: outgoing chair Michael Chaney, former Wesfarmers CEO. Incoming chair Richard Goyder, current Wesfarmers CEO.
  11. Transurban: Lindsay Maxsted, former KPMG CEO
  12. Scentre Group: Brian Schwartz, former CEO of Ernst & Young
  13. Suncorp: Ziggy Switkowski, former Telstra CEO
  14. AGL Energy: Jerry Maycock, former CSR CEO
  15. Amcor: Graeme Liebelt, former Orica CEO
  16. QBE Insurance: US-based chair Marty Becker, former CEO of NASDAQ listed insurer Alterra
  17. Sydney Airport: Trevor Gerber, former Westfield and Macquarie finance executive
  18. Newcrest: Peter Hay, former CEO of Freehills
  19. Goodman Group: Ian Ferrier, former accountant and corporate undertaker
  20. AMP: Catherine Brenner, former lawyer and investment banker
  21. Insurance Australia Group: Elizabeth Bryan, former CEO State Super (unlisted)
  22. South32: David Crawford, former national chair of KPMG
  23. Origin Energy: Gordon Cairns, former CEO Lion Nathan
  24. Aristocrat Leisure: Ian Blackburne, former CEO Caltex
  25. Aurizon: Tim Poole, former specialist infrastructure investor
  26. Stockland: Tom Pockett, former CFO Woolworths
  27. Vicinity Centres: Peter Hay, former CEO of Freehills
  28. APA Group: Len Bleasel, former CEO AGL.
  29. ASX: Rick Holliday-Smith, career in global capital markets and derivatives
  30. Dexus: Richard Sheppard, 36 years at Macquarie, including 15 years as deputy MD
  31. Lend Lease: David Crawford, former executive chairman of KPMG
  32. Treasury Wine Estates: Paul Rayner, global finance director of British America Tobacco
  33. Sonic Healthcare: Mark Compton, former CEO of listed small caps Scigen and Alpha Healthcare
  34. GPT Group: Rob Ferguson, CEO of Bankers Trust (unlisted)
  35. Qantas: Leigh Clifford, former Rio Tinto CEO
  36. Caltex Australia: Greg Gailey, former CEO of Zinifex
  37. Cochlear: Rick Holliday-Smith, career in global capital markets and derivatives
  38. Mirvac: John Mulcahy, former CEO of Suncorp
  39. Computershare: Simon Jones, former CEO of Rothschilds (unlisted)
  40. Boral: Brian Clark, former CEO of Vodafone Australia
  41. Medibank Private: Elizabeth Alexander, former PwC partner
  42. Challenger Financial Group: Peter Polson, former senior exec Colonial and CBA
  43. Orica: Malcolm Broomhead, former CEO of North Ltd
  44. Santos: Peter Coates, former CEO of Xstrata Coal in Australia (unlisted)
  45. Coca Cola Amatil: Ilana Atlas, former managing partner of Mallesons
  46. AFIC: Terry Campbell, long time stockbroker and CEO of JB Were
  47. Bluescope Steel: John Bevan, former CEO of Alumina
  48. Tatts Group: Harry Boon, former CEO of Ansell
  49. Ausnet Services: Peter Mason, former investment banker and broker
  50. Seek: Neil Chatfield, former finance director of Toll Holdings
  51. Incitec Pivot: Paul Brasher, former global chair of PwC
  52. Alumina: John Pizzey, former senior executive of Alcoa
  53. Bendigo & Adelaide Bank: Robert Johanson, partner corporate advisory firm Grant Samuel
  54. Argo Investments: Ian Martin, ex Treasury and former CEO of BT (unlisted)
  55. Spark Infrastructure: Doug McTaggart, former CEO of QIC
  56. Bank of Queensland: Roger Davis, former senior banker with Citi and ANZ
  57. Magellan Financial Group: Brett Cairns, senior roles with Merrill Lynch and Babcock & Brown
  58. Star Entertainment: John O’Neill, former CEO State Bank of NSW and senior sports administrator
  59. Iluka Resources: Greg Martin, former CEO of AGL
  60. Tabcorp: Paula Dwyer, investment management and capital markets background
  61. Qube Holdings: Chris Corrigan, former CEO of Patrick Corp.
  62. Downer EDI: Michael Harding, career with oil major BP
  63. Flight Centre: Gary Smith, veteran Queensland tourism operator
  64. BT Investment Management: James Evans, career at Lend Lease then chief risk officer of CBA
  65. Healthscope: Paula Dwyer, investment management and capital markets background
  66. Adelaide Brighton: Les Hosking, former CEO of Sydney Futures Exchange
  67. Macquarie Atlas Roads: Nora Scheinkestel, former investment banker
  68. ALS: Bruce Phillips, former CEO of AWE
  69. Fairfax Media: Nick Falloon, former CEO of PBL
  70. Investa Office: Richard Longes, former Freehills partner and co-founder Investec
  71. Link: Michael Carapiet, former senior executive at Macquarie Group
  72. Oceana Gold: James Askew, former CEO of multiple listed mining companies
  73. IOOF: George Venardos, former CFO Insurance Australia Group
  74. Dulux Group: Peter Kirby, former CEO of CSR
  75. Carsales: Geoff Brown, former senior executive at PBL
  76. Sims Metal: Geoff Brunsdon, former investment banker
  77. Charter Hall: David Clarke, former CEO of Allco Finance Group
  78. JB Hi Fi: Greg Richards, former Goldman Sachs investment banker
  79. Nufarm: Donald McGauchie, farmer specialising in part-time government and board roles
  80. Whitehaven Coal: Mark Vaile, former deputy PM
  81. Platinum: Michael Cole, former executive at Bankers Trust
  82. Perpetual: Tony D’Aloisio, former CEO of ASX Group

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Peter Fray
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