When the Commonwealth Bank employed New Zealander Ralph Norris, they clearly weren't concerned about changing the bank's culture of focusing squarely on profit above all. Instead, Norris supercharged it and streamlined the bank's focus on sales, profit and incentive.

Norris' predecessor, David Murray, who was ironically brought in to "rescue" embattled financial services group AMP last week, had taken CBA to its initial public offering and instilled a culture of profit as its main motivation.