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CEO of non-major bank to depart, successor appointed

by Annie Kane12 minute read

The non-major bank has confirmed who its next CEO and MD will be following the departure of its long-serving leader Marnie Baker in August.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has announced that its CEO and managing director Baker is to be succeeded by Richard Fennell at the end of August.

Baker has been at the helm of the banking group since 2018 and has worked at the bank for the past 35 years.

However, she “recently indicated her intention to conclude her time with the bank”.


The board of directors have now confirmed that chief customer officer (CCO) Fennell, who has been with the banking group for more than 17 years, will take over the role on 31 August.

According to the board of directors, Fennell’s “strong focus on the customer, his achievements in digital and significant financial expertise” were among the key attributes the board prioritised when looking for a successor.

For the last six years he has helped steer the banking group through its recent transformation (including opening the Bendigo Bank brand to broker), spearheaded the delivery of the new Bendigo lending platform, and supported the bank’s deposit franchise “through prudent management” of the branch network and Community Bank model.

Prior to being CCO, Fennell was the chief financial officer for nearly nine years and was chief general manager, group strategy before that. Prior to joining Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, he had an 18-year career in finance and consulting.

Noting the change of leadership, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank chair Vicki Carter said: “Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is in a position of strength and Richard is well placed to lead the next phase of our sustainable growth agenda for the benefit of our customers, our shareholders, our people and our communities.

“Richard has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the customer by leading the bank’s consumer division through a period of significant change while retaining industry-leading customer advocacy scores.

“His extensive experience leading our branch and third-party networks coupled with his deep understanding of digital, as evidenced by his delivery of the new Bendigo Lending Platform, and many years of experience as the bank’s CFO, will ensure that the bank can continue to deliver sustainable growth, and on its vision to be Australia’s bank of choice.”

Fennell said he was “honoured” and “excited” by the appointment: “Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is a unique institution that plays an important role in providing Australian banking consumers with a genuine and compelling alternative to the majors.

“I am grateful for the transformation work Marnie has driven to create strong foundations for the bank and I am proud to accept the responsibility for leading Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and ensuring its future success.”

He said he looked forward to “connecting” further with the bank’s staff to “work together to find new ways to ensure the bank can continue to deliver on its purpose of feeding into the prosperity of our customers and the community”.

Baker steered the bank ‘through a period of great opportunity and significant challenge’

The board of directors thanked the outgoing CEO and MD “for her decades of service” and leadership of the bank “through a period of great opportunity and significant challenge”, which included frequent natural disasters, COVID-19, and record low interest rates.

Carter said: “Marnie’s authentic leadership style has been a beacon for many during a period of accelerated change for the bank, its customers and the community.

“At the same time, she oversaw the execution of a significant and necessary transformation agenda which included the consolidation of core banking platforms, brands and divisions.

“Marnie’s passion and advocacy for regional Australia has ensured the bank stands apart from an increasingly homogenised industry. She has done much to highlight the opportunities and challenges facing regional Australia for the benefit of those who call the regions home.

“Marnie will be missed by all.”

Speaking of her upcoming departure, Baker said: “Leading an organisation with such a strong purpose has been a great privilege and I’m immensely proud of what has been accomplished.

“I congratulate Richard on his appointment and have every confidence that the bank will continue to thrive and make a positive impact under his leadership.”

[Related: Bendigo Bank opens up to broker]

richard fennell marnie baker ceo md bendigo and adelaide bank ta jpvcyo


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