Heartland Bank appoints new CEO

New exec brings 30 years' experience to role

Heartland Bank appoints new CEO

Heartland Bank has announced the appointment of Leanne Lazarus as its new CEO effective from August 01.

Lazarus (pictured) will succeed current CEO Chris Flood who has been appointed deputy group CEO of Heartland Bank’s parent company, Heartland Group Holdings Limited (Heartland Group).

Lazarus moved to New Zealand in 1998 and has 30 years of global experience in banking and financial services, holding a number of senior executive roles across Westpac NZ, and the ANZ group through Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

More recently, Lazarus was CEO and executive director of Westpac Life, Westpac New Zealand’s insurance entity, where she held roles as general manager customer outcomes and general manager operations, contact centres, property services and procurement.

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“Leanne’s extensive experience in operation and technology will contribute to advancing Heartland Bank’s digitalisation strategy and the ongoing reduction of our cost-to-income ratio through removing customer friction and enhancing customer experience,” said Heartland Group CEO Jeff Greenslade.

Whilst Flood steps out of his role as Heartland Bank’s current CEO, his new appointment will include responsibility for the organisation’s organic growth across New Zealand and Australia.

He will apply Heartland Bank’s successful growth model in New Zealand to Australian entities, whilst leading further strategic initiatives across the group.

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“Chris’ expertise and leadership as deputy group CEO will enable Heartland to achieve its ambitious growth aspirations across New Zealand and Australia,” Greenslade said.

“Chris started with Heartland 25 years ago through MARAC Finance and has made a significant contribution to the business in this time. This includes successfully running the motor finance business during Heartland’s establishment in 2011 and more recently leading growth across the bank’s lending and deposit divisions as Heartland Bank CEO.”

Flood will formally move into his role as deputy group CEO of Heartland Group from November 01, after allowing time for a comprehensive handover with Lazarus.

“The appointments reflect our commitment to digitalisation and ongoing growth across each of entity,” Greenslade said.

Greenslade will continue as CEO of Heartland Group, with responsibility for Heartland’s activity in New Zealand and Australia.