Stevens won’t get on board
It’s a smell that’s expected to linger for years. And it seems former Reserve Bank governor and 40-year central bank veteran Glenn Stevens might have a highly sensitive olfactory function.
The money-laundering scandal that has engulfed the Catherine Livingstone-chaired and Ian Narev-led Commonwealth Bank is continuing to amass casualties.
Earlier this month Livingstone announced that former Westpac exec and NSW Treasury secretary Rob Whitfield would join her busy board, effective immediately.
Livingstone’s is a bank boardroom in flux. At the same time as Whitfield’s well-flagged appointment, long-term CBA directors Launa Inman and Harrison Young told the market they would retire at the CBA annual meeting to be held on November 16.
Meantime, former AMP boss Andrew Mohl, who is up for reelection to the CBA board at the meeting, has said he will serve only one more year.
But word is Livingstone, in light of the Federal Court action against CBA by Austrac and APRA’s investigation, might be having some trouble getting bums on her historically prestigious seats.
The scuttlebutt is that Stevens — a year on from walking out of the RBA for the last time and having just joined the influential O’Connell Street Associates, now located at Aurora Place on Phillip Street — was set to join the CBA board, but pulled out this week on deeper contemplation of all that the bank faces over the next few years.
That includes finding a new chief executive to replace Narev.
It’s not as if Stevens, who recently accepted a position as adviser at Ellerston Capital’s new global macro fund, would be bereft of options, particularly given his new office mates at O’Connell.
We suspect the former governor, who’s been replaced by Philip Lowe, can afford to be choosy.
High-profile property developer
and young richie Tim Gurner has called in the big guns at top law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler to deal with, er, little old Margin Call.
We chatted with Toorak resident Gurner Friday afternoon about all sorts of terrible — and, he tells us, completely untrue — talk that’s abroad about his Brisbane megadevelopment, FV.
Helpfully, ABL partner Zaven Mardirossian quickly followed up with an email making sure we understood just how wrong it would be to publish a number of “demonstrably false, misleading and highly injurious assertions” about the 651-apartment development. It’s always great to be set straight.
Gurner clearly doesn’t share the fears of a Brisbane apartment glut expressed by RBA chief Philip Lowe or the more general fears of sectoral apocalypse expressed by veteran developer Harry Triguboff.
All eyes are on the success of FV, in Brisvegas’s salubrious Fortitude Valley, and Gurner has a lot on the line — he tells us he’s given the ANZ, which has loaned $180m towards the project, a personal guarantee.
Happily, according to Gurner, buyers are flocking to settle on apartments in the first building in the project, a modernised and oversized riff on Manhattan’s iconic Flatiron building.
Glenn Stevens says thanks but no thanks