Shayne Elliott: What impressed me early on and the reason that I joined ANZ was I just loved the ambition, this idea that you could build this super-regional bank. It actually hasn't been done for decades.
And I was really struck by the people that I met. Not just the management board team but a lot of people. Those values, the passion that people had for what they were doing around this was really exciting. I got this really strong sense from people about the respect they had for the place. It wasn't just about Australia, it wasn't just about Asia, it was about all parts are valued. That really struck me.
[When ANZ approached me in 2009] my wife and I had bought this - it's a very tiny - apartment in Rome. I was thinking - because New Zealand's a long way from anywhere - we'll go back home and that'll be our bolt hole to do things.
I was literally up the ladder painting the apartment. I remember I had rollers out. So I'm painting the apartment and I get phone call from a head hunter saying there was this job at ANZ and would I be interested.
After witnessing the GFC from where I was at the time in Cairo, while the GFC really didn't have any impact on us, I was seeing what was happening to the industry, seeing the appalling behaviour from the financial sector, Wall Street firmsk, whatever, and I was really not feeling good about that as an industry. I really didn't want to go back and work in banking, to be perfectly honest.
So I said, look, no, I wasn't interested. Then they mentioned ANZ and said why don't you go and meet. I said, well I'm in Rome. And they said, well you have to go to this place and do a video. They gave me this address. I said I don't have a suit, I have paint in my hair and I have a t-shirt.
They said, that's okay. So they gave me this address, I walk along and - I'm not joking - it was a church. I go in to this church and under the stairs in the church was a video suite - as one does in Rome - and I did this video interview.
What impressed me and the reason that I joined - long story short - was I just loved the ambition of ANZ, this idea that you could build this super regional bank. If you think about it, it actually hasn't been done not just in our period of time, it hasn't really been done for decades.
When you go back, the people that we aspire to emulate, we look at those franchises, those things were built 50 and 100 years ago so ANZ's ambition is quite bold - so that was really attractive.
I remember meeting Mike and others at 100 Queen St, [ANZ's former HQ] I was really struck by the people that I met. That was not just the management board team at the time but just a lot of people that I kind of knew from ANZ.
Again those kind of values, the passion that people had for what they were doing around this was really exciting. And again it was the values, the way people talked. One of the things - again - that really struck me was respect. I got this really strong sense from people about the respect they had for the place. As a New Zealander, I felt this really strong respect again at ANZ about the value of all of the parts of franchise. It wasn't just about Australia, it wasn't just about Asia, it was about all parts are valued.
MS: Look, I think the super-regional strategy in itself, to me, was blindingly obvious. It's what we needed to do. It hasn't been as obvious to the rest of the market - I've since found out - but that's one of the things that we have had to work against.
When you think about the structure and the business mix of ANZ, it's very different to the other banks in Australia. We're about a third institutional, a third commercial and about a third retail. So that means we're much more skewed to corporate banking, if you like to call it that.
Where was corporate banking going to go in Australia? There was limited growth potential and therefore we have to look to the region. Of course, those businesses are doing more with Asia all the time, so that to me was obvious. And I think we've done an extraordinary job.