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NGM Group heralds a new era

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There’s a changing of the guard at the Hunter’s largest customer-owned financial institution, NGM Group.

With long-serving chair Wayne Russell and deputy chair Jeff Eather set to retire at the November annual general meeting, Samantha Martin-Williams and Rod Jackson will step into the respective roles.

For Ms Martin-Williams, she also becomes the first woman to hold the position in the organisation’s history following a distinguished executive career.

“NGM Group and its Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank brands are deeply embedded in our communities,” she said.

“We’re one of the largest regional employers, boasting a proud history of delivering for our people and our region.

“So, it’s an exciting time to be a part of NGM Group.”

Ms Martin-Williams is a respected business leader who brings significant board experience and community leadership to the role.

She is the current deputy chair of Newcastle Airport, vice-chair of the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) and serves on the boards of Fishburners and the University of Newcastle Business School.

A former Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, Ms Martin-Williams is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), serving on its NSW Council, and of the Governance Institute of Australia.

In 2012, she became the first female director of Newcastle Permanent, transitioning to the board of NGM Group following its 2023 merger with Greater Bank.

At the moment, she also chairs NGM Group’s People, Culture and Remuneration Committee.

Mr Jackson, who’s taking over the reins from Mr Eather, is currently a non-executive director of the Searson Buck Group and NextSense and serves on several other boards, including the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), too.

With more than four decades of banking experience comprising roles with Westpac, St George and RAMS, he offers valuable insights into risk and balance sheet management and multi-brand business in the financial services sector.

He serves as chair of NGM Group’s Risk Committee as well.

The departing Mr Russell said the latest appointments reflected the NGM Group Board’s strong commitment to proactive succession and composition planning.

“In handing over to Sam and Rod, I could not be more confident in the organisation’s future,” he stated.

“Sam has a proven track record of advancing the agenda of regional business in Australia which, coupled with Rod’s industry experience, will build on NGM Group’s already-strong position in the industry.

“Having already demonstrated their capability and commitment, I know they are the right leaders to continue to drive NGM Group towards our goal of being Australia’s leading customer-owned bank.”

Mr Russell and Mr Eather, since joining the Greater Bank and Newcastle Permanent boards respectively more than a decade ago, have overseen periods of significant growth and change for both organisations, and as chairs, were instrumental in bringing the mutuals together in 2023.

“Wayne and Jeff have not only built an incredibly strong and thriving organisation that delivers real value for our customers, they’ve championed our investment in local communities and our people,” Ms Martin-Williams said.

“They’ve set a really high benchmark and with such a broad range of skills and experience across the NGM Group Board, Rod and I look forward to progressing our contemporary approach to corporate governance.”

After her recent appointment to the board of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, NGM Group non-executive director Catherine Robson has been chosen as chair.

With more than 20 years’ experience in finance and investment, including at Macquarie Bank and NAB, she’s also served on boards and committees of health, education and women’s charities for more than a decade.

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