Coad breaks with the Commonwealth to join NAB

The former Hong Kong banker becomes head of markets for National Australia Bank.

Peter Coad is leaving Commonwealth Bank to become general manager of NAB's markets division. He will be responsible for leading the bank's global strategy, including overseeing operations in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Coad has plenty of Asian experience. He spent several years working for Chase Manhattan Bank (and its predecessor Chemical Bank) in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

At the Commonwealth he held a number of senior positions including: head of global markets; global head of rates, FX and commodities; and global head of trading and product management.

The move will be a challenge for the veteran banker. Commonwealth Bank is having a golden run, topping the debt league tables in Australia last year. NAB, on the other hand, is going through a major restructuring exercise domestically and is trimming down its overseas operations. Cost cutting in its UK division has led to the axing of 1,700 staff, or 16% of its UK workforce.

Last year NAB suffered A$360million in foreign currency options losses when the behaviour of several bullish traders went unchecked. The bank is still working with the market regulator to re-open its options desk.

Coad will no doubt be involved in the final stages of the bank's plan to integrate its Australian retail banking, corporate banking and wealth-management businesses - a sweeping reorganization ordered by the new chief executive, John Stewart, who took over from Frank Cicutto last year following the forex scandal.

Coad will report to John Hooper, executive general manager of institutional markets and services. He takes up his new role on 2 May and will be based in Sydney.