Industry speculation is mounting that Bruce McLachlan, outgoing chief of the Co-operative (Co-op) Bank, will be confirmed as head of Fisher Funds following the expected exit of its eponymous founder next month.
It is understood, McLachlan, who resigned from Co-op Bank last December would be confirmed in the role by the end of February.
His resignation – yet to take effect – came two months after current Fisher Funds managing director, Carmel Fisher, revealed her planned departure from the job “sometime in 2017”.
At the time, Fisher, who grew the business from scratch in 1998 to the current funds under management of about $7 billion, said she was stepping down “to focus on my family and philanthropic interests”.
Fisher told Investment News NZ: “We intend to announce the appointment of a new CEO following our Board meeting late next week. The start date for the new CEO is yet to be confirmed.”
In a quarterly update published last Friday, Co-op Bank chair, Steven Fyfe, said McLachlan had “accepted a leadership role with another New Zealand business”.
“The Board are well into the process to find a suitable replacement, and an announcement on this can be expected in due course,” Fyfe said. “In the meantime Bruce remains leading the Bank and a smooth transition over time is expected.”
According to the latest Co-op Bank disclosure statement, McLachlan would stay in the role “until early 2017”.
Prior to joining Co-op Bank (known as PSIS until 2011) in 2012, McLachlan served as general manager of Westpac NZ for more than 10 years.
His banking credentials would suit the developing Fisher business, which is now almost half-owned by TSB Bank, according to industry sources. Co-op Bank also distributes the Fisher Funds KiwiSaver scheme.