Larry Schlesinger | 22 November 2012

Former Westpac executive Rob Coombe tipped as possible Stockland boss

The list of potential candidates to replace Matthew Quinn a Stockland chief executive has another new name with former Westpac retail banking executive Rob Coombe thrown into the mix.

Coombe is well known to Stockland director Carolyn Hewson who spent 10 years on the Westpac board.

Coombe recently gave a presentation to the Stockland board, according to a report in the Australian Financial Review.

Earlier this week it was reported that Stockland chairman Graham Bradley had met with New York-based Australian investment banker Mark Steinert, who has also been tipped as possibly filling Quinn’s shoes.

Coombe stepped down as head of Westpac’s retail and business banking division in November last year after a career spanning nearly thirty year’s at Westpac, in its various guises.

He was appointed chief executive of Westpac’s wealth management subsidiary BT in 2004 and in 2010, was appointed group executive retail and business banking at Westpac.

He would be a left-field appointment for Stockland given he has no direct experience in the property development market – Bradley though has stressed the Stockland board is looking beyond the property sector for candidates.

Previous names touted as possible replacements for Quinn include Australand managing director Bob Johnston, Westfield chief financial officer Peter Allen, Rod Leaver, CEO of Lend Lease Asia, former St George Bank CEO Paul Fegan, David Southon, co-founder and joint managing director of Charter Hall, veteran Macquarie banker Matthew Banks and the only internal candidate, John Schroder, current chief executive of commercial property at Stockland.

A spokesperson for Stockland told Property Observer earlier this week it has yet made a decision about who would replace Quinn and that the search for a replacement is ongoing.

Quinn is due to step down in February.

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