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Simon Power to head Westpac Private Bank

Retiring Commerce Minister Simon Power will join Westpac in January in the role of Head of Private Bank.

Announcing the appointment, Westpac ceo George Frazis said Mr Power brought a range of skills and expertise to the position which fitted well with the purpose and focus of Westpac's private bank - the banking service for Westpac's premium personal customers.

"We are enormously excited to be joined by someone with such an outstanding record of leadership and achivement at the highest level," Mr Frazis said.

Mr Power, 41, is leaving parliament after serving as the MP for Rangitikei for the past 12 years and as a cabinet minister for the past three, including as Minister for commerce and Associate Minister of Finance.

"This is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in my career. One of my objectives afer leaving parliament is to contribute to the growth of New Zealand in the private sector and I feel that with my experience in working with and implementing change I can do that," he said.

Mr Power's March announcement that he would stand down from Parliament after the November 26 election came as a surprise to many, with Prime Minister John Key saying he was "stunned and flabbergasted".

At the time, Mr Power said leadership was "not for me" but did not rule out a future return to politics.

Comments and questions

I assume he will have to lead by example and become a AFA - or will he hide behind Westpac's QFE status. Then he will realise what a mess his legacy in this area is.

And make sure Westpac retains the banking portfolio for the whole of government that's going to tender for the first time in nearly 30 years!

oh well that explains why he say next to George at the RWC dinner at Sky City a while ago

Good man is always in good demand....

This sadly reflects that policitics pays too little in NZ to retain people of real quality given the amount of work required (anf the amount these people can earn in the private sector). The only people who stick with politics are either those who don't need the money (Key etc) or those who do need the money because they don't have marketable and monetiseable skills (ex unionists, environmentalists, communists, etc).

A shame really.

Well said Anonymous.

Or people who do the job of an MP for selfless reasons … it really does happen and your comments suggest not.

But I agree MPs are underpaid by far. Pay MPs way more and teachers too.

Donkey - Pity you didn't overhear some of the conversation!

I was to busy asking George why he jerked Kirkpatrick on the rent for the Paratai mansion he had rented to be fair

yea, doubt he'll pull old kirky's business...

Do I smell a conflict of interest? His ministry has been reviewing the loan sharking / repossession law and the Financial Summit which Simon has been pushing through prior to his departure.

All power to Power.

Maybe he can introduce a whole bunch of new rules, and then ensure they are not enforced. Should keep old FIGJAM busy for another 3 years.

That explains why the FMA was set up to fail.

What is needed is far fewer MPs (50?) that are better paid and of higher calibre. I suspect that in reality the result would be higher paid party hacks, university lecturers, trade unionists, career politicians and other mediocrities.

Simon leaves a poor legacy and train wreck in the financial markets for the next Minister.
Having setup a cosy arrangement for corporates under the regulatory system it is fitting that he heads to Westpac. (large supporter of the failed ING structured credits products)

And who says there's no Pork NZ politics!

It just goes to show he was pushed as this role certainly won't keep him close to home which was his mooted excuse for leaving Parliament.

Reactive minister. Focused on responding to emotive incidents rather than working from principle.

Shame on those who draw a link between this appointment and the fact that govt's banking business has been won by Westpac from time immemorial;how could you even think such a thing??

elvis has left the house

Fat vegas elvis

I agree with 'Peat' - he should front up and become and AFA and be accountable.

I think he'd struggle with the exams and papers!

He's done well for a legal clerk from a third rate rural practice!

That's quite some punt from Westpac

Congratulations Simon. The people who work to improve this country will really miss you. Hope you love the new position..

This stinks. How much of the draconian legislation that he's rammed through will benefit his new paymasters I wonder ... maybe we'll never really know until it is too late to much about it?

His zealous approach to removing the centuries old right to silence and unseemly push for unconstitutional Search and Surveillance laws demonstrated he had no clue about time-tested appropriate checks on state powers.

Good luck westpac, you have a new bovver boy.

This has a smell to it...
Jobs for the boys....
Isnt it time the government changed their banking accounts to Kiwibank...
It would keep profits in the country...
Its a no brainer!!!
What do you think the change of this is now that the selection panel are now in bed with each other? A fat chance..
Its time the government looked after the public rather than themselves.

I think even Kiwibank has said it is unable to handle the Governments business at this stage. I am sure they will leak this information once they are able to to get the public behind a shift.

I can't believe what is going on in this country. This guy will have huge conflicts of interest.

If he was an Australian Federal Government Minister – this would be seen as a form of ‘corrupt practice.’

And Sally M wins the gong for "most sensible comment" on this whole whiffy matter...