BNZ chairman Doug McKay said the bank had appointed Angela Mentis as managing director and chief executive.
Incumbent chief executive Anthony Healy is to take her current role, as chief customer officer, business and private banking, at NAB.
“Angela will be the first female managing director and CEO of BNZ. She has been on the BNZ board since December 2016 and knows BNZ and its strategy well. Angela is well-placed to ensure that BNZ remains focused on delivering for its customers, investors and employees,” McKay said.
NAB group chief executive Andrew Thorburn said the changes would strengthen both the BNZ and NAB leadership teams.
“These are outstanding opportunities for two of NAB’s talented executives to broaden their leadership in different environments. Angela and Anthony are superb banking executives who have a clear understanding of what is needed to serve our customers.”
Healy described his eight years at BNZ as the highlight of his career.
“BNZ is in a very strong position and is well-placed to accelerate its digital strategy and transformation, which will continue under Angela’s leadership,” he said.
“Being a CEO is a huge privilege – especially of a company like Bank of New Zealand. The way I see it is that you get to be a custodian for a moment in time, and - like all your predecessors - make an impact in some way.
“My time at BNZ has been marked by some defining moments for New Zealanders. The Christchurch, Wellington and Kaikoura earthquakes were devastating and something I hope we don’t have to face again. But it was an exemplar of the BNZ spirit and how we rallied to support each other, our customers and the local communities.
“For me personally, a highlight was our efforts in establishing community finance, which offers low and no interest loans to people who usually don’t meet bank lending criteria. We responded to a call from government to address this difficult issue – and no one was sure where to start. We drew on the experience of NAB and Good Shepherd in Australia in running a similar programme.
“Community finance started with a modest pilot and at that time I went out to Henderson to meet Haidee, one of our first customers. To see how community finance worked for her and made a difference to her family reinforced the need to make this work for other people like her. In 2016, the initiative secured government funding for roll out, and BNZ committed to making an extra $50m in lending available. In August this year, we finished the first phase of expansion with the launch of our 13th location in Hamilton."