Dual departures revamp non-bank leadership

The changes will bring in a new generation of leader at the specialist lender and marks a new chapter for the firm

Dual departures revamp non-bank leadership



Specialist lender La Trobe Financial has announced a series of executive changes including the departure of two of its most senior leaders.

The firm’s chief operating officer Brian Ford left on 1 July following more than 35 years of service. He joined La Trobe in 1982 as a senior accountant and worked his way up becoming chief financial controller in 1986 and group general manager in 1994 before taking up the mantle of COO in 2000.

“Brian has left an astonishing legacy that will not go unforgotten and we wish him the very best with his next chapter,” La Trobe president and CEO Greg O’Neill said.

On leaving the firm, Ford is now running his own promotional swimming club, La Trobe head of communications Caterina Nesci told Australian Broker.

Rowan Donohoue has since stepped in as senior vice president – chief operating officer following Ford’s retirement. Donohoue joined La Trobe in 2009 and was previously chief legal counsel.

Nesci said that Donohoue’s legal background qualifies him for his new role.

“He has discipline, integrity and quality. He’s a great listener, makes good decisions and gets the job done.”

La Trobe also announced the departure of vice president – head of major clients Daryl Hill who worked at the firm for 41 years. He began his career in 1976 as an account manager. After holding a number of management roles in the business development team, Hill was promoted to his latest position. He also left the company on 1 July.

“Daryl’s role in the growth of the organisation is immeasurable, he epitomises all of our company values and he will be sorely missed by all La Trobe Financial staff,” O’Neill said.

Although retired, Hill has been appointed as an authorised representative at La Trobe, Nesci said.

Michael Watson has now been appointed executive head of major clients following Hill’s departure. Watson joined La Trobe in 2013 as a senior manager of client partnerships.

“Michael will help strengthen the relationships that he has been working on, expand them and help expand the growth of our award-winning Credit Fund,” Nesci said.

The firm has also announced a third appointment with Martin Barry becoming senior vice president, chief corporate treasurer. Barry joined La Trobe in 2014 as vice president, head of institutional mandates.

“Following the opening of our new office in Hong Kong and the appointment of these new executives to help lead the company, we are well positioned to continue our success, grow and evolve as one of Australia’s most respected independent non-banks,” O’Neill said.

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