John McFarlane (58) is completing his eighth year as Chief Executive Officer of ANZ, a leading company in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the South Pacific, and one of the world’s major banks. During his tenure he has led a material transformation of the company to create one of the best performing companies in Australia, and one of the most efficient banks in the world. ANZ is recognised internationally for it’s unique specialist business model and enlightened culture.
Born in Dumfries, Scotland, in 1947, Mr. McFarlane was educated at Dumfries Academy later gaining an MA from the University of Edinburgh and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, later advancing his accounting and finance studies at the London Business School.
Mr. McFarlane began his career in manufacturing with Ford of Europe in 1969, and subsequently had a long and distinguished career in banking. He spent 18 years with Citibank, ultimately as head of Citibank in the UK and Ireland. In 1993 he became Group Executive Director of Standard Chartered Plc. based in London and Hong Kong. He now lives and works in Melbourne.
He is a director, and former President, of the International Monetary Conference, the annual meeting of the leaders of the world’s major banks and central banks, and recently retired as Chairman of the Australian Bankers Association. He is a director of ANZ National Ltd., the Australian Business Arts Foundation, and the Financial Markets Foundation for Children. He is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Council, the Business Regulation Advisory Group, and the Financial Literacy Foundation Advisory Board.
Previously, Mr. McFarlane was a director of the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Graduate School of Management. In the UK he was a director of the London Stock Exchange, Capital Radio Plc., the Auditing Practices Board, Cranfield School of Management, The Securities Association, and the Financial Law Panel. In 1992 he chaired the committee on “The Future Development of Auditing in the United Kingdom and Ireland”.
Mr. McFarlane was awarded the OBE in 1995 and the Australian Centenary Medal in 2003. He has banking and securities accreditations in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. Mr. McFarlane was the inaugural recipient of the Cranfield School of Management Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2003.
He retains an active interest in business leadership and education and instituted the McFarlane Prizes for Leadership at Cranfield School of Management, the University of Edinburgh, and Bond University.
Mr. McFarlane enjoys music, reading, computing, modern art, films, and keeping fit. His interest in music began in the 1960s as the vocalist in a Scottish rock band, and later classical and folk singing. Mr. McFarlane still plays the acoustic guitar for pleasure. At some point he intends to resolve the enigma of being a Scot with a weak golf handicap, but not just yet.