Heartland CEO Jeff Greenslade announces retirement

08 April 2024

Heartland Group Holdings Limited (Heartland) (NZX/ASX: HGH) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Greenslade today announced his intention to step down from his role at the end of the 2024 calendar year.

Jeff has been with Heartland for 15 years, having joined as CEO of its predecessor MARAC Finance in 2009.

Since joining, Jeff has led Heartland through several significant milestones including its formation in 2011 through the merger of Canterbury Building Society, MARAC Finance, Southern Cross Building Society and PGG Wrightson Finance, receipt of Heartland Bank’s Reserve Bank of New Zealand banking registration in 2012, Heartland’s listing on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in 2011 and on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2018.

Heartland Board Chair Greg Tomlinson acknowledged the great impact Jeff has had on Heartland. “As one of Heartland’s founders, Jeff’s contribution to the business and our shareholders has been outstanding. This is evident in the substantial growth Heartland has achieved in just over 10 years since its formation.”

Jeff has overseen Heartland’s growth in gross finance receivables from $1.7 billion at 30 June 2011 to $6.8 billion at 30 June 2024. In the same period, Heartland’s net profit after tax has increased from $7.1 million to $95.9 million (or $110.2 million on an underlying basis1).

“For our customers, Jeff has instilled in Heartland a culture and commitment to making it as easy as possible for customers to apply for a loan, open a savings or deposit account, and manage their finances. Digitalisation and automation of products, platforms and processes has become a core strategic focus of Heartland’s. Through this strategy, our commitment is to providing customers in New Zealand and Australia with products which are the best or only of their kind. Often, this allows us to offer interest rates which are highly competitive or market leading.”

“Importantly, for our people, Jeff has been a real advocate and champion for Heartland’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Of note is his involvement in the development of Heartland Bank’s Manawa Ako internship programme in 2017, and his passion for the programme each year since; and his establishment of Heartland’s shadow board, the Rangatahi Advisory Board, for employees aged under 35.”

With Jeff’s leadership, acquisitions have remained a key part of Heartland’s growth strategy. In 2014, Jeff led Heartland through the acquisition of its now highly successful reverse mortgage businesses in New Zealand and Australia, and in May 2022, the acquisition of specialist Australian livestock finance business StockCo Australia.

Heartland announced this morning that it has received indicative regulatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for the acquisition of Australian bank, Challenger Bank Limited (Challenger Bank). Subject to receipt of final regulatory approvals, Heartland expects to complete the acquisition on 30 April 2024 – following which, Challenger Bank will be rebranded to Heartland Bank.

Jeff’s focus until his retirement will be on ensuring the successful completion and integration of Heartland’s proposed acquisition of Challenger Bank, and the strategic transition of Heartland in its role as a listed parent company of banks in two jurisdictions.

Greg explained the Challenger Bank acquisition is a significant milestone for Heartland as it continues to expand in Australia. “Jeff has been the driving force of this acquisition, and the Board is confident that he will leave Heartland well positioned for growth.”

“The Board is also confident in the continuation of senior expertise within the Heartland group, which Jeff has helped to establish. Heartland’s strength in leadership includes Leanne Lazarus, CEO of Heartland Bank in New Zealand; Chris Flood, Deputy CEO of Heartland who will step into the role of Acting CEO role of the Australian bank subject to completion of the Challenger Bank acquisition; and the appointment of Michelle Winzer2 as CEO of Heartland Bank in Australia subject to acquisition completion.”

Chris is expected to return to his role as Deputy CEO of Heartland later in 2024, allowing time for a comprehensive handover with Michelle.

“The Board will work closely with Jeff on succession planning through the calendar year to ensure a successful transition.”

At the end of the calendar year, Jeff also intends to resign from his Heartland Board appointments. Heartland will make a further announcement when a decision is made regarding any appointments to the role of Heartland CEO.

– ENDS –

Further information about Jeff Greenslade’s tenure at Heartland:

  • In 2009, Jeff was appointed Chief Executive Officer of MARAC Finance.
  • In 2011, following the merger of CBS Canterbury, MARAC Finance and Southern Cross Building Society, Jeff was appointed Managing Director of the newly established Heartland Building Society.
  • In 2012, Heartland Building Society was granted its bank registration by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • In 2013, Heartland Building Society converted from a building society to a company and became Heartland Bank Limited.
  • In 2014, Jeff was appointed CEO of Heartland Bank Limited.
  • In 2018, Heartland completed a corporate restructure which resulted in Heartland Bank Limited becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of a new listed parent company, Heartland Group Holdings Limited (Heartland Group). Heartland Group listed on the ASX, and Jeff was appointed CEO of Heartland Group.

For more information, go to heartlandgroup.info/about-heartland/management/jeff-greenslade-management


About Heartland

Heartland Group Holdings Limited (Heartland) is a financial services group with operations in Australia and New Zealand. Heartland has a long history with roots stretching back to 1875, and is listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges (NZX/ASX:HGH).

While its history stretches back to the Ashburton Permanent Building & Investment Society in 1875, Heartland was formed in 2011 through the merger of Canterbury Building Society, Southern Cross Building Society and MARAC Finance. The merger created Heartland New Zealand Limited (HNZ) which subsequently acquired PGG Wrightson Finance. In 2011, Heartland listed on the NZX and, in 2012, was granted its bank registration by the RBNZ.

Heartland’s New Zealand business, Heartland Bank, provides customers with savings and deposit products (where it is proud to be Canstar NZ’s Savings Bank of the Year 2018-2023), online home loans, reverse mortgages (where is it the leading provider), business loans, car loans and rural loans. In Australia, Heartland’s main business is currently in reverse mortgages through Heartland Finance which is a market leader (with 41% market share as at 30 September 2023)3. Heartland also operates StockCo Australia, a specialist livestock financier, which was acquired by Heartland in May 2022. In October 2022, Heartland announced its intention to purchase Challenger Bank, a digital bank based in Melbourne, Australia, subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals.

Heartland’s point of differentiation is its “best or only” strategy – where it focuses on providing products which are the best or only of their kind through scalable digital platforms. Heartland is committed to delivering financial solutions through speed and simplicity, particularly via digital platforms which reduce the cost of onboarding and make it easier for customers to open accounts or apply for funds when they need it.

More about Heartland: heartlandgroup.info

1 Heartland presents its financial results on a reported and underlying basis. Reported results are prepared in accordance with NZ GAAP and include the impacts of positive and negative one-offs, which can make it difficult to compare performance. Underlying results (which are non-GAAP financial information) exclude any impacts of one-offs. This is intended to allow for easier comparability between periods, and is used internally by management for this purpose. Go to heartlandgroup.info to refer to Heartland’s results announcement and investor presentation for the financial year ended 30 June 2024 for a detailed reconciliation between reported and underlying financial information, including details about one-offs in the most recent financial year.

2 Michelle Winzer’s start date is subject to completion of the acquisition of Challenger Bank and is yet to be confirmed.

3 Up from 36% at 30 September 2022. Based on APRA authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) Property Exposure and Heartland Finance data as at 30 September 2022 and 30 September 2023. This does not include data from non-ADI providers of reverse mortgages.