ANZ's Burdett to join NBAD as CFO

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has appointed a senior executive from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group as its group chief financial officer, two sources familiar with the matter said.

James Burdett, previously chief financial officer for international and institutional banking at ANZ, is set to join the top United Arab Emirates lender by market value soon, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the appointment is not public.

Burdett will be the second senior executive to join NBAD from ANZ after the lender appointed Alex Thursby as its chief executive officer in July. Thursby headed ANZ's international and institutional banking division before taking the helm at NBAD.

Thursby plans to set up eight banking hubs in major cities and five franchises in key markets, mostly in emerging economies, as part of his strategy to counter stiff competition at home.

A spokesman for NBAD declined to comment on Burdett's appointment, while ANZ officials were not immediately available for comment. Burdett's departure from ANZ was reported in Australian local media.

The majority state-owned Abu Dhabi lender posted a second straight decline in quarterly net profit on Tuesday despite a drop in the amount it set aside for bad loans.

NBAD made a fourth-quarter net profit of Dh1.08 billion ($294 million), down from Dh1.12 billion in the year-ago period, the bank said in a statement.

Six analysts had on average forecast a profit of Dh1.10 billion in a Reuters poll. Profit for the full year 2013 totalled Dh4.73 billion, up 9 per cent.

The quarterly results were hurt by a drop in foreign exchange income, which fell 38 per cent.

Operating expenses in the fourth quarter were Dh916 million compared to Dh790 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

"The restructuring of our organisation has commenced and we are investing in our new strategy and building the operational 'spine' of the bank," Thursby said in the statement, adding that the overhaul resulted in some one-off expenses in the fourth quarter.

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