Who is who of the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) Bank in the Pacific are gathering in Samoa this week.
Among them is Tessa Price, the Bank’s Regional Executive for Pacific Islands and the first woman to lead the Bank’s Pacific operations.
The ANZ’s Pacific Leadership Team is in Apia for their two-day ‘leadership and strategy’ conference at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel on Beach Road.
There are country heads from 11 Pacific countries where ANZ has a presence in the region including Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Kiribati, Tonga, American Samoa, Guam, Timor-Leste, Cook Islands and Samoa.
“The conference is all about leadership, it’s all about bringing the team together from our country heads to the head of HR [Human Resources] and talking about what sort of organization we want for the future,” Ms. Price told the Samoa Observer yesterday.
The ANZ Bank has existed for 136 years and the Apia conference, according to Ms. Price, is to determine the way forward.
“ANZ has existed for a 136 years and we want to be here for the next 136 years," she said.
“And so we have been talking a lot about our values, we’ve been talking a lot about our purpose and HR methodology which is part of ANZ global."
“I think we want to do a lot more. We’ve launched money minded businesses here as well and we want to get skill out into the market.
“I think with our people in terms of training capabilities we need to lift that further. I think it’s an opportunity rather than a challenge but always looking to our people and development.
“That’s the large part of the conference. It is about what more we can do as a leadership team to grow and develop local talent.”
The Regional Executive also commented about statistics on women in top-level management with ANZ Bank.
“I am really proud to read actually that 85% of our managers are locals and 92% of our managers are female. That’s really pleasing to see.”
ANZ’s Country Head in Samoa, Bernie Poort, said he is proud to host the conference here in beautiful Samoa.
He used the opportunity to highlight the work of the bank at the moment.
ANZ has been in Samoa for 59 years and Mr. Poort is confident about the future.
“We’ve got a really well established business here and we’ve been in that market for many years in Samoa. We cater to the government and most of the big tourism operators around town,” he said.
“It’s an exciting time for the country and were waiting for tourism to sort of burst through and there’s a lot of work and discussion on how we’re going to make that happen.
“The bank is here to stay and will continue that journey with Samoa.”
Back to Ms. Price, she the projections for the Pacific region in terms of the economy are positive.
“I take a lot of feedback when I’m in the country, talking to a lot of people for growth projections, they are pretty healthy in the Pacific, especially if you look at the context of the Australian Market.
“Most countries that I look after, there are good growth numbers given the global situations but quite slow.”
She said the infrastructural developments in the Pacific are healthy.
“I see road and ports, tourism,” she said.
Referring to recently opened Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel, she said “it is a great example” of the work that is going on in the region.
“We see in our commercial and our retail customer that it’s actually tracking well.
“I look at the Fiji market, the Tonga, Cook Islands in terms of Tourism as they are doing very well and in Samoa.”
Ms. Price also elaborated on the important aspects of each county she visits.
“When I go to a country, I look at three different aspects. I look at what the actual report is telling us, the analysis, our clients and at our own bank data, our own growth and credit growth.
“If we’re growing, that means the country is growing and as well because were lending money and it’s quite positive in the Pacific.”