Top job: Arthur Willett

Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?

At Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in a similar role to my current one.

What qualifications do you hold?

Master’s degrees in applied finance and professional accounting.

What are the duties in your new role?

Leadership and strategic direction of a professional HR function – to work with the National Australia Bank Remuneration Committee of the Principal Board and Group Executive Committee.

What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Maintaining our current culture and momentum through the current changes occurring in the financial sector.

What is the most overrated tool in your job?


And what work tool would you like to see invented?

Not so much invented as properly implemented – a truly global management information system.

What is the worst thing about HR?

In organisations where the HR contribution is not valued, the function can suffer a credibility crisis.

How do you wind down after a bad day in the office?

I head to the park with my kids and the dog – they soon bring me back to reality.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Motivated, honest and loyal.

What was your lucky break?

Being asked to act in a senior role during a change of chief executive and executive team.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

My wife, children and unsung heroes.

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

You need to listen to your customers and then work back from the optimum solution, not start with the technical or current system view of the world.

What job would you like your children to do?

Whatever they were happy doing but if I had a choice, structured finance or treasury.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

Being asked to move organisations as part of the management team that would replace the incumbent management while my wife and I were expecting our first child.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

Work to live, not live to work.


  • Mar 2008-present: HR director, people and culture UK, National Australia Group (finance)
  • Apr 2006-Mar 2008: General manager, group executive programmes, National Australia Bank
  • Mar 2004-Mar 2005: General manager, group workplace solutions, National Australia Bank

Comments are closed.