New Regional Australia Bank CEO David Heine is moving to Armidale from Sydney with his wife Samantha, who is a primary school teacher, and will start July 1.
The couple enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle and have already visited both the local golf and rowing clubs.
Mr Heine brings 20 years of experience to the role, having worked across the finance and banking sector, and has extensive board experience.
Growing up in the Riverina area, mainly in Wagga Wagga, he said that while he has lived for many years in Sydney and Melbourne, he is familiar with rural life.
"But given that I chose a banking career, it is a bit hard to avoid the big cities," he said.
"The thing I am looking forward to most is living with a big blue sky. I remember that from my childhood, and you just can't get that living in a city. If you can look up into the big blue sky, it doesn't matter how cold it is."
As a young kid who was pretty good with numbers and an interest in the commercial aspects of banking, Mr Heine said he observed how banking could help people.
"In Wagga, I saw how people's lives were hectic, particularly when setting up a business, and the bank manager was important to them," he said.
"My dad was a doctor, but I really saw him as a small businessman.
"I saw him try to build a practice and build a business - many of the aspects that people in regional Australia have to deal with.
"My mother was a nurse, and she was an important part of that as well, juggling three kids at the back of the practice and helping dad with the business."
Mr Heine has known his predecessor Kevin Dupe since the 1990s and has great respect for what he has achieved.
"I've watched this organisation grow under Kevin 's leadership, and it is really quite special," he said.
"He has left a wonderful legacy and a fantastically strong team that I am excited to work with.
"There are very few banks in Australia who truly understand what it is to be a relationship bank, and this is one that gets it.
"It is an organisation that is built on a strong set of values. And for me, that is really important. In many ways, rather than feeling like I have to assimilate into the culture, it feels like coming home."
Mr Heine said having been born and raised in the country, he knows and appreciates the challenges many rural dwellers face.
"I know that their worlds can be very complex and that they often need a hand to make things simple," he said.
"I take great energy from that.
"The challenge for us is to say yes to more regional Australians, and we absolutely see that as our main priority."
While David is set to join the team on July 1, Kevin Dupe will assist with a handover period to ensure a smooth transition before he commences retirement.
"I've had the great fortune of getting experience from working for a range of organisations in a number of areas, and I'm looking to bringing that to the highly talented team here," Mr Heine said.
"I'm a fairly simple person who is really overjoyed by the opportunity I've been given."
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