After 13 years at MyState Limited — nine of them as Chair — Miles Hampton says he’s “very pleased” with the “really solid foundation” in place as he hands over to incoming chair Vaughn Richtor, and recently appointed Managing Director and CEO Brett Morgan.
“I am very confident Vaughn and Brett are exactly the people we need to take MyState Limited to the next level,” says Mr Hampton.
“Renewal in key leadership roles is vital if organisations are to progress, and it’s the right time for me to retire. It has been both a privilege and honour to be Chairman at MyState.
What do Brett and Vaughn bring to MyState?
Vaughn has a proven track record in building a bank in Australia. When he came to Australia to set up ING from scratch, the loan book was insignificant and by the time he left, it was around $50 billion and the fifth largest retail banking business in the country.
Brett’s background including senior executive roles at ING, in the fintech space and his role more recently as chief executive of ASX-listed BNK Corporation means he brings to MyState exactly the right kind of hands-on experience. He’s a people person but also a leader focused on driving growth.
Are they a safer pair of hands than Ricky Ponting at first slip?
I can’t say that! I come from Launceston and so does Ricky.
You became chairman in 2013. What was MyState like then?
Can we take a step back? I was on the board of Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees when we proposed to MyState Financial Credit Union that we should merge.
When that merger happened I went onto the board of MyState Limited in 2009. We hadn’t really commenced our journey to become a digital bank. We had two different banking platforms and a lot of work to do improving our technology.
What were your goals?
Remember I am only the chairman of the board. What is the adage? First among equals. The person who really drives the business day to day is the managing director, and Melos Sulicich joined us in 2014. Credit has to go to him for recognising the pathway we needed to go on. We were very small, therefore we needed to be competitive and be digital, and in the process create a platform we could drive to increase our scale.
What makes you most proud about MyState?
First, our customers really are positive about transacting with MyState. Second, I have an overwhelming sense that the team at all levels is committed to the customer experience, whether it be a new account opening, a deposit, an investment, a loan.
A great thing about MyState is it has a dual identity: an authentic role supporting customers at community level as well as being a big employer.
The MyState Foundation chaired by another of our directors, Bob Gordon, has gone from strength to strength. It has an absolute focus on smaller type of organisations contributing to the welfare and development of youth in Tasmania. We have a foundation distributing $150,000-plus a year to worthwhile organisations. It’s been a wonderful achievement for Bob.
Big question—what is your legacy?
It is my view that MyState has been a quiet achiever. We have delivered solid returns to shareholders. Since MyState Limited was created in 2009 we have delivered a total shareholder return of 299% vs the ASX 200 146%. (Total shareholder return comprises share price appreciation plus dividends.)
We have built the platform to embark on an ambitious program to grow – scale that is vital if we are to provide the services that customers expect, career opportunities for our people and acceptable shareholder returns which can be maintained over the longer term.
But most importantly, and what I’m most proud of, is that we have remained true to our credit union and trustee company roots, where the overriding culture is one of putting our customers first.
What was your first full time job?
It was at Wrest Point Casino as a junior accountant then worked for a number of private companies. From there I went to ASX-listed Roberts Ltd, where I worked for 25 years, and 20 as managing director. I’ve always seen myself as incredibly lucky to have had such interesting and challenging roles whilst being able to live in Tasmania.
What are your plans now you’re handing over the reins? Fishing?
No immediate plans. If an opportunity came to contribute to the community that I care about I would look at it, but I am not seeking to continue in board leadership roles. I’m a lousy fisherman. Not patient enough. My wife retired three years ago and has made it abundantly clear that yes, I am retiring but don’t expect her to change her routine to fit with mine!
Your best piece of business advice?
Challenge everything and never be afraid to speak up when you have something to say.