Barbara Chapman

Barbara Chapman has only been chief executive of the ASB Bank since April last year but already she had stamped her mark on the company.

The bank reported a record profit of $685 million for the year to June 30 - up 21 per cent on the prior year.

Figures supplied by the Bankers Association show that ASB had the highest average return on equity for the last five years compared to its competitors, at more than 15 per cent per annum.

ASB's return on ordinary shareholder equity was 19 per cent for its 2012 financial year, up from 17.2 per cent in 2011.


Chapman returned from a five-year secondment at ASB's parent company Commonwealth Bank of Australia to take up the top job.

Prior to that she worked for 12 years as a senior executive at ASB, specialising in marketing, human resources and retail banking, and then as managing director at ASB's sister company, insurer Sovereign.

Born in New Plymouth and raised in Christchurch, Chapman is the only Kiwi in charge of one of the four major Australian-owned banks.

She is also at present one of the few female chief executives of a large New Zealand business.