He was the golden boy of banking, rising through the ranks to lead ANZ to a $2 billion profit a year. And then some "mischaracterised" expenses saw it all come crashing down. Amid the furore surrounding his departure, David Hisco remained out-of-sight and overseas. Now he's back. The Herald on Sunday tracked him down.
Disgraced ANZ boss David Hisco is back in the country and back to his life of luxury - entertaining weekend visitors at his waterfront Omaha Beach home.
Hisco departed the country's biggest bank under a heavy cloud in June, forgoing his $3 million salary and $6.4m in equity after an internal investigation found he had fudged expenses.
The 55-year-old Australian banker spent about $50,000 of the bank's money on personal wine storage and chauffeured cars - then billed it as a business expense.
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ANZ said the mischaracterisation of the spending did not meet standards, and that Hisco's departure was "mutually agreed".
It was later revealed ANZ had sold Hisco's wife the couple's mansion in St Heliers for up to $3 million under its value, and without making the proper disclosures.
Both incidents raised wider questions about the nature of Hisco's employment deal and whether there were other reasons for sudden departure - initially flagged as a leave of absence for "health reasons" - which Hisco is yet to answer.
Some in the sector speculated Hisco was being punished for severe embarrassment suffered by ANZ and its board when the Reserve Bank revoked its accreditation to model its own operational risk capital requirement, in May.
Until this week Hisco was believed to be out of the country recuperating - from legitimate health issues as well as his very public humiliation - and has not replied to calls.
When the Herald approached him at his Omaha home yesterday, Hisco was coy about his identity.
"David?" the reporter asked.
"No," Hisco said.
When the reporter again asked if he was David Hisco, and if they could come in and talk, he rejected the offer.
"We have visitors," he said. Hisco bought the Omaha property from ANZ NZ chairman John Key - the former prime minister - for $3.1 million.
It has waterfront views and private access to the beach. An Audi and a Porsche were parked at the home. A jet ski was in the garage.
Hisco had been chief executive for nine years, and with the bank for 30.
During his tenure he oversaw the merger of the National Bank and ANZ brands, and helped guide profits to an annual $4 billion - making it easily the nation's largest bank.
The expense issue stretched his entire tenure in the top role.
It involved the use of chauffeur-driven cars and the storage of his wine collection in Australia, all billed back to the bank.
At the time the investigation results were announced, Key said the issue did not involve how much money was spent but rather how that spend was characterised in the records, and the lack of transparency.
"We as an organisation and the New Zealand board and me as chairman expect transparency from not only our CEO but every person that works for this company," he said.
"We have to be able to have trust in what people are recognising in our records. In that regard David would say he didn't meet the standards he set for himself and the rest of his staff."
Head of retail and business banking Antonia Watson has been acting chief executive since Hisco's departure. A permanent replacement is expected to be announced by the end of the year.
Hisco revealed in his departure note to staff he had become a New Zealand citizen in 2016. He indicated he would remain living here.
"I look forward to resting and recharging before moving forward."