'Modest Rog' a maroon marvel
By · 28 Nov 2013
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28 Nov 2013
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'Modest Rog' a maroon marvel

Where else but Queensland? Bank of Queensland's new chairman, Roger Davis, obviously knew which credentials to present when he chaired his first AGM in Brissie on Wednesday.

Despite the former Wallaby's distinctly NSW heritage, he managed to work the locals with talk of his days playing rugby for Queensland Uni and making his way into the Queensland Reds squad under "my old national coach Bob Templeton".

The entire board then made the pledge of allegiance to the Sunshine State, with one quipping: "I've been in Queensland for the past 27 years, so I think I can apply for a passport."

Apparently speculation was swirling around the cheap seats that "modest Rog" also made it into the Queensland state-of-origin squad as a waterboy, and also cameoed as the mascot for the Brisbane Lions before their premiership run.

"Clearly we won't be leaving Australia to search for new hunting grounds," he assured investors during the meeting. We get the feeling some of the more parochial shareholders would have choked on their Iced VoVos at the news that "their" bank had even left the state.

Laker's not dry

Banking regulation is a dry topic at the best of times - even for the country's top financial watchdog, John Laker.

Speaking in Sydney on Wednesday, the APRA chairman let slip that one reason he has started to talk more about governance in his speeches is to avoid boredom. Goes to show, even the top regulators get sick of discussing the fascinating world of capital and liquidity rules.

"I was asked to give a lecture on Basel III capital, and there's only a limited number of lectures I can do on Basel III capital before I bore myself," he said at the University of Sydney, prompting laughter from the room.

Laker, who will step down next June, made the comments after delivering a lecture in honour of the late Warren Hogan, a long-serving professor of economics at the uni.

Heavy hitters who attended included: the RBA guv Glenn Stevens, former NSW premier turned adviser Nick Greiner, economist and anti-sugar crusader Rory Robertson, and the family of professor Hogan, including his

son Warren, the chief economist

at ANZ.

Levitt tees off

The Senate inquiry into the corporate pup, ASIC, has been getting plenty of attention around Lake Burley Griffin but it seems some submissions have been a little too much for our porn capital.

There is a gap where submission number 276 was made by Levitt Robinson principal Stuart Levitt, who was a big hitter in the litigation against Storm Financial. "I am somewhat flabbergasted that my Submission No.276 has been removed from the Senate committee website," Levitt told us.

A committee rep told him it was "taken down temporarily" to permit redaction or delay, so that others could respond - a courtesy that was not provided to Levitt's client, Geoff Shannon, "who was roundly denounced" in Commonwealth Bank's submission, he says. "Certainly, I would argue that my submissions were particularly incisive and compelling and must have caused some discomfort within the ranks of ASIC's senior echelons."

His submission claimed ASIC's failures could not be blamed on budgetary constraints, given ASIC's apparent profligacy in the deployment of public money spent on, or in, outsourcing legal services.

In statements to the media this week, Levitt has called for a federal version of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to monitor the "corrupt" activity of ASIC.

ASIC was not impressed.

"ASIC completely rejects the article's inference of corruption," a spokesman said. "We apply the law without fear or favour."

Reject pay day

Reject Shop's Christopher Bryce is making hay while the sun's shining, offloading 15,000 indirectly held shares in the bargain retailer at $17.20 a pop. The sale is his first since taking the helm four years ago.

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