NAB names new Apogee FP boss

NAB confirms replacement for Fiona Navarro who left the Apogee dealer group in March.


By Julie May

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National Australia Bank (NAB) and MLC licensees regional sales manager for New South Wales and Queensland Brendan Johnson will succeed Fiona Navarro, who left in March, as general manager of NAB-aligned dealer group Apogee Financial Planning, financialobserver can reveal.

According to Johnson’s LinkedIn profile, he has been in the regional sales manager role for over two-and-a-half years and with NAB for more than 10 years.

He has held various roles within the bank, including MLC risk specialist network national manager, MLC Advice Solutions state manager and MLC Advice Solutions practice development manager.

An executive within the bank, Jeff Munro, had been acting in Navarro’s position, with some employees speculating Munro could be appointed to another of the bank’s financial planning dealer groups, pointing to Meritum Financial Group as a possibility.

A source told financialobserver last week Stephen Trist had gone on “long-term leave” from his position as general manager of Meritum, with a NAB spokesperson confirming he was on extended leave, but not whether he would return.

“Theo Christopoulos has been announced as [Meritum] acting general manager,” the spokesperson said, adding Christopoulos was one of the founding members of Meritum and his intimate knowledge and understanding of the business was a critical part of its growth and development.

Meanwhile, the publication announced last week that Garvan and MLC Financial Planning general manager James Meade had left his post after six years, marking the third of four aligned-licensee bosses NAB had lost this year. That number would rise to four if Trist did not return to Meritum.

Meade, however, was not leaving the bank and had been appointed to the newly created position of head of partnerships development, with a search for his successor underway, a spokesperson said.

Another aligned-licensee general manager who had exited NAB in 2015 was Godfrey Pembroke general manager Sean Allen, who had since been replaced by Alan Logan, who worked at NAB in several positions between 2001 and 2007.

Earlier in June, it was reported two advisory firms from Victoria had also left Apogee to join Bombora Advice, headed by a former managing director of Apogee, Wayne Handley, who established the Bombora licensee in 2013.

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