Australia’s private health insurer, Mediabank Private Ltd, has appointed Craig Drummond as its new CEO starting July 4. The 55-year-old is known for his stint at the National Australia Bank as a former Chief Financial Officer, reports The Australian Financial Review.  Drummond missed out on the top job at National Australia Bank and had to resign in February.

Hailing the leadership of Drummond, Medibank Chairman Elizabeth Alexander praised his “outstanding reputation for his leadership capabilities, strategic thinking and business acumen.”

Drummond said he would build on Medibank’s “record of strong performance for members and shareholders and to play our part in transforming the health system.”

Media reports also said Drummond would start off at Medibank with a big base pay of 1.5 million and would receive $6 million a year.

Drummond has been at the helm of NAB’s finance and strategy for more than two years. He is credited with a stellar role in the success of NAB in withdrawing from its overseas banking operations to the high-return franchisees in Australia and New Zealand, reports Nasdaq.

Drummond’s appointment also aroused high expectations among analysts.

“We expect that with the appointment of an external candidate as MD and CEO of Medibank, the company will continue to be transformed from its previous government ownership and listing on the ASX in December 2014,” Macquarie Securities analyst Tim Lawson said.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the timing of Drummond’s appointment is significant. It said the health insurance sector has been under pressure from the Federal government for curbing its soaring health care bills and also opposing hikes in premium sought by them.

Meanwhile, health insurers are battling hospitals for reducing costs and hiking operating efficiencies. Recently, Medibank had a public spat with Calvary Hospitals over “inefficiencies.”

  • Drummond is a veteran banker
  • Served as Chief Financial Officer of NAB
  • Played a pivotal role in restructuring NAB’s overseas operations
  • Expected to tackle the insurer’s challenges on profitability
  • Will take charge as Media Bank CEO in July