Net Worth: $32.9 Million
- Source of Wealth Westpac Banking Corporation (CEO)
- Nationality Australia
About Gail Kelly
Annual Salary: AU$9.5 million
Title: Chief Executive
Education: BA/BS, University of Cape Town
Marital Status: Married
As head of Australia’s second-largest bank, Westpac, with $551 billion in assets and $15.9 billion in revenue, and the country’s most influential businesswoman, the native of South African has an outsized public profile.Kelly’s every statement and opinion–public or otherwise–is reported minutely, occasionally provoking national controversy.Since late 2009 Kelly has earned the ire of everyday Australians by drastically raising interest rates on loans.The problem, according to Kelly: Australian consumer savings rates are much lower than in other areas of the world, making it more expensive for banks like Westpac to seek out funding.She’s hoping to attract more Australian savers as of 2011 to stop the vicious cycle.
Gail Currer was born in Praetoria, South Africa. Currer attended the University of Cape Town where she undertook an arts degree majoring in history and Latin as well as a Diploma of Education. She married Allan Kelly, in December 1977.
The couple moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where she taught Latin at Falcon College while he served in the Rhodesian army. The couple returned to South Africa where Allan Kelly studied medicine at the University of the Witswatersrand and Gail Kelly taught at a government high school.
Kelly started work at the Nedcor Bank as a teller but was fast-tracked into an accelerated training program. She started an MBA in 1986 while pregnant with her oldest daughter and graduated with distinction in 1987.In 1990, she became head of human resources at Nedcor after having given birth to triplets five months earlier. The Kellys were becoming disillusioned with South Africa in the middle of the 1990s and were looking to move to a different country. In June 1997, she flew to Sydney where she held interviews with four of the major banks and was appointed to a senior position at the Commonwealth Bank in July 1997.
In 2010, Forbes ranked her the 8th most powerful woman in the world; she was ranked 18th in 2009; and ranked 11th in 2008.