A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of our anzroc Member David Valentine was held at the Pavilion, Arts Centre , Melbourne on October 31st 2019.
250 Family, friends and colleagues attended which demonstates the respect afforded to David by those who knew him.
David's wife Linda welcomed everyone and tributes were made by Eamon Veaney on his ANZ career, Neil Day on his time spent with the Australian Opera and daughters Kaggi and Tina on his family life.
The ANZ community was well represented by a host of ex colleagues including John Ries, Stephen Green, Achut Bommakanti, John and Annie McFarlane just back from the UK, Bill Lagerberg, Meg Sedger, Dick Chegwin, Des and Kathy Shady, Dilip Bhatt, Dan Kirtley, Eamon Veaney, Anne Wee, Bernadette Lynch, Wayne Stephenson,Paul Edwards, Angela Mercer, Jill Paterson, Pam Thompson from Adelaide and many of David's young bright people from Strategy whom he enjoyed working with . I apologise if I missed some names.
Linda thanks everyone who sent their messages of condolence and reminiscinces of David. Kaggi is putting together all the tributes so please feel free to add any stories.
My tribute to David on his career below
David Valentine Celebration of Life October 31 2019
Thank you Linda, Kaggi and Tina for the invitation to say some words about David’s Illustrious Banking career.
David started his Banking career in 1969 at the Merchant Bank Samuel Montagu where he stayed for 3 years working in Corporate Finance doing Mergers and Acquisitions. He then moved to a smaller Merchant Bank called William Brandts Sons and Co which was a subsidiary of Grindlays Bank to which he transferred in 1973 in the Commercial Banking business.
In the late 1970’s David joined the International Banking Division of Grindlays which included the role of Directeur General (CEO) of the French Operation from 1979-82. I originally thought that as David was a fluent French Speaker he was ideally suited to the role. I do know that it was one of his most enjoyable postings. Linda subsequently corrected me by saying that's something of an over claim; his French was OK and he spoke it with a decidedly English accent. His staff in France thought this was charming and they thought that he sounded just like the former British Prime Minister Edward Heath.
After returning to London he was put in charge of Grindlays Group Functions including Finance and was one of the youngest Directors to be appointed to the Grindlays Board. He then became Head of Grindlays European Division.
I first met David in London in 1984 when ANZ launched the acquisition of Grindlays Bank. I thought he was clever, erudite and very politically alert. This is evidenced by the fact that he was the longest serving Grindlays Senior Executive with ANZ. David was heavily involved in the integration of Operations which was quite a challenge not only due to the disparate systems in both banks but also because of the huge cultural differences between the ANZ and Grindlays staff. David took over the running of the Private Bank which operated in St James’ Square London, Geneva, Jersey and Guernsey. I worked closely with David and his Country Heads at that time trying to improve their various computer systems. One memorable meeting with the Private Banking Execs in David’s office was when news came through that ANZ Treasury would from then on refuse to take any more Private bank deposits from the Channel Islands. There was a lot of tension in the room but David’s calm demeanour made sure things didn’t get out of control.
I moved to Melbourne in 1989 ostensibly for a 2 year secondment, still here. Our paths crossed again in 1991 when we both attended a Treasury course in Melbourne. That was a pre-cursor to David taking over the running of the UK Treasury operation in London.
David Foreman said that his arrival in London Treasury was unusual in many respects but during that period he showed an extraordinary grasp of the business and trading activity. He was a real gentleman. That is a message repeated in many of the tributes received about David.
In 1995 David also agreed to a 2 year secondment to Melbourne same as me in 1989, never went back either. He arrived just in time to celebrate my partner Anne’s birthday at our house in Prahran. As number 2 in International reporting to Alister Maitland David had responsibility for a range of operational functions including the CBS IT project. When John McFarlane arrived as CEO in 1997 he told the assembled Management Group that David was wasted where he was as he was the best Mergers and Acquisitions Bank Executive that he knew.
From that time until his retirement David was involved with Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions. This involved the major sale of Grindlays to Standard Chartered bank in 2000 and the purchase of the NBNZ in 2003. Many of us thought it was ironic that David would no doubt have been involved in the purchase of Grindlays by ANZ as a Director of that bank and its subsequent disposal. Meanwhile there were many other businesses which the Bank acquired in Asia which David and his team were involved with.
After David retired in 2011 he became a member of the ANZ Retired Officers’ club and attended many of our lunches including our annual Christmas get together which co-incidentally takes place in this room. Two years ago we did a video interview with a few members including David. He reflected on the fact with a smile on his face that since he had left the bank many of the businesses he had worked to acquire had been sold due to the changed strategic priorities of the Bank. Last December David managed to get to the Xmas lunch assisted by Tina and was able to catch up with many colleagues in a great social environment.
The response to David’s obituary on the Retired Officers Facebook page was extraordinary, over 1400 readers, the norm is around 200. There were many tributes posted many from his ex-colleagues in London, Melbourne and other countries where David had worked which repeatedly referred to him as a mentor and true gentleman. I cannot list them all but Michael Carr provides a vivid image of David at work. Brad Jones and Owen Wilson made the same observation.
- Very sad news. I learnt much from David, working closely with him on the Grindlays sale. A true gentleman. I too have such a strong mental image of him outside 100QSM reading his emails while having a smoke. And the way his glasses used to hang off one ear. RIP David, you’ll not be forgotten.
- Achut Bommakanti who is in India at the moment mentioned that David was a true friend in every way and was a tower of strength for him during some trying times in London.
- Peter Marriott said David was unique in so many ways. He had outstanding intellect and judgment and yet was humble and unassuming. His quiet gentlemanly style made him so endearing to many yet behind it was a strong moral compass and principles, which he was able to use so skilfully to influence people at all levels towards the right outcome. They broke the mould when they made David.
- Caroline Gowan commented I worked with David from 2005-2007 at ANZ and will always remember his kindness alongside his intelligence and good humour - a great and rare combo with a senior exec - He was one of a kind. I was a grad when I worked with him and he really taught me such great values and role modelled what a great leader is, I’ll always remember him.
From a personal point of view we caught up for dinner every few months and even went to see the Bombers play Hawthorn at the MCG. David was a very generous person who each year offered us tickets to the Australian Tennis Open as he had a season ticket and couldn’t attend all the matches. I’m glad we were able to organise a catch up lunch in March with John Ries, Arun and Bill Lagerberg and yum cha with Linda, John and Deanna in May while David was still able to get out and about.
He was a great boss, colleague and friend who will be missed. I am still waiting for my performance review from 1996.