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Star adds Foster and ex-Crown director Ward to board

| By Robert Fletcher
Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has announced the appointment of Anne Ward and David Foster as non-executive directors, subject to regulatory approval.
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Ward has expertise in business management, strategy, governance, risk and finance and broad industry experience spanning financial services, banking, insurance, technology, healthcare, government, education, tourism and entertainment.

Until recently, Ward served on the board at Crown Resorts, standing down in June this year following the completion of the takeover by Blackstone. She is also currently chair of ecommerce group Redbubble and communication software provider Symbio Holdings.

Foster has worked in the financial services sector more than 25 years, including over five years as chief executive of Suncorp Bank.

He has also served on boards across a range of industries including financial services, retail, government, education and professional services, while he currently holds directorships at a number of business including Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd.

“Anne and David bring a relevant set of skills to our board at this important juncture,” Star’s interim chairman Ben Heap said. “They have extensive experience in highly regulated industries, impressive backgrounds in risk and compliance, and invaluable leadership insights forged during their respective careers in law and banking.

“Along with fellow non-executive directors, Michael Issenberg, Richard Sheppard, Katie Lahey and Gerard Bradley, I welcome Anne and David as we continue to refresh the board.”

The double appointment comes after the parliament of New South Wales last week passed a bill creating a new land-based regulator for the state, which will oversee its two operators – Crown and Star – as they recover from wide-ranging scandals around their operations.

The new body will take over following the passage of the Casino Legislation Amendment Bill 2022. This law outlines new requirements for the two casinos, including enhanced anti-money laundering checks, and outlining exactly what type of training is expected for staff.

Earlier this month, Star also said it expects to post AUS$1.53bn in normalised revenue for its 2022 financial year – a year in which its licences faced major scrutiny – following a strong recovery domestically during the fourth quarter.

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